ISO12647… and then what? On the further development of the ProcessStandard Offset Printing

Fogra is currently working with great commitment on modernising ISO 12647 and adapting it to current environmental conditions.

Important innovations of the reformed ISO 12647 will be:

  • Innovations regarding paper types (PT)
  • New tone value increases
  • For proofing: New papers with optical brighteners

Why is ISO 12647 being revised? Environmental conditions have changed significantly at three central points since the last revision in 2004.


The previous paper types 3 and 5 with the paper whites defined in 2004 are hardly available on the market today. Even picture printing papers today show a much stronger blue colouration than just a few years ago. In addition, the revision of D50 in 2009 means that the lighting in the pressrooms now also contains considerably more UV than before 2009, which has caused problems in the matching of proofs without optical brighteners compared to papers with a high proportion of brighteners. Instead of the previous 5 paper types, there will probably now be 8 new paper types which also differentiate between glossy and matte picture printing paper:

  • PT1: Coated picture printing paper (Premium coated)
  • PT2: Brightened, coated picture printing paper (Improved coated)
  • PT3: Glossy coated magazine paper (Standard coated glossy)
  • PT4: Matte coated magazine paper (standard coated mat)
  • PT5: Wood free uncoated
  • PT6: Supercalendered, uncoated
  • PT7: Improved uncoated paper
  • PT8: Standard uncoated

Based on these eight types of paper, a total of 16 printing conditions are created by using frequency modulated non-periodic screening and conventional periodic screening.

But not only the paper types are being adapted to the new era: The dot gain curves will also be adapted to the new conditions. The filmless printing plate production that is common today results in a higher dot gain in the bright highlights than before. Therefore, new dot gain curves have been defined that are now also valid for all colours of a printing condition. For black and cyan, magenta and yellow the same increase curves now apply for the same printing condition. Current investigations show that the black ink does not really print ” richer ” than the chromatic colors.

The revised ISO 12647 will also contain innovations for proofing. As Fogra writes, “Papers with a high proportion of optical brighteners can only be simulated with test printing substrates […] that also contain optical brighteners. A metrological equality also looks the same to the eye, according to Fogra’s conclusion, if the UV components of colour measurement and colour matching are identical. The investigations for the softproof have not yet been completed.

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