Different surfaces can influence both the colour and the appearance of objects. A colourful and glossy object will usually appear more saturated to the eye, while a similar object with a matte, diffuse surface will appear duller.
If you form a glossy, a semi-matte and a matte surface from the same black plastic, the glossy surface will often appear blackest, while the very matte surface will appear much lighter. The same effect can be reproduced with film lamination of prints: a glossy laminated dark blue or black appears more saturated and darker, a matt laminated black becomes lighter and greyer to the human eye due to diffuse light refraction.
Humans perceive the colour of objects through the light reflected from them, and different surfaces reflect light differently. In general, therefore, there are two ways in which light is reflected from an object: The specular and the diffuse reflection.
Specular reflection occurs when light is reflected from the light source at an equal but opposite angle. Simply put, you can think of it as a ball bouncing off a smooth floor and bouncing back at the same angle. This reflection occurs mainly on objects with shiny, smooth surfaces.
If, on the other hand, the reflected light is scattered in numerous different directions, we speak of diffuse reflection. This reflection occurs on objects with matt and irregular surfaces. A ball would bounce off such a surface – for example, an irregular floor consisting of numerous pyramids of different sizes – sometimes at one angle and sometimes at a completely different angle.
Today, when colour and gloss are to be evaluated in global supply chains and on different surfaces, this is often done with sphere head spectrophotometers such as the KonicaMinolta CM-26d, with which we at Proof GmbH have also measured the semi-matt and matt free-colour CIELAB HLC Colour Alas XL. With the d:8° geometry and the integrated 60° gloss sensor, which can handle both the SCI – “Specular Component Included” and SCE – “Specular Component Excluded” measuring modes, this measuring device can measure colour and gloss within less than a second without having to use an additional measuring device for gloss and always having to be set up and aligned again.
With integrating sphere measuring instruments, the surfaces to be measured are usually illuminated at all angles and measured at an angle of 8 degrees from the vertical axis. This measurement condition is referred to as d/8 or d:8. Most of the integrating sphere measuring devices such as the CM-26d can measure with or without a gloss component as previously described.
In contrast, the 45/0 models used in the printing industry such as the X-Rite i1 Pro2 always measure without the specular reflection. The reflection of the sample surface is therefore perceived differently by the optical geometries d:8 with gloss component – SCI – , d:8 without gloss component – SCE – and 45/0 respectively.
To measure the true colour of an object without the influence of surface texture, the Specular Component Included (SCI) measurement mode is used. SCI mode includes both specular and diffuse reflected light and is ideal for quality control and colour quality monitoring.
The Specular Component Excluded (SCE) measurement mode, on the other hand, which excludes specularly reflected light, is used to evaluate the colour of an object to match the visual perception of the human eye. In SCE mode, a glossy surface is typically measured darker than a matte surface of the same colour; similar to how the human eye sees it. This mode is typically used in quality control testing to ensure that colour matches colour standards through visual inspection.
We have found a more environmentally friendly parcel sticker for our brown shipping boxes: Instead of a classic PVC sticker, we can now save the environment a little plastic with a paper label produced in offset printing, without compromising on quality and appearance. Admittedly, perhaps not a big step. But every small contribution helps to save our environment a little bit.
We have always used electricity from 100% hydroelectric power, print invoices and letters using energy-saving inkjet printing and have switched our IT to increasingly energy-saving computers, servers and NAS devices.
In addition, for the past two years we have been participating in the German Packaging Act through our partner Veolia, with the aim of minimising the impact of packaging waste on the environment in Germany.
Our annual disposal contribution serves to implement Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. The aim is to further increase recycling rates in Germany.
Proof GmbH is a member of Fogra – Forschungsinstitut für Medientechnologien e.V.. Why? In recent years, we have been able to draw on the support of Fogra with numerous projects, or work together with Fogra, for example for Fogra58 beta – Textile-RGB (where Matthias Betz was also able to report on our experiences as a speaker at the Fogra Colour Management Symposium 2020 in Munich as part of the presentation “Proofing of Fogra58beta”) or have contributed test prints and proofs to the research project “11.004L – Improving the printability and readability of bar and 2D codes in inkjet printing”.
In addition, we have been certified by Fogra every year since 2013 for the production of proofs (https://shop.proof.de/en/info/fogracertification.html) and are very grateful for the services of Fogra, which confirm the quality of our proofs every year, also externally.
Our most important contact person, Dr. Andreas Kraushaar, has often promoted membership to us, and now we have actually taken the step, although we still think that the membership fee is poorly structured, especially for small companies like Proof GmbH (companies with 1-100 employees pay the same membership fee) and we would like to see a more favourable entry. But on the other hand it is true: Fogra with its expertise, its competence and its always competent, helpful, quick and fit contact persons like Andi Kraushaar, Yuan Li and many more also deserves the support of companies that benefit from Fogra’s activities like we do.
We would therefore like to thank Fogra for all the support we have received and knowledge we have gained over the years. From now on, we are a member of Fogra and look forward to many more discussions, projects, ideas and initiatives.
For whatever reason: December is traditionally the month in which we make the most important new acquisitions. In order not to break with this tradition, the new proof printer generation from EPSON moved in with us this year: The SureColor SC-P9500 Spectroproofer.
Unpacking traditionally has to be done in front of the door, we wouldn’t be able to get the printer into the office on the two-metre-long pallet, but once it’s on rollers, it works fine.
The new SureColor P9500 complements our range of SureColor 7000 and 9000 proof printers and, above all, hopefully brings us a further plus in speed, especially for larger jobs. Thanks to a newly developed and now fully loaded print head with 12 inks with up to 800 nozzles each, it is said to print up to 2.4 times faster than our other proof printers, which is particularly advantageous for large proof volumes.
We are currently still in the process of measuring the large number of media we use on the new printer and gaining experience with the new proof printer. Many of the “advantages” are not really relevant for us, as we have very specific requirements in proof printing. In terms of gamut, i.e. the maximum colour space that can be achieved, we were unfortunately unable to determine any real gain. According to our measurements, the colour space has changed marginally compared to the previous proof printers, but not really increased.
For example: Admittedly, the printer prints much faster than our other printers. But in return, it takes much longer to transport the proof paper to the fans for drying, and the subsequent measurement of the media wedge also takes longer than on the 7000 and 9000 systems. For an A4 proof with media wedge and test report, the 9500 is only 8 seconds faster, taking just over 8 minutes. In other words, the higher print speed is almost completely lost in other areas.
Therefore, A4 proofs will not be the domain of this printer, but rather we will try to proof the larger formats on the 9500, where the speed advantage comes into play more.
This reminds me a little of the upgrade to Fiery 7, which was supposed to be up to 5 times faster than the previous version with FastRIP technology. In fact, the FastRIP technology was and is so error-prone that we were never able to use it, as we felt that every 20th job was processed incorrectly or could not be processed at all. On the other hand, with the version upgrade, the entire proofing software became considerably slower … So for us as non-FastRIP users, all that was left on average was a slower system.
And so we are still making our experiences with the new proof printer. The first conclusion we can draw is that many things are better, some are worse and some are simply different. The fact that the printer is still quite new is also evident from the fact that new media updates are constantly being added. We have already run some good jobs through the printer and it has not disappointed us. In this respect, the first conclusion looks fairly optimistic.
This year we have again submitted proofs for Fogra certification. We thus prove that we not only deliver excellent proof quality through internal quality controls and checks, but that the quality of our proofs is also confirmed by an external body. We have therefore had proof prints certified for the seventh year in a row. Already in 2019, we have also been certified for the representation of spot colours ("Spot-cert"), and in 2020 we were the first company ever to add the Fogra-59 certification:
The quality of our prints and our spot colour reproduction of PANTONE colours has been confirmed to us by Fogra for all four proof standards.
We have implemented the new certifications on the current software revision Fiery XF 7.1.3 and on the papers EFI Gravure Proof Paper 4245 Semimatt, EFI Proof Paper 8245OBA Semimatt and EFI Proof Paper 8175OBA Matt.
A few days ago Fogra published the characterisation data for the new printing standards Fogra56 and Fogra57 while ECI provided the respective ICC profiles for download on the eci.org website. FOGRA56 and FOGRA57 are the separation and printing standards for matte and glossy film lamination of "PSO Coated v3" / Fogra51 prints. At Proof.de, with regard to the two predecessor standards Fogra49 and Fogra50 for glossy and matte film lamination of ISOCoatedV2 / Fogra39 prints, the majority of inquiries were for the standard for matte film lamination only, as this is where the greater and more difficult effects occur with regard to colour changes due to the lamination process. Particularly in the area of colour-critical prints, such as catalogues for the automotive industry, extensive tests are sometimes carried out with different film laminations in order to be able to recognise and compensate for differences between a normal matte film lamination and a scratch-resistant matte OPP lamination, for example. We also expect a higher demand for consulting and proofing for Fogra56 and Fogra57 for matte film lamination. The European Colour Initiative ECI states on its website that the differences between different glossy films are rather small, while matte films are available in very different opacities. According to the ECI, the "average" matte film used as a reference in FOGRA56 leads to a lightening of ∆L* = 6 in the black solid tone and fits well with typical production. The lightening is lower with more transparent foils and higher with matte foils. In order to be able to assess one's own films, the ECI recommends measuring the black solid tone before and after finishing on the same field on the same sheet. You can download the new finishing profiles here from the ECI or from Proof.de. You can find the matching characterisation data here on the Fogra pages.
The "ISO/IEC 15416:2016 - Information technology - Automatic identification and data capture methods - Test specifications for bar code print quality - Linear symbols" specifies the current criteria for testing bar codes. ISO 15416:2016 replaces ISO 15416:2000 and defines modified bar code quality calculations for some areas. During the barcode check by Proof GmbH, barcodes are checked according to the current criteria of ISO 15416:2016.
The new CMYK exchange colour space eciCMYK v2 (FOGRA59) is the successor of eciCMYK (FOGRA53) from 2017. The new "V2" profile is based on the revised characterisation file FOGRA59. For the same colour space, the new profile offers a significantly modified and improved grey axis, which now contains the familiar cyan, magenta and yellow components from classic printing processes. Thus eciCMYK v2 offers a further advantage besides a large colour space and proofability. Practical tests with various digital printing systems have shown that, in addition to the conversion from "ISO Coated v2" to "PSO Coated v3" data, the assignment of the new CMYK exchange colour space profile also enables improved output on digital printing systems with a larger colour space: the printed image appears richer in contrast, with brighter colours. The icc-profile "eciCMYK_v2.icc" can be downloaded from the ECI in the download section. Proofs in the eciCMYK_v2 colour space can now be ordered in the shop at Proof.de.
With the proof standards Fogra49 and Fogra50 for the first time a proof standard was created that is not binding for printing. Why? Fogra49 and Fogra50 describe two colour spaces as they are created by foil lamination not after printing but after printing and finishing.
Im Jahr 2010 stand eine der zentralen Neuerungen im Hause Pantone für Grafiker, Dienstleister und Druckereien an: Die Pantone Palette wurde um zahlreiche Farben erweitert und bekam einen neuen Namen: Pantone Plus Die Erweiterung um 560 Farben erfolgte in zwei Schritten:
Recently we received a PDF file from a Swiss customer who asked us to proof it according to ISOCoatedV2. The format was PDFX-4, we could open the file, preflight it and also display it in Acrobat. However, when proofing in Fiery XF 5.2, the file was only output after a RIP time of over 3 hours. Adobe PDF X4 screen output in Acrobat Professional We have recorded the screen layout on a modern Macbook Pro with four processor cores and the latest Acrobat Pro version to illustrate the enormous demands on computing power. It was clear from the screen layout that the RIP time would be quite long, but three hours with just one use was quite unusual, especially since in our RIP two instances of the Adobe PDF Print Engine work simultaneously. Where exactly the error lies in the extremely high RIP time is not yet clear. Both EFI, as the manufacturer of the Fiery RIPS, and Adobe, as the manufacturer of the PDF Print Engine (APPE), have been given the information that on a Harlequin RIP the file was probably ripped within a few minutes. So a bug in the Adobe PDF Print Engine might also be a reason for the long processing time. It' s a typical problem. From creation programs such as InDesign and Illustrator, the flattening of file elements with X/4 is passed on to the RIP in the print shop or proof printer. The case in question was calculated on a quad-core system with SSDs with two instances of the Adobe PDF Print Engine and output correctly for three hours 47 minutes. However, since the final product cover is not expected to be produced in Europe, but in Asia, it was decided to break down the complex graphics with transparencies, drop shadows, etc. in Photoshop and then reuse it as a transparent PSD file. The resulting PDF X/3 file was ripped and proofed within seconds. The colour result was identical to the X4 file. This example shows: PDF X4 is not just a modified data format. It also shifts the computing power and software requirements from the data creator to the data processor or printing house. But especially with complex graphics this can lead to unpredictable effects. Although PDF X/4-capable solutions such as Fiery XF 5.2 do exist today, a RIP time of over three hours is of course not practical.
With the new SpectroProofer ILS30 made by X-Rite, Proof GmbH has created the basis for automated measurements and Proof verifications according to M1 standard. Proofs with optical brighteners (OBAs - Optical Brightning Agents) can now be measured. Contrary to earlier announcements, the new SpectroProofer are also able to measure the current proofing standards as before in M0 measurement standard. Because of the new ILS30 SpectroProofer, the layout of the Ugra / Fogra media wedge was slightly modified. For a comparison between old and new media wedge, see the image below. (more…)
We received a call from a new customer today: He proofs for Chinese suppliers, and up to now he is producing proofs in Japan Color 2001 Coated (JapanColor2001Coated.icc). We had not yet set up the profile in our RIP, but within a short time we were able to load the profile into our RIP, create workflows, and make the profile available for order in the shop.
A few days ago we received a call from a customer in the field of design, who sent open Adobe InDesign data in ISOCoatedV2 300% with contained RGB images to the production company for a complex CD production on the advice of the producing company ("The printing company still has a prepress stage, which can then prepare your data optimally..."). The result of the finished printed CD booklets and inlays did not correspond at all to the calibrated monitor image of our customer, the client was also unhappy and requested the print data about the production company from the print shop responsible for the print to troubleshoot. Data in the "US Web Coated" color space with 350% ink coverage came back from the printer. For troubleshooting, the customer then had a proof of his data created by us, but had chosen the settings "Convert to target profile (retain values)" as usual when writing the proof PDF; we thus received completely CMYK data, of which we produced a proof according to ISOCoatedV2 300%, which completely met our customer's expectations. So it seems that the designer created the data correctly and printed the print shop incorrectly. On closer inspection, our error analysis revealed two serious weaknesses:
A few days ago, our DIN SPEC 16699 "Open Colour Communication" was published and is now available for free download from DIN's Beuth-Verlag.
Matthias Betz from Proof GmbH, Holger Everding from DTP Studio Oldenburg, Jan-Peter Homann from Homann Colormanagement in Berlin and Eric. A Soder from Pixsource in Switzerland, all members of the association freieFarbe e.V., have shown in the bilingual DIN specification a way to create high-precision color samples on the basis of open source, license-free standards and have shown ways for cross-media color communication.
The 44-page PDF is bilingual in German and English and can be ordered directly from Beuth Verlag, which distributes the DIN standards in Germany, and downloaded free of charge after a short registration.
In general, the paper white in a proof is precisely defined in the proof standard and is also measured in every test report.
For PSOUncoated it is 95.00 / 0.00 / -2.00 in CIELAB and for PSOUncoatedV3 it is 93.50 / 2.50 / -10.00, i.e. slightly darker (93.50 instead of 95.00 for brightness L) and significantly bluer (-10.00 instead of -2.00 on the B axis, i.e. the blue-yellow axis in the blue direction).
Recycling papers differ not only greatly from type to type in the area of paper white, but even from batch to batch. So if a printing company orders the same recycling paper in January and in February, the paper mill may well deliver a slightly different white value of the paper, as the paper white of course depends strongly on the recycled paper qualities used for production.
A colour-binding proof for recycling paper is therefore not possible, as no standard has ever been worked out due to the different paper qualities and white tones.
It is recommended for the proof to choose a classic proof standard such as PSOUncoated / Fogra 47, which shows a rather neutral, unbrightened paper white in the proof. Place one side of the recycled paper next to the proof and mentally transfer the colour of the proof to the white tone of your recycled paper. This way you can imagine the later printing result quite well.
We spectrally measured the paper white tone and the proportion of optical brighteners of over 1,000 papers of the most important paper manufacturers such as Berberich and Papier Union as well as online printing companies such as Flyeralarm and wir-machen-druck.de.
Only a few paper manufacturers currently publish data on paper whiteness and the proportion of optical brighteners in their papers, but only technical indicators such as whiteness according to ISO 2470-2 or CIE ISO 11475. However, designers can hardly record paper whiteness with these values. In addition, it is not possible to read from these data whether and what proportion of optical brighteners the paper has.
Example above: Spectral data comparison of Antalis Coqueror CX 22 white for the measurement standards M0 and M1. Below you can also see the color deviation in Delta-E00 of 1.97 and the two paper white values in LAB and LCH.
Left: CGATS.17 Data for measurement conditions M1 and M0 for paper Antalis Conqueror CX 22 white
We have therefore measured the most important papers and dyes of all central paper producers and paper distributors as well as online printers in the three measurement standards M0, M1 and M2. From the difference in the paper whiteness of the two measurements M2 (UV cut without UV portion) and M1 (ISO 3664:2009 with noticeable UV portion), we determined the color distance on the yellow-blue axis of LAB in Delta-b and derived from this the proportion of optical brighteners according to Delta-B according to ISO 15397 and evaluated it.
Parallel to the images of the spectra, we have also provided spectral data in CGATS format for the measurement modes M0, M1 and M2, which can be downloaded for any paper. These values can be used, for example, in proofing software to calculate a paper white simulation for a specific production paper.