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.
Epson has incorporated many improvements into the new printer generation. For example, fully loaded print heads now work in the new printers, which can finally handle photo black, matt black and the two grey tones LightGray and LightLightGray as well as the colours orange, green and violet simultaneously in one print head. For cyan and magenta there are also the light variants light-cyan and light-magenta, so that besides yellow, cyan and magenta, 12 full colours are available in the print head. The printer uses the new UltraChrome Pro12 ink set, which could possibly bring some detail improvements to the classic K3 inks, although nothing more is known about this yet.
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.
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.
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:
It seems that by the end of 2017 the new standards PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3 are finally arriving on the wider printing market. At least with the printing company Thieme and – as of today – Schleunungdruck, two major operators in the market and Flyeralarm partners have switched to the new standards.
After experts such as Christian Piskulla of Cleverprinting have already provocatively pointed out the failure of the new standards – “Scheitern PSOcoated_v3 und die ISO 12647-2:2013?” (Are PSOcoated_v3 and ISO 12647-2:2013 failing?), the new printing standards seem to be spreading in practice at the moment. Two of the four Flyeralarm partner printing houses are now explicitly demanding the new profile, Flyeralarm itself still refers to ISOCoatedV2. However, it is probably only a matter of time before the large online printing companies will also switch to the new standards. Prognosis: If the first one starts, the others will follow.
Two years after the introduction of the new profiles, the Fogra51 and Fogra52 standards have thus arrived on the larger market for the first time and are also actively demanded by printers.
In the proofing sector at least Fogra51 still plays a subordinate role, Fogra39 is still the absolute top dog here. In the area of proofs for uncoated papers, Fogra52 already has a firm place because of the numerous papers with a high proportion of optical brighteners. On many papers, the colour shades of Fogra47/PSOUncoated simply cannot be achieved anymore.
So it seems that the drumming up of the BVDM in particular with regard to new printing conditions has paid off in the long run. If the large market players change over, the small ones will soon follow or will have to follow.
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…
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!
The ISO 12647-7 proofing standard was revised in November 2016 and the test criteria for FograCert contract proof creation were adapted. We have now incorporated these changed criteria into our proofing system and are now working to the stricter tolerances of the latest ISO 12647-7:2016.
The good news is: you won’t notice that our proofs are now precisely produced according to the latest standards. Why? Quite simply: Because our demands on our proofing system, our FIERY proofing software, our EFI proofing papers and the X-Rite measuring decvices are already so high that all components of our proofing system – and of course our proofs themselves – have been meeting the new criteria of the revised November 2016 standard for years.
The new standard brings the classical formula for the colour distance Delta-E from the traditional definition of 1976 (CIELAB 1976) to the updated version of 2000 (CIEDE2000). Since the values cannot be converted directly, new tolerances for the test report are introduced, which are valid immediately. These new tolerances and new criteria are also the only difference that you will notice on our proof when you take a closer look at it.
Why this change: Fogra used measurements from the 116 Contract Proof Certifications from 2016 to show that the old and new tolerances of the old? These colors have so far had a? E-value that is too high in relation to the visual assessment. The new Delta-E values, on the other hand, are much more “equidistant”, i. e. with the human assessment of the colour distance, which Fogra has also demonstrated in tests.
The deviations of the gray axis and hue are now also determined more precisely, the evaluation of the hue spacing? You can also see this on the test report. The Fogra writes:”Since HC mainly depends on the hue angle, the evaluation of neutral grey or similar colours with sometimes very large differences in brightness and saturation did not yield meaningful results. The measure?Ch now describes the actual distance of a color pair in the CIEa*b* plane and is therefore no longer suitable only for the evaluation of the colorfulness difference of very rich colors.
The ageing tests for proof papers were clarified more clearly with the introduction of the new standard. All certified proof papers undergo the following tests: (more…)
Current proofing systems can reproduce spot colours like HKS or Pantone very well. Using the Fiery XF 6.3 proofing software and the Epson SC-P9000V proof printer, we evaluated with which colour deviation in Delta-E the PANTONE Extended Gamut Coated colours can be proofed.
The colour deviations were calculated by the proofing software on the basis of the measured colour space of the proofing system of proof.de. Therefore in practice there may be deviations. However, it has been shown that almost all PANTONE colours can be simulated quite well in the large colour space of the proofing device.
The smaller the ∆E value, the smaller the colour distance from the PANTONE reference to the proofed PANTONE colour. Higher ∆E values indicate which PANTONE colours can be reproduced in the proof with greater difficulty.
|Delta-E Colour Deviation
Colour Deviation Proof
|PANTONE 100 XGC||0.24 ∆E||PANTONE 355 XGC||0.84 ∆E|
|PANTONE 101 XGC||0.24 ∆E||PANTONE 356 XGC||0.00 ∆E|
|PANTONE 102 XGC||0.49 ∆E||PANTONE 357 XGC||0.64 ∆E|
|PANTONE 103 XGC||0.64 ∆E||PANTONE 358 XGC||0.27 ∆E|
|PANTONE 104 XGC||0.93 ∆E||PANTONE 359 XGC||0.27 ∆E|
|PANTONE 105 XGC||0.77 ∆E||PANTONE 360 XGC||0.59 ∆E|
|PANTONE 106 XGC||0.24 ∆E||PANTONE 361 XGC||0.65 ∆E|
|PANTONE 107 XGC||0.50 ∆E||PANTONE 362 XGC||0.35 ∆E|
|PANTONE 108 XGC||0.25 ∆E||PANTONE 363 XGC||0.38 ∆E|
|PANTONE 109 XGC||0.26 ∆E||PANTONE 364 XGC||0.88 ∆E|
|PANTONE 110 XGC||0.57 ∆E||PANTONE 365 XGC||0.26 ∆E|
|PANTONE 111 XGC||0.98 ∆E||PANTONE 366 XGC||0.27 ∆E|
|PANTONE 112 XGC||0.36 ∆E||PANTONE 367 XGC||0.55 ∆E|
|PANTONE 113 XGC||0.25 ∆E||PANTONE 368 XGC||0.61 ∆E|
|PANTONE 114 XGC||0.50 ∆E||PANTONE 369 XGC||1.04 ∆E|
|PANTONE 115 XGC||0.50 ∆E||PANTONE 370 XGC||0.00 ∆E (more…)|
No further documentation was available at that point on the IDEAlliance Website. The ICC files can be downloaded in a ZIP file here:
The Proof GmbH has thus reaffirmed it’s quality by the strict criteria of Fogra. The tests Fogra conducted went far beyond the pure colorimetric readout of a media wedge. The special proofs for Fogra were evaluated among the following criteria:
The color matching our proofs submitted for the test was confirmed by Fogra with date of September 24, 2015. The Proof GmbH is thus the world’s first company that has certification for the production of contract proofs on a Fogra 51 and Fogra 52.
We are very pleased that our preparation and the efforts of the past few months were rewarded by a successful certification. You can order Fogra51/52 proofs in our proofing shop Order Fogra 51 / Fogra 52 Proofs (PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3).
The full, 12-page report from Fogra can be downloaded here:
Fogra certification report on Proof GmbH of 2015 No. 29712
With long delay, the new printing conditions Fogra Fogra 51 and 52 – PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3 – will be presented at the end of September and finally come into practice. The German bvdm invites together with Fogra and ECI to a joint “kick-off” of the new printing conditions in the “Hochschule der Medien” in Stuttgart.
On Wednesday, the 30th of September 2015 from 10 o’clock representatives of the associations will introduce in the university the innovations, Karl Michael Meinecke wrote of the ECI mailing list.
In this kick-off the new, jointly developed printing conditions and to implement the ISO 12647-2:2013 are presented to printing and media professionals. Attendance is expected to be free, but registration with name and company to the email address email@example.com is requested. The event takes place at the HdM in auditorium i003 in the Nobel Straße 10, D-70569 Stuttgart (Vaihingen) in the Stuttgart Media University.
Fogra51 and Fogra52: A difficult start
The launch of Fogra51 and Fogra52 had been marked by delays and disruptions. Large series of measurements had to be discarded after testing, measurement technology as the new SpectroProofer ILS 30 or new proofing papers were delivered only with great delay. Several seminars on how to manage the change to the new ISO standards in the Fogra are running since late last year with numerous participants in full swing – only the new standards were still not in sight. Now there is at least the kick-off date at the end of September in sight.
Cirtainly, all involved representatives of associations and interested companies were often reminded of the negative model of the US standardization bodies:
The IDEAlliance had presented in 2013 probably too hastily developed new printing conditions for GRACol 2013 and SWOP 2013, but so far they hardly play any role in practice. Why? Even the IDEAlliance open most their publications on the new standards with the tenor: “If you are not extremely color-critical, there is no reason to change from the old standards to the new ones … Conclusion: Please stay with their established, old workflow with profiles from 2006 … we are currently working on numerous ‘supplements’ …”
PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3: What definitely comes
But it is clear: The new standards will bring many changes to companies in printing and prepress: The individual changes in detail: (more…)
The Proof GmbH provides proofs for Scheufelen Heaven 42 papers on the new EFI 8245 OBA proofing paper. With this new proofing paper it is now possible to proof the bright-white paper dye of Heaven42l.
With Heaven 42 a bright white paper was developed by the German paper company Scheufelen, which opened up a new color whiteness. Especially technical motifs (shades of gray, silver tones from 4c, strong contrasts) act on Heaven 42 particularly brilliant and neutral. With an unchanged separation (eg with ICC profile “ISOcoated_v2”), but the printed image with the same color and dot gain looks considerably colder. Using images with warm tones (z. B. skintones) it is therefore recommended to do color adjustments.
We proofed Heaven42 on EFI Proof Paper 8245 OBA with optical brighteners and measure the Proofs M1 standard with consideration of optical brighteners. The proof can be provided with a UGRA / FOGRA media wedge and test report. Our Heaven42 proofs provide a good simulation of Heaven42 offered by Scheufelen for the ICC Profiles of Heidelberger Druck. The profile can be downloaded from the Scheufelen Website with additional notes from Scheufelen to pressure requirements etc., which are also included in the download of the profile.
Scheufelen offers two ICC-Profiles for Download, we are proofing the profile of Heidelberger Druck (“_HD”).
Ink Coverage: ~280 % (U)
Black: GCR , 80 % (G)
Max Black: 98 % (K)
Proofing Substrate: EFI Proof Paper 8245 OBA Semimatt
Verification Profile: Made from Reference Data
Verification Light: M1 with OBA
Heaven 42 Proofs can be ordered directly in Proof store of Proof.de. Simply select the profile “Heaven 42 (Coated OBA)”.
By switching to the new Fiery XF 6.1 and the use of the new X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS-30 measuring instruments, we are now able to proof the current beta versions of the new printing standards Fogra 51 and Fogra 52.
Since the current proofing profiles are available only in preliminary beta versions, the versions are of course not color binding and legally binding. Nevertheless, interested agencies and printers can get a picture of the current state of development and evaluate the coming changes of the OBA proofing papers used better match the colors of the new proofing standards.
The Fogra 51/52 Beta proofs are listed as follows:
Proof profiles Uncoated:
PSO_Uncoated_blueish_v3_ (ECI) -Fred15-July.icc
Software: Fiery XF 6.1
Proof printer: EPSON 7900/9900
Measurement: Epson / X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS30
Measuring standard: M1 with UV
Proof Paper Coated: EFI Proof Paper 8245OBA Semimatt 245gr / sqm
Proof Paper Uncoated: EFI Proof Paper 8175OBA Matt 175gr / sqm
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.
Proof.de has updated its proofing software to Fiery XF Proofing 6.1 and so successfully finished preparations for the production of proofs in the upcoming Fogra 51 and Fogra 52 color standards. The new software version also supports the now available new Spektroproofer ILS-30 made by X-Rite, which is able to measure in the measurement modes M0, M1 and M2.
The color profiles for the automated production of proofs and proof verification Fogra51 and Fogra52 will have to me measured in the new M1 standards, as well as the 2013 Versions of SWOP and GRACoL.
Fogra Fogra 51 and 52, optical brighteners and the new standards for offset printing and proofing are currently on everyone’s lips. In the proof area we still see only announcements and beta versions, but no real solutionsby now. In 2013 the reorganization of ISO 12647-2 was adopted for offset printing, but according to ECI the earliest “expected recommendation on the implementation of the new ISO 12647-2 as well as the provision of appropriate handouts and instruments’ will be in 2015. The current status of Fogra 51 and Fogra 52 from our perspective:
Our telephone support often asks for a proof on production paper. Unfortunately, we always have to answer the question negatively. I would like to briefly explain the reasons for this in the following article.
Proofing on production paper is still technically impossible.
All proofing systems currently certified by Fogra are based on an inkjet printer as a test printer, mostly from Epson, Canon or HP. These printers are characterised by a large colour space, good resolution and excellent homogeneity and colour stability – all characteristics that are absolutely necessary for a proof printing system. The Epson systems used by the majority of proof printers are based on 11-colour pigment inks, which can reproduce a significantly larger colour space than e.g. ISOCoatedV2. However, the prerequisite for this is the use of special papers optimized for inkjet printing, in which the pigments and inks are optimally emphasized. This requires special coatings that are optimized for optimum reproduction, fast drying, good abrasion resistance and high UV stability of the print. On an image printing paper without these coatings, the ink would run, hardly dry and would not be smudge-proof. The color space would also be impossible to achieve. A proof would therefore not be possible from this point of view. (more…)
The certification proofs have been produced both on EPSON 7900 and EPSON 9900 proof printers with SpectroProofer measuring instruments. Our two proofing papers were included in the certification process. Proof GmbH is therefore certified for the most frequently used Proofing Standards.
In parallel to the measurements, control measurements were carried out with a second X-Rite meter in order to eliminate measurement errors.
The conclusion of the Fogra: “The proofs of the company Proof GmbH are as color accurate and binding in the following combinations:
2. Fogra 47 / PSOUncoated
Software Fiery XF 5.2.2
Proofing Substrate: EFI Proof Paper 9120 XF matt
Epson Stylus Pro 9900
The Fogra certification and the full 11-page report from Fogra can be downloaded here::
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.
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.
Nowadays, two different processes are used in web offset printing: heatset and coldset.
The coldset process is mostly used to print newspapers and paperbacks, with the printing ink drying purely by absorption.
In the heatset process, the paper is passed through a large dryer and a chill roll unit after the last printing unit. The length of the printing press is almost doubled by these two units. To ensure that the ink dries optimally, special heat-drying inks are used here.