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 influence on the colourfulness of the printed piece: the dot gain here is over 10 percent, the colour changes at values from Delta-E 5 to sometimes over Delta-E 10. And while the colour change of a dispersion varnishing can usually be checked directly at the press and in case of doubt also corrected, the foil lamination takes place at a later stage and usually not at the printing plant but at a finishing company. The colour change is therefore neither immediately visible to the printer nor can it be compensated for.

  • Gloss foil lamination: richer colours and darker depths
  • Matte foil lamination: paler colours and brighter depths
  • Colour changes: Tone value increase >10% already in light areas, colour shifts average Delta-E 5 to over Delta-E 10

This is where Fogra 49 and Fogra 50 come in: a proof in Fogra 49 can precisely simulate the effect of a matte foil lamination and the associated colour change. Fora 49 is based on a print according to ISOCoated V2 300%, i.e. Fogra 39, which is then subsequently refined with a matte foil lamination.

Using the Fogra 49 and 50 profiles, the effect of foil lamination can be made visible – not only in Photoshop.

The print data can also be set directly into the profiles. The proofs, which then appear lighter, are correct because they become darker and stronger after the foil lamination due to the dot gain. The UGRA/Fogra media wedge is also measured correctly at Fora 49 and 50. However, it is important to note that the “finishing proofs” must not be used for matching in printing, as they simulate the finished result but not the previous print. Therefore, you should actually proof twice. Once in ISOCoatedV2 as a vote for the printer and once in Fora 49 or 50 to simulate the effect of foil lamination for the layout designer and the customer.

The ECI therefore also emphasizes the unambiguous identification of the proofs and recommends an imprint on the two proof variants:

  • For the Fogra 49/50 proof: “Finishing proof! Must not be used for print adjustment.”
  • For the Fogra 39 Proof: “Standard Proof for adjustment! Print will later be refined and fuller.”

Different effects of foil lamination:

originalbild_isocoated_v2_300originalbild_glossy_laminateoriginalbild_matte_laminate

Left: Original image ISOCoatedV2 300%
Centre: Original image ISOCoatedV2 300% Glossy Laminated
The image becomes much darker, especially in the area of green meadows and the sky
Right: Original image ISOCoatedV2 300% Matte Laminated
The image becomes darker in the mid-tones, but the black areas become lighter due to the matte foil lamination

Glossy foil lamination with prior correction by profile conversion according to PSO_Coated_v2_300_Glossy_laminate_eci.icc

originalbild_isocoated_v2_300 originalbild_umgewandelt_nach_glossy_laminate_gedruckt_isocoatedv2_300 originalbild_umgewandelt_nach_glossy_laminate_gedruckt_isocoatedv2_300_glossy_laminated

Left: Original image ISOCoatedV2_300%
Center: Offsetprint after conversion to PSO_Coated_v2_300_Glossy_laminate_eci.icc
The print looks much too bright, especially in the area of the meadows
Right: Offsetprint after conversion to PSO_Coated_v2_300_Glossy_laminate_eci.icc and subsequent glossy foil lamination
Due to the dot gain during lamination, the print looks very similar to the original document in ISOCoatedV2_300%

Matte foil lamination with previous correction by profile conversion according to PSO_Coated_v2_300_Matte_laminate_eci.icc

originalbild_isocoated_v2_300 originalbild_umgewandelt_nach_matte_laminate_gedruckt_isocoatedv2_300 originalbild_umgewandelt_nach_matte_laminate_gedruckt_isocoatedv2_300_matte_laminated

Left: Original image ISOCoatedV2_300%
Center: Offsetprint after conversion to PSO_Coated_v2_300_Matte_laminate_eci.icc
The print looks much too bright, especially in the area of the meadows
Right: Offsetprint after conversion to PSO_Coated_v2_300_Matte_laminate_eci.icc and subsequent matte foil lamination
Due to the dot gain during lamination, the print looks similar to the original in ISOCoatedV2_300%. Only the black areas are clearly brightened by the matte film lamination.

Further information on these topics can also be found here:

Matthias Betz

Matthias Betz

Born in 1970. Owner and CEO of Proof GmbH in Tübingen. Since the 1990s, Matthias is dealing with color management, proofing, standardized lightning technology, color-consistent work and soft proofing. He is a certified PDFX-ready Expert (X-1a and X-4) and a member of the examination board for media design at IHK Reutlingen. Proof GmbH is the first worldwide company certified for PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3 Contract Proofing.

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