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.
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, 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.
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.
Proof GmbH has now even more attractive shipping terms for domestic and international shipping. In addition, proofs can now be sent via Express and standard shipping worldwide. Throughout Germany shipping costs for packages from Proof A3 were reduced to only 9,-€. In international shipping, costs were partially reduced by almost 50%. Proofs can now be sent quickly and conveniently wordwide. shipping costs and options are directly calculated in the shop so that a quick and direct proof order is possible. Express delivery in the EU is now from 35, - €, Switzerland and the United States from only 45, - €. Even for Afghanistan and Nigeria, shipping costs for DIN A0 proofs are only 75, - €. In international express, delivery time is between one to four days... The exact prices and per country can be seen here: Countries and shipping cost for proofing on shop.proof.de Please note: Express delivery and standard delivery to countries in located in different shipping zones. So the standard shipping in the US through DHL is nearly as "expensive", as the express delivery. So express delivery for only 10 Euro more certainly is the more attractive option for time-critical goods such proofs.
This year we have again submitted proofs for Fogra certification. We thus prove that we not only deliver outstanding 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 proofs certified for the seventh year in succession.
In 2019 we have made two innovations in Fogra certification.
The quality of our prints and our spot colour reproduction of the PANTONE colours was confirmed by Fogra for all four proof standards.
These new certifications have been implemented on the current software revision Fiery XF 7.1.3 and have been applied to the papers EFI Gravure Proof Paper 4245 Semimatt, EFI Proof Paper 8245OBA Semimatt and EFI Proof Paper 8175OBA Matt.
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.
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.
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.
We have added 140 additional paper white values from Arctic Paper, Peyer, Igepa, Antalis and Mondi. As a result, a total of almost 1400 paper whites are now available in our database.
From the company Peyer we have added the colour shades of the Surbalin product range, although we have not covered all surfaces individually here. However, we have now also included other Peyer products such as Peytan, Peydur, Peyprint and Comet in the paper white database.
You can find the paper white database at shop.proof.de:
Today a customer called who wanted to order a proof of several HKS N spot colours on an uncoated paper. "Which proof profile should I choose? And how exactly can you match my special colours in the proof? I probably have to proof several HKS N red tones in comparison. By the way, the printing is to be done on Fly Cream, a slightly yellowish paper."
First of all, I searched with the customer for the production paper in our paper white database. A quick look via full text search revealed that we have measured Fly Cream from Papier Union:
With a B-value in LAB of 9.2, Fly Cream is really not just a little yellowish, as the customer said, but clearly yellowish, chamois, creamy … whatever you want to call it. So it was natural to check the proof profile "ISOUncoatedYellowish", Fogra 30, to see to what extent the paper white could match.
Together with the customer we looked up our "paper white of proof profiles" table:
Contrary to the customer's expectations, the paper white of ISOUncoatedYellowish is not even as yellowish as the paper white of the edition paper Fly cream, which is more yellowish by more than 5 steps on the B axis. So it was clear: PSOUncoated as a brighter-free uncoated paper proof standard is clearly too white, ISOUncoatedYellowish is much more suitable.
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.
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.
Shortly before Christmas, we initiated a major shop update, and adapted and improved numerous detail functions. But we are especially pleased that the update went without any major disruption for our customers, and that the shop was online and accessible for only a few hours, even though the update had to be carried out at the live shop.
The most important point for us was to update the upload area. The new file upload can now process up to 2GB per file and up to 50 files per article and: The upload now starts automatically, and does not need to be started first. We are thinking about increasing the file limit further here, but we really recommend our customers to simply zip many small files and upload the .zip file before uploading. This helps with the overview, and also helps us in handling.
Another new feature is that now all upload areas of all articles are uploaded in parallel and after successful upload all data is displayed appropriately for the articles. Only after the successful last upload the overview page is updated.
The overview of the loaded data has also improved.
Due to an updated shipping module we have more and more variable shipping methods at our disposal. Thus, starting next year, we will also be able to offer a UPS Express before noon, presumably parallel to the DHL Express before noon.
The most important point for us, however, is that the integration of the external modules has now changed so that we can import updates to the shop without having to touch all external modules at the same time. This will give us a lot of flexibility and allow us to respond even faster to better functions in the future and implement them in the shop.
A lot of changes in the background are security patches and an update to a current PHP version, which makes the shop overall more performant and secure.
Next year we are planning a graphical update of the shop before, which will make the website even clearer and faster.
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.
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 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.
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.
A proof is one that is produced according to the specifications of the latest revision of the proofing standard ISO 12467-7 and is within the tolerances of this standard. The current revision is ISO 12647-7:2016, which has been tightened even further with this standard and has been supplemented by a certified edition of spot colours such as PANTONE and HKS.
But what makes the certified proof cheap? That's the low price. Proofs are printed on certified proof papers on very high-quality pigment inkjet printers, usually using expensive proofing software, and measured with spectrophotometers. So how can production be done cheaply here?
One litre of ink for proofing devices is around 400 EUR, so it makes sense to use inexpensive alternative ink from China. The problem: there are no manufacturers - neither in China nor anywhere else - who produce inks that would actually produce similar inks in terms of pigment colour and spectral composition. I once called a manufacturer who advertises that his - already quite expensive - inks could also be used for proofing. When I asked him, he said: "No, no, that's just for advertising, but of course I would never do that or recommend it, and I don't know anybody who does that. As for the China inks, he said: "They start at 20 EUR per liter, but you get a different ink with every delivery, depending on where the wholesaler buys. Then they have to re-measure the proofer every time… forget it." In addition, replacing a clogged print head costs around 2,500 EUR, so the risk is too high. A real proof therefore only works with original, very expensive ink.
GMG ColorProof, EFI Fiery XF and ORIS Color Tuner are just some of the most important proofing solutions on the market. What they all have in common is that proofing software is rather a niche software, so the programming effort is very high compared to the sales figures. Depending on the size of the output device and the range of functions in terms of verification, spot colour display or proofing on special materials such as transparent foils, etc., the software costs between 5,000 and 10,000 EUR, and in combination with other software products from GMG or Colorlogic it can quickly cost considerably more. Although there are a few low-cost solutions here too, these are usually irrelevant in professional proofing, as they are either not suitable for more than one workstation, or important functions such as spot colour libraries etc. are missing.
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.
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.
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
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.
In order to implement the EU General Data Protection Regulation also in the shop in conformity, we have updated the shop in the last weeks, applied security patches and implemented important innovations for the protection of your personal data. We would like to briefly introduce some important changes: