Fogra 51 and 52: The new printing conditions start in September 2015

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 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:

Standardized Light: New D50 according to ISO 3664: 2009

Printing companies can dispose all old D50 neon lights and other light sources that do not meet the new D50 specifications of 2009 with higher UV components. All lenses and diffusors of the neon tubes should be observed critically, as they could possibly contain UV filters and therefore block the newly added UV light spectrums.

Measurement: What is not M1 capable, can be desposed

If you have X-Rite i1 or EFI 1000 Spectrophotometers, or even the classic Epson SpectroProofer ILS 20 installed, you have to exchange these measuring devices with new ones. Old devices, that can only measure M0 or UV-Cut are not capable to measure Fogra51 and Fogra52 or GRACoL and SWOP 2013 Standards. Up to now, there has been no was developed to convert the old i1 devices somehow by firmware upgrade to measuring a kind of “calculated M1”.

Software: The latest upgrades are required

Who is still producing digital proofs with software from 2003 or so will need to get a system upgrade to the latest software version. Only current software releases are capable to address he new measuring techniques and devices. Updating the software might be the most expensive part in upgrading to M1.

Proof Papers: optical brighteners are important

The new necessary proofing papers will contain optical brighteners, the so called OBAs and sometimes cost noticeably more than the old proofing papers. We expect that for quite some time there will be a coexistance of both standards, ISOcoatedv2 and PSOCoatedV3. Speaking of uncoated proofing papers: At present, everybody is unhappy with the existing PSUncoated standard – so it is expected to be replaced directly by the new PSOUncoatedV3 standard.

New tone value increase curves in print

With the new standards, the old, film-based tone value increase curves are unified and equalized from CMY to K to a value. So CTP machines will need to have some service staff to implement the new curves in the RIP computer that controls the CtP platesetter.

Switching data from ISOcoatedv2 after PSOCoatedV3

Certainly, old customer will call and placed repeat orders: “The colors exactly as last time, all right?”. Certainly, you can’t blame your customer to do so. Therefore, a workflow or software transforming ISOcoatedv2 customer data to your new standard … via GMG ColorServer or device link profiles with PDF Toolbox et cetera will be important.


The new standards will come, so changes are sooner or later inevitable. The changes will be significant, but for most companies as well manageable. In some areas, such as the printing on uncoated paper, the upcoming changes will directly lead to noticeably better results, for example in terms of proof-to-print match. For coated paper – ISOcoatedv2 – it remains to be seen how quickly the changes will take place. We expect Print shops to be certified during a transitional period of one year for the old or the new standards PSO.

Our conclusion of the Proof GmbH

We of the Proof GmbH have prepared for the changes at least half a year ago, and can say: Yes, there is a considerable effort. Nearly a month revenues investments. And a high intellectual invest dealing with the topic: “What we have done so far, and what we will do in the future?” “How will we advise our customers on how they separate and proof data?”. “What is better with the new standards, what is just different?”.

Currently our Fogra certification is running out after one year, but it makes no sense at present to be today certified for PSOUncoated, only to be certified in three weeks for PSOUncoatedV3 again. With the kick-off at the 30th of September, there is at least a specific date for the start of the new printing conditions. Whether we will actually see the new conditions then, and if a certification to the new printing conditions will be possible immediately, we currently do not know. At the end of September, we will certainly know more.

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