Currently, PANTONE has two parallel Metallics colour fans:
The main differences between the two fans lie in the composition of their respective basic colours: Firstly, there is the different Pantone Silver: PANTONE 877 or PANTONE Silver 10077 C. On the other hand, in the PANTONE Metallics Coated the silver is supplemented by further gold basic colours, while in the PANTONE Premium Metallics Coated the newly defined silver is the only metallic basic colour and is tinted by PANTONE Goe basic colours.
Pantone has added a further 84 colours to ist Pantone Plus colour palette in March 2014. The the total amount of the Pantone Plus colour now extends to 1755 colours as Pantone writes on his website. The colours were – matching the Pantone colour of the year: Radiant Orchid – expanded in the Rouge and Pink range, based on the previous base colours.
Two other changes compared to the previous 50th Anniversary PANTONE guides are visible:
For the CMYK guides and the Premium Metallics and Neons & pastel colour guides only the cover pages have been updated. Graphic artists and the printing industry should forthwith upgrade its Solid Coated and Solid Uncoated guides to those of 2014 or newer.
Since the year 2010, there has been chaos in the PANTONE Plus colour portfolio, which is not improved by the new colour guides generation. At present, there are four parallel Pantone Plus colour guides on the market, three of them with different number of colours included in the guide, although that is hardly communicated by Pantone.
The same is true for the Pantone product partners such as Adobe: Hardly any graphic designer knows what Pantone Plus colour are integrated into Adobe the specific Version since neither Pantone nor Adobe characterize their colour guide generation different. Pantone’s statement: “Compatible with today’s digital workflows – colours can be easily updated in leading design applications” translates rather: “What Pantone colours you see in your application, is pure cuincidence – depending on the update status and your manual intervention.”
With long delay, the new printing conditions Fogra Fogra 51 and 52 – PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3 – will be presented at the end of September and finally come into practice. The German bvdm invites together with Fogra and ECI to a joint “kick-off” of the new printing conditions in the “Hochschule der Medien” in Stuttgart.
On Wednesday, the 30th of September 2015 from 10 o’clock representatives of the associations will introduce in the university the innovations, Karl Michael Meinecke wrote of the ECI mailing list.
In this kick-off the new, jointly developed printing conditions and to implement the ISO 12647-2:2013 are presented to printing and media professionals. Attendance is expected to be free, but registration with name and company to the email address email@example.com is requested. The event takes place at the HdM in auditorium i003 in the Nobel Straße 10, D-70569 Stuttgart (Vaihingen) in the Stuttgart Media University.
Fogra51 and Fogra52: A difficult start
The launch of Fogra51 and Fogra52 had been marked by delays and disruptions. Large series of measurements had to be discarded after testing, measurement technology as the new SpectroProofer ILS 30 or new proofing papers were delivered only with great delay. Several seminars on how to manage the change to the new ISO standards in the Fogra are running since late last year with numerous participants in full swing – only the new standards were still not in sight. Now there is at least the kick-off date at the end of September in sight.
Cirtainly, all involved representatives of associations and interested companies were often reminded of the negative model of the US standardization bodies:
The IDEAlliance had presented in 2013 probably too hastily developed new printing conditions for GRACol 2013 and SWOP 2013, but so far they hardly play any role in practice. Why? Even the IDEAlliance open most their publications on the new standards with the tenor: “If you are not extremely color-critical, there is no reason to change from the old standards to the new ones … Conclusion: Please stay with their established, old workflow with profiles from 2006 … we are currently working on numerous ‘supplements’ …”
PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3: What definitely comes
But it is clear: The new standards will bring many changes to companies in printing and prepress: The individual changes in detail: (more…)
It seems that by the end of 2017 the new standards PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3 are finally arriving on the wider printing market. At least with the printing company Thieme and – as of today – Schleunungdruck, two major operators in the market and Flyeralarm partners have switched to the new standards.
After experts such as Christian Piskulla of Cleverprinting have already provocatively pointed out the failure of the new standards – “Scheitern PSOcoated_v3 und die ISO 12647-2:2013?” (Are PSOcoated_v3 and ISO 12647-2:2013 failing?), the new printing standards seem to be spreading in practice at the moment. Two of the four Flyeralarm partner printing houses are now explicitly demanding the new profile, Flyeralarm itself still refers to ISOCoatedV2. However, it is probably only a matter of time before the large online printing companies will also switch to the new standards. Prognosis: If the first one starts, the others will follow.
Two years after the introduction of the new profiles, the Fogra51 and Fogra52 standards have thus arrived on the larger market for the first time and are also actively demanded by printers.
In the proofing sector at least Fogra51 still plays a subordinate role, Fogra39 is still the absolute top dog here. In the area of proofs for uncoated papers, Fogra52 already has a firm place because of the numerous papers with a high proportion of optical brighteners. On many papers, the colour shades of Fogra47/PSOUncoated simply cannot be achieved anymore.
So it seems that the drumming up of the BVDM in particular with regard to new printing conditions has paid off in the long run. If the large market players change over, the small ones will soon follow or will have to follow.
Recently, Fogra provided the first web offset printing condition based on the new ISO 12647-2:2013 with the printing condition FOGRA54. Fogra 54 describes standardised offset printing in AM screen (48-70’cm) on supercalendered B-substance material (SC-B) with mineral oil-free printing inks.
The ECI writes: “Mainly due to paper differences, the printing condition on today’s SC-B paper types no longer matches the characterization data set FOGRA40 and the profile »SC paper (ECI)«. As a consequence, when printing on SC-B paper, printers face significant problems to achieve the ink solid aim values of »FOGRA40« and the higher saturated colour appearance of »SC Paper« proof prints. In addition new aim values, especially new dot gain curves of the international printing standard ISO12647-2:2013) are reflected in the new printing condition.
PSO SC-B Paper v3
SC-B Paper, Super calendered Papier, calendered
Paper: Commercial offset, SC-B paper (super-calendered, satin), printing condition PC6
Tone value increase curve 2013-B, white measurement base.
Characterisation Data: FOGRA54
In 2010, one of the central innovations at Pantone was the new system for graphic designers, service providers and printers: The Pantone palette was extended by numerous colours and was given a new name: Pantone Plus
The extension by 560 colours was done in two steps:
In 2010, the Pantone palette was extended by 224 colours, which are named from 7548 to 7771 in the Pantone classification. All new colours could continue to be mixed with the previous 14 Pantone basic colours in the print shop.
In 2012, the Pantone Plus palette was expanded by additional 336 colours, which in the Pantone classification are named from 2001 to 2336. In order to achieve these colours, the previous 14 Pantone base colours were extended by 4 new colours to a total of 18 base colours. The new colours borrowed from the Pantone GOE palette are:
Unfortunately, Pantone did not communicate these changes very well. A typical example can be seen in a screenshot from November 8, 2013: On the German and English Pantone pages, there are two completely different numbers for new colours; only the total number of colours on the two Pantone country pages is the same.
The Moiré effect, or in other words a halftone screen overlay, is a common phenomenon when viewing prints. It occurs when two even patterns overlap unevenly.
Moire is always created when screens overlap. Typical examples:
If you own Adobe Photoshop, you can do these conversions directly there. In Photoshop CC all well-known color books are stored with values.
Let’s assume we are looking for the Pantone equivalent and the matching CMYK color of HKS 43 K.
1: Open the color palette in Adobe Photoshop and select HKS K as the book and then the color HKS 43 K. All well-known colour books are directly stored in Photoshop.
Handling wrong profiles with CMYK data / “Profile Mismatch
If we have only received CMYK data from you, we will ignore all input and output profiles and only use the CMYK values that we bring to the ordered output colour space.
You send a file with the profile ISOCoated and a colour area in CMYK 100/70/0/0 and order a proof according to ISOCoatedV2.
We ignore the ISOCoated profile and proof the pure colour value 100/70/0/0 according to ISOCoatedV2.
Why do we do this?
In our proofs, we try to reproduce the “lived reality” of the print as well as possible. In many conversations with printers we have seen that in almost 100% of the cases they do not convert profiles from CMYK to CMYK, but instead put a colour value of 100/70/0/0 on the plate without taking CMYK profiles into account, insert paper and print in conformity with the standards. So we also map this way, although it would actually be “more correct” to perform a colour space transfer from ISOCoated 100/70/0/0 to ISOCoatedV2. However, this results in a different colour value, for example 100/63/1/6 for relatively colorimetric conversion with depth compensation or 100/63/3/15 perceptively with depth compensation!
One of our customers did not proof 30 slightly different, dark blue colour areas in ISOCoatedV2 on our premises, but on the premises of a colleague, under each of which the CMYK value was in black lettering, in order to sample the colour of a powder-coated surface. The customer defined a very well fitting CMYK colour value on the basis of the proofed colour areas, inserted it into his brochures and started the print jobs. Result: The dark blue was a distinctly different blue than on the reference proof, customer and agency were very dissatisfied and went on troubleshooting. Now the case came to us.
We received a file for proofing according to ISOCoatedV2 and compared it with our colleague’s proof. The colours with the same black CMYK values printed underneath were clearly different, but both proofs were provided with media wedges and measured correctly. After some troubleshooting, we came up with the idea of requesting the original proof from our colleague, which also existed. In this one there was a Fogra27Coated profile, thus an implementation of the old ISOCoated. A proof according to ISOCoatedV2 had been ordered at that time. Had it happened? The colleague had taken the input profiles into account, which resulted in a significant change in the CMYK values of the colour patches, as mentioned above, due to a colour space transfer from CMYK to CMYK. The black printed CMYK values under the colour patches had of course not changed. The patterned CMYK value therefore did not correspond to the proofed value at all. Our customer fell from all clouds: “How, our CMYK values were not proofed”. This would not have happened with us, because we would ignore the embedded profile with CMYK data. In this case this would also have been our customer’s expectations.
After almost two hours, we had determined the “error” (or perhaps rather: the “difference”), created a proof for our customer that was “in line with expectations”, which he could use to determine the appropriate CMYK value in ISOCoatedV2, and solved the problem. (more…)
eciCMYK is the colour space for CMYK print production and complements the other Fogra colour spaces, but in contrast to these it does not represent a specific printing process, but is rather “neutral CMYK”. Due to the large gamut of eciCMYK all classical printing processes can be represented, it can be proofed on modern proofing systems without any problems and corresponds in its characteristics to typical CMYK printing colour spaces.
Proofs in eciCMYK / Fogra 53 can now be easily ordered in our Proof Shop, you can select the profile directly when ordering.
Further information on Fogra 53 can also be found on the homepage of the European Color Initiative ECI. Andreas Kraushaar from Fogra also presented the colour space in the Fogra aktuell issue 201, which you can download for free.
We have looked into this question: UPM EcoPrime 76 H is printed on web offset paper in a large print shop. The information of the customer service there was:
EAN, by the way, stands for “European Article Number” and was replaced in 2009 by the global GTIN, “Global Trade Item Number”. The EAN or GTIN is a barcode that can be read automatically and read by barcode readers.
For graphic designers in Europe, two standards from the almost infinite number of EAN codes in use worldwide are primarily important in the product area. EAN 13 and EAN 8, i.e. a barcode of either 13 or 8 digits. What do these numbers actually mean?
From now on you can conveniently order proofs at shop.proof.de:
Users from the print sector have known the ISO PDF-X standards for many years. If the name PDF stands for “Portable Document Format”, i.e. the portable and thus transferable document, PDF “X” is a version specialized for “eXchange”, i.e. the exchange of PDF files. In concrete terms, this means that many of the functions that a PDF file can potentially display (form fields, calculations, 3D elements, films, etc.) but which cannot be controlled in print are prohibited in PDF/X in order to ensure secure data exchange. (more…)
The answer is simple: In contrast to current PDF printing standards such as PDF/X-4:2010, which is exported as PDF 1.6 standard, the PDF-X/3:2002 standard often required by printers uses PDF format 1.3, in which transparency is prohibited. As a result, when you create drop shadows in Adobe InDesign, for example, they are converted into rectangular images. If such drop shadows are still used on background images, the white lines appear, which run horizontally and vertically through the PDF at the shadow points. But why do these lines disappear in print and are not visible in other applications like MacOS Preview?
Acrobat has a preview that applies anti-aliasing to vector elements to make edges as smooth as possible. However, this setting also affects paths and masks that are not actually visible at all. The pixel images of the reduced transparencies are therefore slightly blurred. And this is exactly where the white lines of the blur appear, which are actually zero in size and therefore disappear when printed on postscript-capable printers. Not PS printers partially print the screen display, whereby the lines remain disturbingly.
Most graphic artists know the effect, have postscript printers and simply live with it. However, if you are very annoyed by the white lines or if they also appear in the printout, you can simply switch off anti-aliasing in the Acrobat preferences. Under Acrobat > Preferences > Page Display you can simply deselect the checkbox “Smooth vector graphics”. This makes the edges of vector data slightly more pixelated, but the white lines of anti-aliasing disappear immediately.
This is the first incomplete list. You know of other good reasons? We look forward to any comments and would be happy to add further points.
The sRGB color space is widely used in digital cameras and is the industry leader in the consumer segment. Problem for printing: sRGB is a relatively small color space, and does not cover the color possibilities of modern offset printing systems and digital printers. Since offset printing profiles such as ISOCoated_v2 have a much larger color space, it makes little sense to perform retouching in sRGB.
From our point of view eciRGB_V2, a further development of eciRGB, is optimal. This color space has been specially created for use in the printing sector and offers some strengths:
The AdobeRGB 1998 color space, which has been widely used by Adobe since Photoshop 5.5 and today in all parts of the Adobe product range, is also well suited for the printing sector, but works with a gamma of 2.2 and is designed for degrees of whiteness from D50 to D65. All common print color spaces can also be well mapped in AdobeRGB 1998. You can find Adobe documentation on this color space here.
The background to this is that especially the big german discounters like Aldi, Lidl, Hofer & Co. want to see a packaging proof from their suppliers in advance for approval. This packaging proof is not only visually assessed according to colour, but also the legibility of the printed EAN codes is evaluated using a measuring device and must meet certain criteria: Symbol contrast, modulation, decodability, defects, blemish: all this is measured and graded.
This involves two different risks for the advertising agency or the reproduction company that processes this data: Firstly – according to our information – in most cases the proofs are not viewed under D50 standard light, but under TL84 – the light under which the packaging will also be seen in the later sales situation. This is understandable, since the sales process takes place under TL84 and not under the standard light of a printer. On the other hand, retouching under TL84 is not mandatory, since the spectral behavior of “standard” neon means that it is not possible to produce such a reproducible and “color-accurate” result as under D50. In addition, a colour matching box with D50 and TL84 is available in very few companies, which makes it possible to view the result under both light conditions in the colour retouching.
Secondly, the proofed GTIN barcodes are measured by a measuring device and checked for their mechanical legibility. Whereas a few years ago a press proof was the standard for such tests, today mostly the digital proof is used, since it is much cheaper. But until now, the manufacturers of proofing software have always only paid attention to the representation of color, but never to the verifiability of black and white lines.
Especially with Fiery proofs, but also with GMG Color, the lines of the GTIN barcodes are usually reproduced in such a way that they correspond exactly to the black value of the required profile in terms of color, but only school grades of 3 or even 4 are achieved during the examination, depending on the discipline. Most scanner cash registers could still read and process these barcodes without problems. However, ALDI Süd or Hofer with their own GTIN codes require at least a second grade in all disciplines: The proofs all fall through the test grid of the discounters. In particular, the decodability of EAN codes has probably not been of particular importance to proof manufacturers up to now.
After detailed tests, the width increases of the GTIN bars in the digital proof and the blurring of these bars seem to be the biggest problem for the verifiability of the codes. Farbproofs.de has developed a solution together with one of the testing companies for barcodes that makes it possible to print testable GTIN codes in accordance with the strict ALDI standards, which also comply with the current proofing standards. A proof is therefore sufficient for colour matching and for checking the GTIN numbers. However, the EAN must be created and edited specifically for this purpose. This still costs far less than a conventional proof, but it is not satisfactory. Manufacturers of proofing software such as EFI and GMG Color are therefore called upon to improve the calculation of black and white line representations in writing and GTIN codes.
Until now, the focus has always been on color accuracy, but the proof increasingly demands services that were previously reserved for proofing. At costs of 5-10 EURO for a digital proof in DIN A4 format and 150-300 EURO for a proof in the same format this is more than understandable.
An article with tips for the creation of EAN / GTIN codes for graphic designers and the problems of verifiability of EAN and GTIN codes for e.g. Aldi, Hofer, Lidl and Co can be found here.
How does this check work?
What is the advantage of automated creation and checking of the media wedge directly in the proofing device?
Further information on the test report, the media wedge and on the work and responsibility of UGRA/Fogra can be found at www.ugra.ch and www.fogra.org.
Since the current proofing profiles are available only in preliminary beta versions, the versions are of course not color binding and legally binding. Nevertheless, interested agencies and printers can get a picture of the current state of development and evaluate the coming changes of the OBA proofing papers used better match the colors of the new proofing standards.
The Fogra 51/52 Beta proofs are listed as follows:
Proof profiles Uncoated:
PSO_Uncoated_blueish_v3_ (ECI) -Fred15-July.icc
Software: Fiery XF 6.1
Proof printer: EPSON 7900/9900
Measurement: Epson / X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS30
Measuring standard: M1 with UV
Proof Paper Coated: EFI Proof Paper 8245OBA Semimatt 245gr / sqm
Proof Paper Uncoated: EFI Proof Paper 8175OBA Matt 175gr / sqm