Early binding

“Early Binding” workflow means that RGB image data are converted into the planned CMYK print colour space as early as possible during separation. Usually this is done in Photoshop, and the already separated image data is then placed in InDesign.

In the best case, this results in a layout document completely built up in the CMYK output colour space, which can be exported directly into a PDF file in the output colour space without colour space conversion.

If, however, the output colour space is changed at a later point in time, for example because printing is to be done on uncoated paper instead of image printing, all images must be completely rebuilt and imported or embedded. Therefore the “Early Binding” workflow is considered inflexible and not media-neutral.

Alternative workflows are the Intermediate Binding and the Late Binding.


The ECI – the European Color Initiative is a group of experts who deals with the media-neutral processing of color data in digital publication systems. It was founded at the initiative of the publishing houses Bauer, Burda, Gruner + Jahr and Springer in June 1996 in Hamburg.

The ECI is for the preparation and publication of color profiles currently the organ in Europe. New standards such as Fogra 51 and 52 are supported in the initial phase of the Fogra, and then handed over to the development and publication of the ECI. All currently valid color profiles for proofing and printing are provided on the website of ECI for download.

Link to ECI: www.eci.org


Electronics For Imaging, Inc., in short: EFI is an American company and one of the leading manufacturers of proofing software worldwide: EFI Colorproof XF, since 2013: Fiery XF. EFI is a solution provider for Large Format Printing systems, RIPs and color management solutions such as proofing.

In the area of Proofing, a second major supplier is the company GMG from Tübingen, Germany, which primarily focusses on the part of color management.

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In early installations of Photoshop from the 90s numerous Euroscala or Euro Scale profiles have been installed, which still haunt some software. In particular, the UK’s profile still seem to have some spread.

The use is, however, no longer recommended. Please change to the current ISO standards, which can be downloaded on the website of ECI for free.

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