Current Proof Standards 2020

Offset and Newsprint

ISO Coated v2 (ECI) / ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI)
Profile: ISOcoated_v2_eci.icc
Standard for glossy and matte coated paper
Paper: Types 1 and 2, gloss and matte coated
Tone value increase curves A (CMY) and B (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA39L

ISOUncoated
Profile: ISOUncoated.icc
Standard for uncoated white natural paper
Paper: paper grade 4, uncoated white offset, dot gain curves C (CMY) and D (K) from ISO 12647-2: 2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA29L

PSOCoatedV3 / Fogra 51
Profile: PSOcoated_v3.icc
The successor of ISOCoatedV2 for glossy and matte coated paper with moderate optical brighteners
Paper: paper type 1, glossy and matte coated paper with moderate optical brighteners (8-14 DeltaB according to ISO 15397)
Tone value increase curve A (CMYK) according to ISO 12647-2:2013
Paper white: CIELAB=95;1,5;-6
Characterisation Data: Fogra51 / Fogra 51 Spectral (M1)

PSOuncoated_v3 / Fogra 52
Profile: PSOuncoated_v3_FOGRA52.icc
The successor of PSOUncoated for uncoated, wood-free natural paper with many optical brighteners
Paper: Paper type 5, wood-free uncoated, with high OBAs (more than 14 DeltaB according to ISO 15397)
Tonal value increase curves C (CMYK) according to ISO 12647-2:2013
Paper white: CIELAB=93.5;2.5;-10
Characterisation Data: PresumablyFogra52L (M1)

PSO Uncoated ISO12647 (ECI)
Profile: PSO_Uncoated_ISO12647_eci.icc
The successor of ISOUncoated
Paper: Type 4, uncoated white offset
Tone value increase curves C (CMY) and D (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA47L

PSO LWC Improved (ECI)
Profile: PSO_LWC_Improved_eci.icc
Improved LWC paper, glossy coated, successor of ISO Web Coated
Paper: Paper type 3, improved gloss coated (LWC)
Tone value increase curves B (CMY) and C (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA45L

PSO LWC Standard (ECI)
Profile: PSO_LWC_Standard_eci.icc
LWC paper standard, glossy coated
Paper: Paper type 3, standard glossy coated (LWC)
Tone value increase curves B (CMY) and C (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA46L

ISO Web Coated
Profile: ISOwebcoated.icc
LWC paper standard, glossy
Paper: Paper grade 3, standard glossy coated (LWC), dot gain curves B (CMY) and C (K) from ISO 12647-2: 2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA28L

ISO Uncoated Yellowish
Profile: ISOuncoatedyellowish.icc
Uncoated natural paper slightly yellowish (chamois)
Paper: Type 5, uncoated yellowish offset
Tone value increase curves C (CMY) and D (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA30L

SC Paper (ECI)
Profile: SC_paper_eci.icc
Paper: SC (Super Calendered) Paper
Tone value increase curves B (CMY) and C (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA40L

PSO SC-B Paper v3
Profile:  PSOsc-b_paper_v3_FOGRA54.icc
SC-B Paper, Super calendered Papier, satin-finished
Paper: Commercial offset, SC-B paper (super-calendered, satin), printing condition PC6
Tone value increase curve 2013-B, white measurement base.
Characterisation Data: FOGRA54

PSO MFC Paper (ECI)
Profile: PSO_MFC_paper_eci.icc
Paper: MFC, Machine finished coating
Tone value increase curves B (CMY) and C (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA41L

PSO SNP Paper (ECI)
Profile: PSO_SNP_paper_eci.icc
Newsprint
Paper: SNP, Standard newsprint, heatset web offset printing
Tone value increase curves C (CMY) and D (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA42L

WAN-IFRAnewspaper 26v5
Profile: WAN-IFRAnewspaper26v5.icc
Colour space: Primary and secondary colours according to ISO 12647-3: 2013
Dot gain: 26%
Maximum paint application: 220%
Maximum GCR: Long black with an early black start

ISONewspaper 26v4
Profile: ISONewspaper26v4.icc
Newspaper
Paper: paper type SNP, standard newsprint, heatset web offset, dot gain curves C (CMY) and D (K) from ISO 12647-2: 2004
Characterisation Data: IFRA26

PSO Coated NPscreen ISO12647 (ECI)
Profile: PSO_Coated_NPscreen_ISO12647_eci.icc
glossy and matte coated paper, FM screen
Paper: Paper types 1 and 2, glossy and matt coated paper, non-periodic screen (NPscreen), 20 µm,
Tone value increase curve F (CMYK) from ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA43L

PSO Coated 300% NPscreen ISO12647 (ECI)
Profile: PSO_Coated_300_NPscreen_ISO12647_eci.icc
glossy and matte coated paper, FM screen
Paper: type 1 and 2, gloss and matte coated
non-periodic screening (NPscreen), 20 μm
Tone value increase curve F (CMYK) as defined in ISO12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA43L

PSO Uncoated NPscreen ISO12647 (ECI)
Profile: PSO_Uncoated_NPscreen_ISO12647_eci.icc
Uncoated white natural paper, non-periodic screening (NPscreen), 30 μm
Paper: type 4, uncoated white offset
Tone value increase curve F (CMYK) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA44L

Improved Newsprint, INP / PSO INP Paper (ECI)
Profile: PSO_INP_Paper_eci.icc
Commercial and specialty offset, INP paper (improved news print), positive plates
Paper: improved newsprint
Tone value increase curves C (CMY) and D (K), white measurement base
Characterisation Data: FOGRA48L

PSO Coated v2 300% Glossy laminate (ECI)
Profile: PSO_Coated_v2_300_Glossy_laminate_eci.icc
Commercial offset printing, positive copy, AM screen with 60-80 lines/cm, with subsequent gloss foil lamination (typical OPP gloss foil 12-15 μm), white measurement base.
The profile is consistent with the old profiles ISOcoated_v2_eci.icc and ISOcoated_v2_300_eci.icc and shows the matching gloss finished result.
Tone value increase curves A (CMY) and B (K) according to ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA50L

PSO Coated v2 300% Matte laminate (ECI)
Profile: PSO_Coated_v2_300_Matte_laminate_eci.icc
Commercial offset printing, positive copy, AM screen with 60-80 lines/cm, with subsequent matt film lamination (typical OPP matt film 15 μm with medium opacity ~70%, i.e. brightening ΔL* = 6 on black solid tone after finishing), white measurement base.
The profile is consistent with the old profiles ISOcoated_v2_eci.icc and ISOcoated_v2_300_eci.icc and shows the matching matt-finished result.
Tone value increase curves A (CMY) and B (K) according to ISO 12647-2:2004
Characterisation Data: FOGRA49L

PSO Coated v3 Matte laminate (ECI) New 2020!
Profile: PSO_Coated_v3_Matte_laminate.icc
 The ECI offset profile PSO_Coated_v3_Matte_ laminate.icc is based on the characterization data set “FOGRA56.txt” applicable to the following reference printing condition according to the international standard ISO 12647-2:2013: Commercial and specialty offset, Premium coated paper, tone value increase curve 2013-A, after lamination with matte film (typical OPP matte film 15 μm with average opacity ~70%, i. e. brightening by ΔL* = 6 on the black solid after lamination), white backing.
The profile is consistent with the profile PSOcoated_v3.icc and shows the corresponding glossy laminated result. The profile was created using the Heidelberg Color Toolbox 2019 with the following settings: black length 9 (starting point 10%), black width 10, total dot area 300%, maximum black 96%.
Characterisation Data: FOGRA56.txt

PSO Coated v3 Glossy laminate (ECI) New 2020!
Profile: PSO_Coated_v3_Glossy_laminate.icc
The ECI offset profile PSO_Coated_v3_Glossy_ laminate.icc is based on the characterization data set “FOGRA57.txt” applicable to the following reference printing condition according to the international standard ISO 12647-2:2013: Commercial and specialty offset, Premium coated paper, tone value increase curve 2013-A, after lamination with glossy film (typical OPP glossy film 12–15 μm), white backing.
The profile is consistent with the profile PSOcoated_v3.icc and shows the corresponding glossy laminated result. The profile was created using the Heidelberg Color Toolbox 2019 with the following settings: black length 9 (starting point 10%), black width 10, total dot area 300%, maximum black 96%.
Characterisation Data: FOGRA57.txt

eciCMYK (Fogra 53) – CMYK exchange colour space
Profile: eciCMYK.icc
FOGRA53 is a CMYK exchange colour space and is used for colour communication in print production.

eciCMYK_v2 (Fogra 59) – CMYK exchange colour space New 2020!
Profile: eciCMYK_v2.icc
eciCMYK_v2 (Fogra 59) is the successor of eciCMYK (Fogra 53).

Heaven42
The absolute white tone opens up the greatest scope of colours for design and printing afforded by any coated paper worldwide. The perfect foundation for extreme contrasts and combination with ultra white natural papers. The absolutely white paper shade of heaven 42 impacts on the printing process as well as on the pre-press stage. With the same colouring and dot gain, the printed image can look significantly colder if separation remains unchanged (e.g. with
ICC-profile “IsoCoated_v2”).

We proof Heaven42 on proof paper with optical brighteners and measure the Proof in M1 Standard. Please note: Our Heaven42 proofs represent a good simulation of the original Heaven42 ICC Profile, but are not – as an ISOcoatedv2 Proof – colouraccurate and legally binding.

Scheufelen offers two ICC-Profiles for download, we proof the colour profile of Heidelberger Druck (“_HD”).
Profile: Heaven42_AM_U280_K98_G80_HD.icc (Heidelberger Druck)
Ink Coverage: ~280 % (U)
Black: GCR , 80 % (G)
Black Generation: 98 % (K)
Proofpaper: EFI Proof Paper 8245 OBA Semimatt
Characterisation Data: Made from Reference Data
Measuring method: M1 with optical brighteners (OBAs)

PaC.Space
Profile: PaC.Space_CMYK_gravure_V1a.icc
PaC.Space is the first common color standard for packaging gravure printing, which enables to process an interface from the supplied prepress data or printer-specific requirements.
Paper: Coated substrates and films for packaging gravure
Characterisation Data: FOGRA_PaCSpace_MKCheck11

Rotogravure Profiles

ECI Rotogravure profiles for the Process Standard Rotogravure (PSR)

PSR LWC Plus V2 M1 v2 (2019)
Profile: PSR_LWC_PLUS_V2_M1_v2.icc
The Successor of PSR LWC Plus V2 (PSR_LWC_PLUS_V2_PT.icc)
Paper: Roll gravure, LWCplus glossy coated
Measuring base: unprinted LWCplus paper
Characterisation Data: PSR_LWC_PLUS_V2_M1

PSR LWC Plus V2 (2009)
Profile: PSR_LWC_PLUS_V2_PT.icc
The successor of HWC
Paper: Improved LWC (light weight coated) paper
Characterisation Data: ECI_PSR_LWC_PLUS_V2

PSR LWC Standard V2 M1 (2019)
Profile: PSR_LWC_STD_V2_M1.icc
The successor of PSR LWC Standard V2
Paper: Rotogravure, LWC
Measuring base: unprinted LWC paper (self backing)
Charakterisierungsdaten: SR_LWC_STD_V2_M1

PSR LWC Standard V2 (2009)
Profile: PSR_LWC_STD_V2_PT.icc
Paper: LWC (light weight coated) paper
Characterisation Data: ECI_PSR_LWC_STD_V2

PSR SC Plus V2 M1 (2019)
Profile: PSR_SC_PLUS_V2_M1.icc
The successor of PSR SC Plus V2
Paper: Rotogravure, SC Plus
Measuring base: Unprinted SC Plus paper
Characterisation Data: PSR_SC_Plus_V2_M1

PSR SC Plus V2 (2009)
Profile: PSR_SC_PLUS_V2_PT.icc
Paper: whiter super calandered paper
Characterisation Data: ECI_PSR_SC_Plus_V2

PSR SC Standard V2 M1 (2019)
Profile: PSR_SC_STD_V2_M1.icc
The successor of PSR SC Standard V2
Paper: Roll gravure, SC paper
Measurement document: Unprinted SC paper
Characterisation Data: PSR_SC_STD_V2_M1

PSR SC Standard V2 (2009)
Profile: PSR_SC_STD_V2_PT.icc
Paper: super calandered paper
Characterisation Data: ECI_PSR_SC_STD_V2

PSR MF V2 M1 (2019)
Profile: PSR_MF_V2_M1.icc
Paper: Rotogravure, paper type MF or INP, 55 g/m2
Measuring base: unprinted MF or INP paper
Characterisation Data: PSR_MF_V2_M1

PSR News Plus
Profile: PSRgravureMF.icc
PSRgravureMF is now reffered to as News Plus
Paper: Paper News Plus
Characterisation Data: PSRgravureMF_ECI2002

US / International Proof Profiles

GRACoL2006_Coated1v2
Profile: GRACoL2006_Coated1v2.icc
GRACol interpretation of ISO 12647-2.
Paper: Type 1 and 2, glossy and matt coated paper
Dot gain curves: NPDC (Neutral Print Density Curves)
Characterisation Data: GRACoL2006_Coated1, a derivation from Fogra 39

SWOP2006_Coated3v2
Profile: SWOP2006_Coated3v2
SWOP interpretation of ISO12647-2 for web offset printing on thin coated paper.
Paper: Thin, coated paper
Tonwertzunahmekurven: NPDC (Neutral Print Density Curves)
Characterisation Data: SWOP2006_Coated3, a derivative of Adobe USWebCoated v2

SWOP2006_Coated5v2
Profile: SWOP2006_Coated5v2
Other SWOP interpretation of ISO12647-2 for web offset printing on thin coated paper
Paper: Thin, coated paper with a slightly different white tone to SWOP2006_Coated3V2
Dot gain curves: NPDC (Neutral Print Density Curves)
Characterisation Data: SWOP2006_Coated5, a derivative of Adobe USWebCoated v2

Japan Color 2011 Coated
Profile: JapanColor2011Coated.icc
The new standard of Japan Printing Machinery Association (JPMA).
Characterisation Data: JapanColor

Japan Color 2001 Coated
Profile: JapanColor2001Coated.icc
Printing process definition: ISO 12647-2:1996, sheet-fed offset printing, positive plates
Paper: Type 1, (coated, 105 gsm), screen frequency 69/cm.

SWOP 2013 C3
Profile: SWOP2013_CRPC5.icc or SWOP2013C3-CPRC5.icc
The profile is measured in M1 mode in consideration of optical brighteners and is printed on proofing papers with optical brighteners.
TAC: 260%
GCR: Medium+
Max K: 100%
TVI: CMY 16%, K19%
Paper: Grade #3 paper
Characterisation Data: CGATS21-2-CRPC5

GRACoL 2013 Uncoated
Profile: GRACoL2013UNC_CRPC3.icc
The profile is being measured in M1 Mode taking into account the Optical Brightening Agents in the paper.
TAC: 260%
GCR: Medium+
Max K: 100%
TVI: CMY 16%, K19%
Paper: N.N.
Characterisation Data: CGATS21-2-CRPC3

GRACoL 2013
Profile: GRACoL2013_CRPC6.icc
The profile is being measured in M1 Mode taking into account the Optical Brightening Agents in the paper.
TAC: 320%
GCR: Medium+
Max K: 100%
TVI: CMY 16%, K19,1%
Paper: N.N.
Characterisation Data: CGATS21-2-CRPC6

What is a finishing proof? Fogra49 and Fogra50 in detail.

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.

  • Fogra 49 refers to the ICC profile: PSO Coated v2 300% Matte laminate (ECI) – PSO_Coated_v2_300_Matte_laminate_eci.icc
  • Fogra 50 refers to the ICC profile: PSO Coated v2 300% Glossy laminate (ECI) – PSO_Coated_v2_300_Glossy_laminate_eci.icc

Why were these profiles created?

Print finishing plays an increasingly important role in the further processing of printed matter. The application of a printing varnish, for example, is nowadays usually done directly during the printing process, e.g. with dispersion varnish in a 5th inking unit. The print image is usually only slightly changed in the process: An dispersion varnish, for example, results in a dot gain of 2-3 percent, a UV varnish up to around 5-7 percent. In contrast, foil lamination with OPP foil has a much stronger (more…)

Proof.de Introduced new measuring technology: X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS30

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.

Detailed X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS30 measuring head compared with X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS20
Detail Spectroproofer ILS30 front, ILS20 at the back
X-Rite Spectroproofer ILS30 Packaging
X-Rite Spectroproofer ILS30 Packaging

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DIN SPEC 16699 “Open colour communication” published

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.

DIN SPEC 16699 Open Colour Communication

Good times: The general meeting 2019 of freieFarbe e.V. in Switzerland

After the association freieFarbe e.V. had met last year in Tübingen for their annual general meeting, this year we met in a rustic hut in the Appenzeller Land, which Peter Jäger from pre2media and Eric A. Soder from pixsource.com had excellently chosen, just like the sunny weather that should accompany us from Friday to Sunday.

freieFarbe e.V. Mitgliederversammlung 2019: Unsere Unterkunft in den schweizer Bergen
freieFarbe e.V. general meeting 2019: Our accommodation in the Swiss mountains

The chairman of the association, Holger Everding from DTP Studio Oldenburg and Jan-Peter Homann from Homann Colormanagement in Berlin arrived in Tübingen on Thursday, and after a first long night full of discussions and a meeting in the Proof.de office on Friday morning around noon, the three of us continued our journey to Switzerland. After a joint dinner with Peter Jäger and Eric A. Soder (from Tübingen, we had taken some Swabian potato salad and my handmade Maultaschen with us the evening before), an evening full of planning and a strategy workshop for the tasks and goals of the next year began. Without question, this evening was also spent discussing, developing, laughing and working creatively until late into the night between Flensburger Pils, Swiss mountain beer and wine in attractive red and light yellow shades.

Ausschnitt der Ergebnisse des freieFarbe Kreativworkshops am Freitag Abend mit Gewichtungen (blaue Aufkleber) und Zuständigkeiten (Namenskürzel)
Part of the results of the freieFarbe creative workshop on Friday evening with importance (blue stickers) and responsibilities (name abbreviation)

After breakfast, we continued on Saturday to swissQprint, where we had the opportunity to learn more about the status quo of large format digital printing from association member Guy Flüeli, as well as visit the production facilities and conduct print tests on the Karibu and other SwissQPrint presses.

Jahreshauptversammlung freieFarbe e.V. 2019 in der Schweiz
from left to right: Matteo Baschera, Jan-Peter Homann, Matthias Betz, Holger Everding, Eric A. Soder, Martin Spaar, Peter Jäger, Michael Jakobi. It is missing: Kai-Uwe Behrmann, Jan Seguda, Guy Flüeli (photo)

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Convert PANTONE colours optimally into CMYK. Practical aspects to the new old discussion.

A very frequent topic for us in the area of proofing is the optimal conversion of PANTONE colours in CMYK for classic, inexpensive four-colour printing. In the last few days, there has been a lively discussion on this topic in the Adobe Forum and in the colour management forum of hilfdirselbst.ch, which I would like to summarise briefly, as our customers often struggle with the same issues.

PANTONE and the PANTONE CMYK values from Bridge: The Problem

The central question is to which standard or colour profile a CMYK value of a PANTONE colour in Bridge actually refers. Specifically, a user asked for the conversion of PANTONE 116 C, a colour tone that is specified in the PANTONE Bridge fan in CMYK 0/14/100/0 (here you can see the original value in PANTONE). But if you now convert the underlying PANTONE Lab color value in InDesign or Photoshop into different CMYK profiles, you will get different, significantly different color values. “What does the PANTONE Bridge CMYK colour value refer to” was the original question of the discussion.

The starting point of the PANTONE Bridge fan

In the PANTONE Bridge Fan, “equivalents” of the PANTONE spot colours on a coated and an uncoated paper grade, separated with 4 Pantone scale colours, are visualised and the CMYK values are specified.

But one thing is clear: without precise information on the substrate, print density, inks used, etc., the information provided there has only limited validity. If, for example, one converts the LAB colour value of PANTONE 116 C into the SWOP Web coated commonly used in the USA, then one reaches a value of 20 in magenta instead of 14 as indicated in the PANTONE Bridge Fan.

Comparison of PANTONE LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOUncoatedV3 and PSOCoatedV3

If you compare the original PANTONE LAB values and the PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in European standards such as ISOCoatedV2 or PSOCoatedV3 for coated or PSOUncoated or PSOUncoatedV3 for uncoated paper, there are sometimes serious colour deviations. The PANTONE Cool Gray 2 is much too light in CMYK conversion, the PANTONE Cool Gray 11 is always much too dark. For the PANTONE 3278 C, the Bridge CMYK value for PSOCoatedV3 fits quite well, but the same comparison for Uncoated is noticeably worse. What is the reason for this?

Comparison of PANTONE C Solid Coated LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOCoatedV3 colour space
Comparison of PANTONE C Solid Coated LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOCoatedV3 colour space
Comparison of PANTONE U Solid Uncoated LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOUncoatedV3 colour space
Comparison of PANTONE U Solid Uncoated LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOUncoatedV3 colour space

The question was therefore specified once again:

  • How can PANTONE specify “official” CMYK values for a particular colour if it is not clear what paper white, print density, ink coverage, etc. the values refer to?
  • How does PANTONE arrive at the specified colour values?
  • Which ICC profiles are possibly the basis?
  • Are there errors if programs such as Photoshop or Affinity Publisher do not show the same values when converting a Pantone color as those specified by Pantone?

Thesis 1: Why should a spot colour manufacturer deliver perfect CMYK replacement values for his products? That would be detrimental to business.

One thing is clear: there are no system errors. PANTONE knows what they do. But it is surprising that the bridge values have apparently been fluctuating by several percentage points for many years. Perhaps one reason for this is that different base pigments have been used over the years and the values have therefore been adjusted. But it was not possible in any way to find out how the values are created, what profiles or logic could be behind the values. Some discussion participants thought of a deliberate system error: “Cui bono? Why should a spot colour manufacturer deliver perfect CMYK replacement values for his products? That would be detrimental to business.”

This is an exciting approach which, at second glance at the latest, does not lack a certain logic. If the head of the company has only seen bad CMYK conversions of his PANTONE spot colour for long enough, he will sigh and agree to any surcharge for a five-colour print, only to finally find his corporate colour correctly reproduced again.

But another thesis is also very plausible:

Thesis 2: The sales department defines the CMYK values

Let’s assume that a PANTONE “Green1” corresponds colorimetrically to a CMYK of 30/0/100/0. If two more saturated green tones (“Green2” and “Green3”) are displayed in the fan, which theoretically should be displayed with CMYK 35/0/110/0 and CMYK 40/0/120/0, what then?

To set all three green tones to CMYK 30/0/100/0, i.e. the next CMYK value that can be achieved absolutely colorimetrically? That would actually be the most obvious way, especially since it is very unlikely in practice that two adjacent PANTONE colours would ever be used in CMYK conversions. Because a company has either green1 or green2 as its corporate colour, but hardly both at the same time.

On the other hand, buyers of PANTONE Bridge fans would probably be very surprised if different PANTONE colours in the fan had the same CMYK value.

Therefore, a psychological-sales-department correction is obvious: In order to avoid identical CMYK values, we set the most saturated green tone to the not matching CMYK 30/0/100/0, and then the less saturated colors to 25/0/0/90/0 and 20/0/0/80/0, i.e. also not matching CMYK values. Now nothing fits anymore, but at least all colors have different CMYK values.

Practice shows: An adjusted conversion via ICC profiles often provides a better CMYK color value for the conversion of PANTONE colors like the CMYK value from the PANTONE Bridge.

We have converted the PANTONE colours used in the above mentioned graphics also via ICC profiles partly absolutely colorimetrically and relatively colorimetrically with depth compensation (marked with an “r” behind the CMYK colour value) into the two output colour spaces PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3 and have mapped the visually best match in each case.

In most cases, this conversion adapted to the output color space delivers the significantly better results. See for yourself:

We support you in determining the optimal CMYK conversions for your PANTONE house colours

If you need the best possible conversion of one or more PANTONE colours to CMYK, we will be happy to support you with our know-how and our measuring and proofing technology. We determine and compare different imaging variants of a PANTONE colour in CMYK and show you the best determined conversions in CMYK with metrological evaluations in Delta-E00.

Which proof profile for corrugated plastic posters and election posters?

As is well known, elections are always around the corner, and the trend towards ever larger and more numerous election posters is unbroken. In the past, only Mother Nature made the landscapes colourful in spring, but today every local, state, federal and European election does so easily. Every candidate, every large or small party now has the technical and financial means to transform entire streets into a colourful sea of messages and faces. Once the photographer has captured the election candidates well in the studio, the pictures go off for retouching and then for layout.

Until a few years ago, election posters were usually produced in classic offset printing and then glued onto hardboard with paste, drilled or screwed onto roof batten stands and then attached to street lamps with wire. And if the election took place in the summer, the posters were printed in a double edition, so that in an emergency the faded prints could be pasted over and refreshed with new ones after one month for the final spurt.

Today, however, the corrugated plastic poster is becoming more and more popular, as it is supplied pre-drilled and ready to use, retains its colour for several months and can be attached to street lamps with cable ties. But how should print data be created and how should data be prepared and proofed?

All manufacturers of corrugated plastic posters and election posters known to us want proofs in ISOCoatedV2 or ISOCoatedV2 300%

Corrugated plastic posters are produced on different systems. Sometimes four colours are used, sometimes six, sometimes more colours. Therefore, there are no binding proof standards for most digital print products produced in this way.

Instead, it works the other way around: Since most of these digital printing systems have at least the colour gamut of offset printing on picture printing paper, these printing systems are based on the established colour gamut of ISOCoatedV2.

For example, Printpartner-XXL writes: “For colour-critical motifs, we therefore recommend a prepress proof on the original material or the delivery of a colour-binding proof (with media wedge and date). Data that is delivered without colour information is provided and produced with the standard profile “ISO Coated v2”. In such a case, a colour complaint cannot be accepted.
Eine Reklamation der Farbe kann in so einem Fall nicht anerkannt werden.

From our point of view, most printing specialists demand ISOCoatedV2, some like flyeralarm and wir-machen-druck ISOCoatedV2 300%. Some want black exclusively as pure black, some exclusively as CMYK 50/50/50/100 colour black … and some do not give any information about the required colour profiles … but if you don’t specify anything, you probably won’t stick to anything … so if you want to be on the safe side, you should choose a supplier with a functioning colour management system and specifications for colour profiles.

free colour: CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas XL published and can be ordered at proof.de

After almost a year of work the time has finally come. The CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas XL saw the light of day. The new HLC Colour Atlas XL is the basis for all stages of professional colour communication – from design to the finished product. The standard version contains 2040, the new XL version even 13283 mathematically-systematically graded CIELAB colour tones on 74 pages.

You can order the CIELAB HLC colour atlas here in our shop

The free file package contains the layer PDF version with several gamuts for the analysis and research of colors, as well as the spectral data (380-730 nm) of all color tones for recipe software, an Excel table with the measured values and spectra as well as color value tables for all common CMYK color spaces and sRGB. All files are available for free download under a CC license.

Only the HLC Color Atlas XL printed by Proof GmbH is subject to a fee, as production is very labour-intensive and cost-intensive. We at freieFarbe e.V. and Proof GmbH see the “CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas XL” as a genuine, transparent and high-precision alternative to the hundreds of proprietary colour systems, which often make fast and precise cross-media communication in design and production very difficult.

Look back: Fogra Color Management Symposium 2020

The 7th Fogra Color Management Symposium was held in Munich from February 12 to 13, 2020, to which I was invited as a speaker for the area of proofing in Session 6. I reported on our tests in proofing for the Fogra58-Beta-Textile-RGB Standard for textile digital printing.

The Fogra Color Management Symposium is one of the events in the field of colour management and brings together scientists and users from all over the world for a two-day exchange of ideas in Munich. A total of 21 speakers and 7 moderators reported on the topics multicolour printing, proofing, print procurement, customer expectations, colour management for 3D printing and colour management for textile digital printing, the topic to which I was also assigned.

I arrived one day earlier, because there was a “Speakers Dinner” the evening before, and I also had to discuss with Jan-Peter Homann and Joe Tschudi the structure and selection of our patterns in terms of textile RGB. On site in Munich we set up the standard light booth LED Color Viewing Light XL HYBRID 2.0 provided by Just-Normlicht and coordinated once again which samples we would show best during the Color Management Symposium.

Joe Tschudi and Jan-Peter Homann and I discuss which samples we want to show at the Fogra Colour Management Symposium 2020 for the proof comparison of Fogra58beta-TextileRGB
Joe Tschudi and Jan-Peter Homann and I discuss which samples we want to show at the Fogra Colour Management Symposium 2020 for the proof comparison of Fogra58beta-TextileRGB
A sample that we showed at the Fogra Colour Management Symposium 2020 for the proof comparison of Fogra58beta-TextileRGB Below the proof we made, above Joe Tschudi's fabric produced by sublimation printing, both illuminated in Fogra58-beta-TextileRGB under D50 standard light.
A sample that we showed at the Fogra Colour Management Symposium 2020 for the proof comparison of Fogra58beta-TextileRGB Below the proof we made, above Joe Tschudi’s fabric produced by sublimation printing, both illuminated in Fogra58-beta-TextileRGB under D50 standard light.

During the Speakers Dinner I had the opportunity to talk to Jürgen Seitz from GMG, the moderator of my session, and Jeffrey Stauffer from oneflexo GmbH, in order to organize our session on day 2 well. Gerardo Cerros from CMA Imaging Belgium SPRL, the third speaker of our session arrived directly for his presentation. Furthermore we could test our presentations on the Fogra computers and already got to know the lecture room and familiarize ourselves with the stage. On the stage sat the three speakers per session plus the moderator of the session. All presentations, moderations, questions etc. were translated live from English to German and German to English. I held my presentation in German, but I had kept the slides in “Denglish” so that they were understandable for Germans as well as for everyone else.

The speakers and presenters visit the stage and stage technology. The grey box at the back left is the interpreter's booth, which housed the two simultaneous interpreters.
The speakers and presenters visit the stage and stage technology. The grey box at the back left is the interpreter’s booth, which housed the two simultaneous interpreters.

The complete programme of the symposium can be found on the Fogra website. The topics of the seven sessions were:

1. Managing customer expectations – Managing colours throughout the  food chain
2. Creating colour credibility in CMYK and extended gamut printing
3. Real-world multicolour packaging implementations (ECG)
4. Industrial Printing application:  High Speed Inkjet beyond commercial and packaging printing
KEYNOTE: Colour workflows in the motion picture  world –  How HDR & Wide Gamut  change the game (Harald Brendl, ARRI)
5. Colour communication for fashion textile applications
6. Colour Proofing for Packacking & textile applications
7. Colour in 3D (3D Softproof & Appearance measurement)

You can download the presentation of my lecture “Proofing in textile printing: Contract proofs for RGB-(FOGRA58) based textile workflows” here

After the session, there were lively discussions at our Fogra58 stand and the fabric/proof comparisons exhibited were discussed. Special attention was paid to a pattern with different shades of grey by Joe Tschudi. The proof was quite neutral grey for the human eye, but the fabric had a clearly visible green cast. In terms of measurement, however, the two patterns were only DeltaE00 0.3 apart for an i1Pro2, and a ball-head meter also showed a similar distance. A nice example to demonstrate the difficulty between textile printing and proof, between measuring devices and human perception.

Fogra has issued a good conclusion of the proofing session here.

Many thanks to Andreas Kraushaar and the entire Fogra team for the excellent organisation and support during the entire Colour Management Symposium. An outstanding event that shows current developments in colour management and broadens the view to new markets and segments.

freieFarbe e.V. – Review of the General Meeting and Preview

On the last weekend in September the general meeting of the association freieFarbe e.V. took place in Tübingen. From Friday to Sunday, the members worked, discussed, conceived and, as you can see on the picture, ” punted” in and with new products and ideas in the best weather on the Neckar river.

freieFarbe e.V. General Meeting 2018: Punting together on the Neckar river after the general meeting at Proof GmbH in Tübingen. Photo: Peter Jäger

After a meeting with the colour management specialists from GMG on Friday, who support the association with software and proofing media, work continued on the new CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas in the afternoon, to wrap up the day with tarte flambée and wine at Matthias Betz’ house.

On Saturday, the general meeting followed at Lorettoplatz at Proof GmbH, where the past year was discussed and the coming year was touched upon. With the CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas and the DIN SPEC 16699 Open Colour Communication much was reached and accomplished, but numerous ideas need to be evaluated, weighted, financed and worked on.

Present were: From Germany Matthias Betz from Proof GmbH as this year’s host, Jan-Peter Homann from Homann Colormanagement in Berlin, Holger Everding from DTP Studio in Oldenburg and the Swiss Peter Jäger from pre2media in Hombrechtikon, Eric A. Soder from pixsource in Uster and Matteo Baschera from galledia in Zurich.

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Gamut map: The colour tool for cross-media design

Due to our involvement with freeColour e.V., at the last meeting in Switzerland the desire for a cross-media tool for designers was expressed with which one can create intersections of colourspaces from the freieFarbe CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas XL.

With Gamutmap, Proof GmbH has now created such a tool, which is available to all designers free of charge. With Gamutmap nearly 100 individual colour spaces can be indicated from 34.250 colours of the entire CIELAB colour space, or intersections from many combined colour spaces can be indicated.

An example: As a designer you are looking for colours for a new corporate design, which are available in sRGB for the internet, in ISOCoatedV2 for printing image brochures and in PSOUncoatedV3 for printing stationery. For video productions, the Rec.709 colour space is also to be taken into account.

In Gamutmap you can now easily select the colour spaces sRGB, ISOCoatedV2, PSOUncoatedV3 and Rec.709 and then click on “show”. After a few seconds you will only see the colours that are available in all selected colour spaces. If you move the mouse over a colour field, you will directly see the absolute colorimetric values of the colour in all selected colour spaces and you can copy them directly to your clipboard.

Since the hex value of the sRGB colour space was also still interesting, this colour space was additionally marked for display. The HLC and Lab values of all colours can be read directly in the colour table. All other colour values can be copied to the clipboard simply by moving the mouse to the desired colour field. For the colour field shown in the example above, it looks like this:

HLC: H005 | L055 | C035
Lab: 55 | 34,867 | 3,05
sRGB: 188 | 106 | 128
sRGB (HEX): #BC6A80
Rec. ITU-R BT.709-5: 188 | 87 | 115
ISO Coated V2 (ECI): 14 | 64 | 27 | 11
PSO Uncoated V3 (Fogra52): 10 | 70 | 34 | 8

Gamutmap is “Work in Progress”

We are sure that gamutmap will be a great help to many designers in creating cross-media corporate designs and are very happy that we were able to start and push the project with the members of freieFarbe e.V. For us, gamutmap is “work in progress”, which means: In the coming weeks we will add further functionalities and features to gamutmap. For example, a German version is in progress, and the download of spectral D50 CxF data of the selected colours should be possible in the future directly while hovering over the respective colour field, if the field is in the gamut of the freefarbe CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas XL. Further function extensions are already on our wish list… 🙂

We welcome suggestions, criticism, wishes and any support for the expansion and addition of Gamutmap.

First online printers switch to PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3

With DieDruckerei.de, the first well-known online printer has switched to PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3. A sign that almost exactly three years after the new Fogra51/52 standards appeared, they are increasingly being used in production and as a requirement for printers to produce data.

DieDruckerei.de hat auf die neuen Normen PSOCoatedV3 und PSOUncoatedV3 umgestellt
Screenshot of the diedruckerei.de website: dieDruckerei.de has switched to the new PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3 standards

The fact that also here the conversion does not run completely smoothly, shows up in the data requirements, which recognize beside the new PSOCoatedV3 also a 300% variant of the profile – a legacy from the ISOCoatedV2 300% times, PSOCoatedV3 is present only in a 300% version, a profile PSOCoatedV3 300% does not exist therefore.

Nevertheless, the conversion shows that the new Fogra 51 and Fogra 52 profiles are also increasingly being used in online printing. A replacement of ISOCoatedV2 is still a long way off, the profile is simply too successfully anchored in the market and also well established as a defacto master standard for numerous printing processes in digital printing, trade fair construction, flexo printing and much more, so that this will take several more years. But with every major player in the printing market that advocates the conversion, the spread will increase and the new profiles will also be used in prepress.

CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas available in the Proof.de Shop

It has taken almost a year, but we are all the more pleased now: The “CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas” is completed and can be ordered in our shop. The HLC Colour Atlas is a open source, high-precision colour system based on open standards.

The CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas offers professional users of colour three decisive advantages:

  • The CIELAB HLC colour atlas is based on open, non-proprietary standards that are free of copyrights and trademarks.
  • The colour atlas with all components is available to all users free of charge online and can be downloaded, used and passed on directly.
    It is released under an OpenSource Creative Commons license.
  • The printed reference of the CIELAB HLC colour atlas impresses with outstanding precision and, unlike some commercial products, the colour accuracy is extremely high with a DeltaE00 median of 0.3 and an average DeltaE00 of 0.5. In most cases, the deviation from the ideal colour reference and colour differences between two colour atlases can be measured, but not perceived by the human eye. Each atlas is produced on our best Fogra-certified high-end proofing printer on Fogra-certified paper. Each copy is delivered with an individual, colourimetric test report in accordance with ISO 12647-7:2016 to document the colour accuracy of each individual colour atlas.

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Proof GmbH is a partner of FreieFarbe e. V.

freeColor e. V. is a consortium of German and Swiss color experts who work to produce consistent color in all areas of application. Sounds reasonable? Exactly. That is the issue that is of central importance to our proofing customers. Therefore we are currently working in a project with the colleagues of FreieFarbe e. V. and are now also as Proof GmbH member and partner of FreieFarbe e. V.

FreeColor relies on open standards such as LAB and HLC, which have long been integrated in computer software and want to show: the computer is an ideal tool for color, it can make color free! The association FreieFarbe e. V. aims to promote colour communication without pursuing commercial goals.

freeColor e. V. would like to promote developments that…

  • Make coulor calculable
  • Make colour applicably
  • Make ink systems comparable
  • Simplify color communication
  • Have no license costs
  • Give Tips and hints for a correct cross-media colour workflow
  • make the multiple mysteries of color understandable

In recent months, Holger Everding, Peter Jäger, Eric A. Soder and Jan-Peter Homann have developed a completely new approach to this, which we were able to develop together with our colleagues into a product that we will present shortly.

We would like to take this opportunity to point out a great feature of the website of FreieFarbe. de: The colour database: Here you can look up the most important colour values for more than 300 colour systems and calculate colour comparisons of all kinds.

For the work within the association FreieFarbe e. V. the association is always looking for competent companions. If you, like us, are touched by the subject of colour in a variety of ways, there are many opportunities at fF to contribute with your knowledge and strengths. If you feel like our good cause, please contact us!

www.freecolour.org

Softproof – opportunity or risk?

Softproof means: The correct color display of a printed product on a monitor. Both a standardized print, e.g. according to process standard offset printing, can be simulated – e.g. a later offset print according to ISOCoatedV2 can be simulated correctly in colour on the screen – and the output on digital terminals such as LFP systems in advertising technology.

From a technical point of view, soft proofs are now well controllable. The monitor technology is advanced enough to provide excellent displays with a high color gamut and consistent illumination even for a few hundred euros. For example, monitors in two branches of a company can be coordinated in such a way that the result displayed on the monitors corresponds exactly to each other at both locations, i.e. one image editor in Hamburg and one in Munich can talk about retouching the same file.

The problem: The fact that the two monitors emit the identical color and light result can be precisely controlled. The fact that the colleague in Hamburg is looking at the foggy Alster lake at a northern window, while the colleague in Munich moved the monitor to a southern window in the direction of the Isar river in sunshine, already shows the problem: The environment variables under which the softproof is viewed are not identical.

It is even more difficult when the soft proof is to be used in the pressroom to coordinate the production run. Many companies such as JUST offer modern solutions that can provide a soft proof directly at the press. However, the problem remains that the soft proof should be considered to be less than 10% away of the brightness of the press. While 2000 lux brightness was previously the standard for printers, JUST now writes: “The comparison of soft proofs on monitors with prints and hard proofs is regulated in accordance with ISO 12646. The light conditions basically correspond to ISO 3664, but the brightness must be adjusted to the limited luminance of the monitor, which ideally is > 120 cd/m². ”

Two scenarios therefore arise at the printing press: Either the printer is “in the light” and can then match the print with a contract proof printed on paper, or it is “in the dark” and can match the print with the soft proof. The difficulty of matching paper and monitor – and these are two completely different and difficult to compare media – is compounded by the difficulty of the printer having to dim the light at the press by up to a factor of 10 to be able to match both a contract proof and a soft proof at the same workstation. From today’s point of view, this does not really seem practicable.

Conclusion: The soft proof is on the advance and will certainly sooner or later displace the classic contract proof from the market for reasons of speed and cost. However, due to the great technical lighting and haptic differences between the monitor and the illuminated sheet of paper, a widespread introduction is still a long way off. After all, anyone who has ever performed a color match on a printing press can imagine that a match to the contract proof on the one hand and to a soft proof monitor on the other hand is difficult to imagine at the same time.  The contract proof will therefore also have to remain the first choice in the near future in order to be able to carry out colour-accurate proofing of the printing result in the pressroom.

Paper white simulation of PSOUncoated

Since 2009 PSOUncoated has been the standard profile for uncoated paper. Nevertheless, proof service providers often have the problem that at first glance proofs on PSOUncoated often differ significantly from the print result. Immediately visible: the white point of the paper.

The PSOUncoated paper white looks very grayish. If, for example, PSOUncoated is proofed on an EFI 9120 XF paper, which actually has a neutral white coloration as paper, then the paper must be recolored by the printer in terms of paper white. This paper-white simulation makes the proof look “grayish” and often not “bright white” like the real production paper. “I can’t put this down to my client” proof service providers often hear from the agencies and designers who commission proofs. And frankly, printing on bright white uncoated paper will also differ significantly from the PSOUncoated Proof result depending on the paper selected.

Some proofing services still proof uncoated paper according to ISOUncoated, because the paper tone is much whiter and not so grayish. In the medium term, however, this will not overcome the misery: PSOUncoated is the current standard according to which the process standard for offset printing certified print shops are also based. But in the pressroom the differences between norm and reality often become apparent. If the new D50 standard light according to ISO 3664:2009 with higher UV components is used for inspection at the printing table, then proof and printing result can often only be matched very poorly. And due to the long standardization periods, this problem will continue to accompany printers and proofing service providers for quite some time to come.

A proof without profile. Is that possible?

Proofing service providers are often asked the question: “I have to have a proof done, but I don’t know for which profile. Can I also have a proof made without a profile?”

Proofs are standardized products that are created and tested according to a certain set of values. This is exactly the point that distinguishes them from any “colourful printouts”.
Specifically: A proof for coated printing paper is produced according to the standard values of ISOCoated V2 (paper type 1 and 2, glossy and matt coated image printing, dot gain curves A (CMY) and B (K) from ISO 12647-2:2004) and checked according to a set of values (FOGRA39L). A proof for uncoated paper (e.g. PSOUncoated or ISOUncoated) is produced and checked according to completely different value sets. Logically, because a print on uncoated paper looks definitely different in terms of colour and white value than a print on picture printing paper.

A proof must therefore always be prepared according to a standard and be verifiable according to a reference value set. A list of the current Proof Profiles (as of 2012) can be found here.

The problem: Many printing processes such as digital printing on a color laser or printing on a large format printing system (LFP) are not standardized and therefore there are no valid profiles and specifications.

So what to do? The most frequently used standard has established itself as the “de facto basis”: ISOCoated V2.

This is understandable, because colour-critical prints, catalogues etc. are mainly produced in offset printing on picture printing paper and are therefore subject to this standard. It is therefore generally assumed that a digital printer or an LFP printer, for example, should follow this standard and at least achieve this colour result.

So if you need to make a proof but don’t have the exact details of the profile you need, proof ISOCoated V2, which has become the industry’s most widely used standard and will always be accepted as the basic proof.

Unfortunately, a proof without a profile cannot be produced, because that would just be “colored paper from a proofing system”, but not a valid, ISO-compliant proof.

My customer wants to print on a tin can. Pantone? CMYK? Can this be simulated in the proof?

Requests such as the proof of a printed tin can often reach us. Why can’t such a printed can be “proofed”?

A proof is a standardized product. Take the classic ISOCoatedV2 proof, for example; the standard proof for coated printing paper. Here is the definition in brief:

“Paper type 1 and 2, glossy and matt coated paper, dot gain curves A (CMY) and B (K) from ISO 12647-2:2004” (Source: farbproofs.de)

Metal is printed with a varnish. Neither the colour of the metal of the tin can nor the colour of the lacquer is clearly defined, nor the thickness of the lacquer application and the printing process in which the lacquer is applied (digital print / screen printing, pad printing etc.) is defined.

A contract proof refers to very tight tolerances and precisely defined framework conditions. This includes not only the densitometric and colorimetric reference of the printing ink, but also, for example, the paper white, which is simulated very precisely in the proof. For exactly this reason there is no proof for recycled paper: The papers and paper whites are simply so different that no uniform, standardized “color” of a recycled paper can be defined. From classic recycled paper with a neutral grey or yellowish-grey colouring to de-inked, almost white recycled papers, everything is available on the market. Just not by default.

Therefore, a proof always refers to offset or gravure printing under standardized conditions. Changed surfaces such as metal or changed paper colours such as recycled or high-quality image papers with inclusions or printing on coloured papers have not yet been standardised and therefore cannot be proofed.

The proof is much darker than the image on my monitor. Why?

Customers are often unsettled when they hold a proof in their hands. “The proof of the picture is much darker than the picture on my monitor. Why is that so? And what do I do now?”

There are many possible reasons for a deviation between the proof and, for example, the monitor display:

  • The monitor is not calibrated
    Only calibrated monitors can accurately display color. When I buy a cheap monitor and connect it to my computer, I definitely can’t see any real color. As a rule of thumb, only a hardware-calibrated monitor has a chance for correct color.
  • The monitor is calibrated, but the colors look different
    A monitor below 1,000 Euro cannot usually be calibrated to good color representation for the standard color space ISOCoated V2, because it has a too small color gamut. Only real proof monitors are also designed and suitable for the display of proofable colors.
  • The proof is not viewed under D50 standard light
    Especially in winter the lighting conditions are often poor. And incandescent lamps, energy-saving lamps and conventional neon tubes only provide very poor colour reproduction. Without a D50 light source, a proof cannot be evaluated.
  • The color settings in the software are wrong
    Often the image editing software like Photoshop is simply installed and used without adjustments. The selected color profiles often do not correspond to the profiles used for proofing. Apple-Shift-K for Macintosh and Control-Shift-K for Windows show you your profile settings in Photoshop.

In general, no patent remedy can be given for the correct display of proofs for the monitor. However, if a proof is provided with UGRA/Fogra media wedge CMYK V3.0 and test report, the chances are high that it reproduces the required colors very precisely. If your monitor image does not correspond to the proof, the error usually lies with you. The list of causes above can help you in troubleshooting.

Layout in RGB, print in CMYK. Problems?

Especially in larger companies today the layout in RGB is the rule rather than the exception. The advantages are obvious:

  • The layout takes place in a large, almost media-neutral color space
  • All Photoshop filters are available without restrictions
  • The process of color space conversion to CMYK is shifted to the production process as late as possible

In practice, however, there are two potential problems in particular.

Problem 1: CMYK conversion in the last step.
The catalogue is designed in InDesign, all data is perfectly matched, the last step before printing and proofing is the export to a printable PDF in CMYK. Usually this is done via a preset in InDesign, which defines the exact specifications for the color space conversion. In practice, however, this color space transfer can hardly be monitored. The problem: Even if you check the color values in Acrobat in the exported PDF file, for example, Acrobat does not really display the colors it contains. Acrobat brav would show you CMYK values even if the RGB images are still wrongly contained. However, other CMYK values can occur during printing when the data is processed again. Lately it looked like this:
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