Proofing Solutions and Certification
Where do I stand?
Digital Distributors introduced Inkjet Proofing solutions as a first to the South African market in 1997. The pioneering Inkjet Proofing Solution was achieved with Best Colorproof, which today is known as EFI Fiery XF.
Requirements of Certified Contract Proofs
All Certified Contract Proofs must contain:
- The Job / Image itself
- A Job Ticket stating the file name, the reference printing condition, date, etc.
- A Fogra Media Wedge 3
Apart from other Normative checks to see if a proof is ISO-12647-7 Certified, verifications of proofs are made based on spectral measurement of the Fogra Media Wedge 3.0.
All about ISO:12647-7
What is ISO:12647-7 Verified Proof?
A Verified Proof is a measurement of the accuracy of the reproduced colours in the Media Wedge against those defined in the intended reference profile.
As with Proofing System Certification, verified proofs also require the following three main elements:
- The Job/Image itself
- The Human Readable Job Ticket
- The Media Wedge
A Verified Proof serves as an indication that the system which produced the proof, can reliably reproduce the colours defined in the intended reference printing condition. This is done through the measurement of a sampling of colours, which are defined in the Fogra Media Wedge 3.0. The result is reliable colour reproduction within the proofed Image itself.
What is ISO:12647-7 Certification?
The Certification means that a proof has been made to a desired reference and checked against all requirements of ISO:12647-7, by a third party independent organisation such as Fogra.
The requirements cover more than the measurement of the Fogra Media Wedge. They also look into the Normative requirements for a Contract proof, which include:
- Rub Resistance
- Substrate Gloss and White Point
- Image Register and resolving power “Fine type”
- Reproduction of Vignettes
- Tone Value
- Margin Information
How does the certification work?
Digital Distributors submits test forms from the customer’s proofing system to Fogra, where they are evaluated. The proof must meet the aims of the reference printing condition and be within the tolerances of ISO:12657-7. On successfully meeting Fogra’s requirements, the customer will receive Fogra Certification and the details of the company’s proofing system will be listed on the Fogra Website (www.Fogra.org).
Q&A with John Panton
Q: Someone told me that our Proofing System fails ISO:12647-7, but when I verify my proofs, they pass.
A: There is always a possible question of measurement instrument calibration and accuracy, but 99% of the time we have found this just to be a lack of understanding.
There are many reference printing conditions. Litho Offset Printing standards ISO-12647-2:2013 alone have 16 different published reference printing conditions. Coldset Newsprint ISO-12647-3 and PSR Gravure ISO-12647-5 also have their own reference printing conditions.
So, proofs can look very different both in the image and the Media Wedge, while both proofs are ISO:12647-7 verified. The reason is that the reference profile or intended press output condition is different.
This is why the proof has to contain a Job Ticket, which clearly indicates to which proofing condition the proof is measured.
Q: How is it possible that two proofs, one from Johannesburg and one from Durban, each with the same Job Ticket and reference printing condition, can both pass the Media Wedges within the tolerances of ISO:12647-7, yet I can see a difference in some of the colours?
A: This can happen. Remember dE does not describe the direction of colour shift, so without looking deeper into the measurements Lab data, we only see that both proofs have, for example, an Average dE Deviation of 1.5dE. However, one may be 1,5dE towards the red side and the other may be 1,5dE towards green shade, relative to target. This would result in a noticeable 3dE deviation between them, yet the proofs are all within the tolerance of ISO:12647-7. This is where we need to have an understanding of tolerance when looking deeper into the measurement data.
Q: We received a customer’s proof with the job. We also created proofs and while most pages compared well, some were very different – yet I have checked the Job Ticket and we all used the same reference profile and all proofs passed.
A: When we evaluated this particular case, we found that while the reference conditions are the same and all proofs did pass, one still needs to take a careful look at the Job Ticket. The file name and date are part of the mandatory requirements. The customer provided a proof of a file called FMCVR_01.PDF but you received and proofed a file called FMCVR_01_rev1.PDF. The same file is thus not being proofed. On investigation it became clear that the customer had opened some pages and made late changes. Due to poor application colour policy setup, their Mac was set up to convert colour when reopening the document. Reading the important Job Ticket carefully can really help resolve such issues.
Q: Which reference profile should I use? Surely if we have just one reference profile all proofs will look the same. Is that not better for us all?
A: The results of any given CMYK Separation change on the printing process. To demonstrate, let’s use an extreme example:
- Coldset printing on newsprint has:
- Smaller gamut of reproducible colour
- A very different paper white
- A higher natural TVI or dot gain
- Is described by a standardised ICC profile “WAN-IFRAnewspaper26v5.icc”
Sheetfed Offset printing has:
- A wide gamut
- Use brighter white paper, Gloss or Matt coated for example
- Is described by standardised ICC profile “ISOcoated_v2_eci.icc” or the newer “PSOcoated_v3.icc”
If we make proofs according to “ISOcoated_v2_eci.icc”, but the intention is that this separation is to be printed on newsprint, we will never meet the proof with our press process. Even if we deploy a colour server in such a case to re-separate the job for newsprint, the gamut and paper white of “ISOcoated_v2_eci.icc” cannot be achieved.
Q: We often receive proofs from customers without any job ticket or Media Wedge so we don’t know what the simulated printing condition is.
A: You have to refer this back to your customer to supply clear instructions on the job ticket. You require a signed contract proof for every job whereby you as the printer agrees to match within ISO:12647-X norms the colours contained in that customer’s proof.
Under customer-based Proofing System Certifcations, 97 customers
using EFI software have valid certification of their Proofing systems,
while GMG has 39 listed customers and CGS has 4.
This is by no means a statement that all EFI proofing solutions at customers’ sites are perfect, but it is an indication that there are more EFI users, who
understand the need and regularly have their
proofing systems certified by an independent organization annually.
Did you know?
- A Proofing Solution is the system inclusive of the proofing paper,
ink set, proofing device and proofing software RIP.
- A proof is a valuable tool in the print production process and often creates the customer’s initial expectation of the printed job.
- The aim is to create an accurate proof, representative of the printing process, rather than a “beautiful” proof.
- Digital Distributors offers, through Fogra, the ability to have your customers’ EFI Proofing Systems certified on an annual basis.
- EFI media is the most widely sold, back printed and Fogra certified proofing media in South Africa.
- Digital Distributors also sells a private label, fully Fogra Certified and back printed media. The Fogra logo backprint is your guarantee of certified media.
- Find Vendor certified Proofing Solutions and Customer Certified Proofing Systems on www.Fogra.org, where you can also check to see your company’s name listed here if you have a valid Fogra Certification.