MYIRO-9: New Spectrophotometer from KonicaMinolta in action

MYIRO-9: New measuring device from KonicaMinolta in use at

Over the last few months, we at have been thinking about further improving our already very good colour measurement technology in terms of speed and measurement precision. Relatively quickly it became clear that only two devices would come into question: The KonicaMinolta MYIRO-9, the successor of the former FD-9, or the X-Rite ISIS 2 XL. 

The starting point: Since we at Proof GmbH have 5 proofing devices, the calibration of targets for profile optimisation is a time-critical undertaking for us. Therefore, we had been looking around for an upgrade of our previous X-Rite i1-iO measurement device for the last few months, because here we always had the difficulty: When we started an iterative colour measurement for profile optimisation, we always had to measure two measurement targets per measurement run. And the calibration on the i1-iO means: Click three times on the target and then click again to start the measurement. After a few minutes, the first target was measured, which then had to be removed from the measuring table, the new target placed on it, clicked three times again, then clicked on “Measure” and at some point an IT8 chart with 1617 or, with a modified target, over 1800 measuring fields was measured. The whole thing was then optimised, and then went into the next print, measure and optimise round, and – depending on the result of the optimisation – this was repeated 3-4 times per printer and per proof substrate. Since the iO also has to scan each line twice for M1 measurements, the measuring speed was reduced even further for all proof substrates containing OBA.

Our choice: The KonicaMinolta MYIRO-9

After some deliberation, we decided on the KonicaMinolta MYIRO-9. 
Why? There were some clear reasons for the X-Rite ISIS 2 XL: We would have stayed further in the X-Rite world, the device is fast and has a low deviation from meter to meter and from measurement to measurement … and due to the good alignment within the X-Rite family, we would have surely come to very good results. But the MYIRO-9 is simply a notch better in speed and measuring precision than the competing device from X-Rite. 

Das neue MYIRO-9 von KonicaMinolta bei der Proof GmbH in Tübingen im Einsatz

Read more is featured twice in the “Fogra Aktuell” magazine

In the current issue of Fogra News “Fogra Aktuell” Proof GmbH is involved in two places.

Firstly, a summary of the Fogra report on our first FOGRA55 certification for seven-colour printing with extended colour space in CMYKOGV appeared.

Photo: “Fogra Aktuell” report on Proof GmbH’s certification for Fogra55, the first CMYKOGV exchange colour space for extended seven-colour printing.

You can also find more information on our FOGRA55 certification on the Fogra website:

and on

  • We passed the first proof certification for the 7C proof under FOGRA55

    We passed the first proof certification for the 7C proof under FOGRA55

    A few days ago Proof GmbH was the first company to be certified for proofing for the new 7C exchange colour space FOGRA55. Fogra has developed characterisation data for extended multicolour printing with the printing colours CMYKOGV – i.e. cyan, magenta, yellow, black (contrast), orange, green and violet – FOGRA55 as part of a research … Read more

And secondly, there was a report on the completion of the research project for textile digital printing, FOGRA58, in which we were allowed to investigate and test the proof capability of the new textile RGB colour space TextileRGB in relation to practice.

Detailed information on FOGRA58 can be found on the Fogra homepage:

Information about our presentation at the Colormanagement Symposium can be found on

  • Look back: Fogra Color Management Symposium 2020

    The 7th Fogra Color Management Symposium was held in Munich from February 12 to 13, 2020, to which I was invited as a speaker for the area of proofing in Session 6. I reported on our tests in proofing for the Fogra58-Beta-Textile-RGB Standard for textile digital printing. The Fogra Color Management Symposium is one of … Read more

    Look back: Fogra Color Management Symposium 2020

You can download the current issue 72 here:

All older issues can also be downloaded free of charge from Fogra:

“Digital First” often means “Colour Problems Second!”

Recently, we have been receiving more and more colour management consulting enquiries where “digital first” designs reach their limits: Namely, always when, after a few months or years, the first trade fair appearance, the first annual report or the first catalogue in classic online printing is due. And it is precisely at this moment that it occurs to everyone involved that they do not even know how their “digital first” colour strategy is supposed to look in print. But let’s take a look at the problem from the beginning:

Digital First = First priority for digital online media. But what if it’s time to print?

Whether it’s a large global corporation or a small company, the following often applies to designs or redesigns today: we develop everything for digital first. Agencies therefore create RGB colour worlds for the new corporate design, often with crisp, saturated screen colours and strong pastel tones. And if colours are used for different products or communication lines, then a complete corporate colour world with many corporate design colours in RGB is created, presented and approved, the online presentation portfolio is launched and the company is presented digitally in a new corporate design light.

The whole thing works well at first, and everyone looks at it on their monitor and is satisfied. But then, after a year, the first trade fair and the first printed annual report arrive. All right, think agency and client, let’s take our “digital-first” colours and print them in offset in our annual report and in digital print on our trade fair wall and on posters. But by the time the first design draft comes out of the laser printer and the printer has printed the first pages of the catalogue, a colour hangover breakfast is in order.

  • “Oh no, that looks completely different from what I see online on my monitor.”
  • “The blue is kind of too purple now, isn’t it? Or is the purple now blue?”
  • “It kind of looked different and better in the presentation on the big screen TV, didn’t it?”
  • “The crisp ultramarine is quite washed out and pale on the uncoated paper…”
  • “Idea: If we print with PANTONE colours, it will be more colourful. But which ones?
  • ” For John, the PANTONE fan was a great match for the screen, but for Hannah it wasn’t at all.”
  • “And what, printing three PANTONE colours and CMYK costs a lot more?”

By now, at the latest, it is clear to all those involved that things are going to get difficult and that they have a lot of work ahead of them. Using a real-life example from the past, let’s assume: For more than 10 sRGB colour tones, matches for spot colours and CMYK for picture printing and uncoated paper have to be found quickly. This is where important questions arise:

  • Who decided the colour design based on what view a year ago?
  • Did they see the colours on the monitor? On the beamer? On the iPad? On the big-screen TV? Were the devices calibrated?
  • Is it to be printed with PANTONE or with CMYK or both? Coated? Uncoated?
  • “The printer was kind enough to select a PANTONE colour for all our shades.”
  • A PANTONE colour? For coated and uncoated? What did they base it on? And how did they determine the best matching PANTONE colour? By eye? Measurement? Calculation? makes ” Digital First” colour worlds printable.

Optimised CMYK implementation of spot colours as PANTONE, RAL, HKS, Oracal and more

We have been able to assist many clients in making decisions and converting “Digital First” sRGB online colour worlds into printable colours. This does not mean that we have been able to find optimal CMYK or PANTONE spot colour conversions for all online colours. But it does mean that we were able to determine good conversion values for all colours and, in the case of strong deviations, explain why these occurred and on the basis of which criteria we decided on the best of the bad conversions. How far was the original colour “out of gamut”? Are we better off going for the greatest possible colourfulness, or for the best possible brightness match, which is then perhaps less colourful? Can we use the same PANTONE spot colour for picture printing and uncoated paper, or do we use different colours for coated and uncoated?

We do not rely on mumbo jumbo for such colour consulting jobs, but on measuring, determining and calculating colour distances.

It is often easier to talk about colours when you talk about measurements rather than feelings. With a colour matrix, it is often possible to show what more or less cyan and magenta would look like in a colour mix. With a sample or a fan as a reference, it is easier to sample colours and better understand where the limitations of a CMYK conversion and colour space lie.

PANTONE to CMYK optimisation by Colour matrix for matching existing prints and colour templates such as PANTONE fans or coated references.
Pantone to CMYK optimization

In the end, we work with the customer to determine the best colour conversion for their application: If the layout is written in white on a colourful sRGB colour field, then it is probably more helpful to use a more saturated and therefore somewhat darker colour value, which increases the contrast and legibility of the white font to the colourful background. If, on the other hand, black is written on the surface, then it is often helpful to keep the brightness close to the sRGB or PANTONE original, and to do without “more” colourfulness. Do we define different PANTONE colours for coated and uncoated, or do we use only one colour for consistency and ease of communication? And for the same reasons, do we use the same CMYK values for image printing and uncoated paper, or different ones?

You need an sRGB to CMYK conversion? Talk to us.

If you have a need for a conversion of RGB colours from “Digital First” coproprate designs to CMYK, then please feel free to contact us at any time. We will advise and help you transparently and competently to achieve the best possible solution for you and with you.

We passed the first proof certification for the 7C proof under FOGRA55

Proof GmbH Tübingen Fogra Certification FOGRA55 7C Matthias Betz examines 7C test form
Fogra Zertifikat Proof GmbH 2021 Fogra 55 7C CMYKOGV eCG 34807

A few days ago Proof GmbH was the first company to be certified for proofing for the new 7C exchange colour space FOGRA55.

Fogra has developed characterisation data for extended multicolour printing with the printing colours CMYKOGV – i.e. cyan, magenta, yellow, black (contrast), orange, green and violet – FOGRA55 as part of a research project over the past few years. The characterisation data and the ICC profile Ref-ECG-CMYKOGV_FOGRA55_TAC300.icc have been published on the Fogra website in recent weeks. We have now carried out the certification via GMG ColorProof, as GMG software can create and process multicolour profiles and already supports the new Fogra MediaWedge Multicolor V1 7C.

Proof GmbH Tübingen Fogra Certification FOGRA55 7C Matthias Betz examines 7C test form
Matthias Betz and Martin Streckfuß look at a proof of the various Fogra 7C test forms for FOGRA55 certification under standard light. Two Fogra Media Wedges Multicolour V1 7C can be seen on the left of the test form, which was output with the test form via GMG ColorProof.

Since the white point and the CMYK components correspond to FOGRA51 (PSOCoatedV3), we have used GMG ProofMedia premium OBA semiMatte 250 for the certification, as this GMG proof paper was specially developed for the output of PSOCoatedV3 proofs.

We are pleased to have received confirmation of successful certification from Fogra a few days ago.

Proof GmbH: FograCert: First CPC certification for FOGRA55 CMYKOGV

In the next few days we will offer the seven-colour proofs according to FOGRA55 in our Proof Shop.

Proof GmbH FOGRA55 Certificate CMYKOGV ECG 7C-Proof Preview

Fogra60 proofs for metal decor printing available

From now on you can order proofs for metal decor printing on white sheet metal at The ICC profile for Fogra60 is Metal-Printing_MPC1_FOGRA60.icc

Shortly after ISO 12647-9:2021, part 9 of the printing standard for the metal decorating process with offset lithography, the characterisation data for Fogra60 and the matching ICC profile have now also been published by the ECI.

The colour profile is suitable for the production of CMYK offset prints on metallic substrates that have been printed with a white coating, i.e. flat printed metal sheets according to MC1 or Metal1. It doesn’t apply to formed or pre-formed metal, such as pre-formed cans.

Printing on metal is different from offset printing on paper or board according to ISO 12647-2, especially due to the colour values of the typical white coated metal substrate. The white of the metal in LAB is 84/-2/-6, which is not nearly as white as most offset papers.

From now on you can order proofs for metal decor printing on The Fogra60 profile is directly selectable in all formats from DIN A6 to DIN A0+. The information on the profile and the characterisation data can also be found on the Fogra and ECI websites:

Metal-Printing MPC1 FOGRA60 – Metal print on white lacquered sheet metal New 2022
Profile: Metal-Printing_MPC1_FOGRA60.icc
The characterisation data FOGRA60 apply to offset printing on white lacquered sheet metal (Metal 1) according to ISO 12647-9:2021.
Characterisation data: FOGRA60.txt

Cross-media colour management really works

Video by Peter Jäger Pro2Media: 3 minutes for simple cross-media color management

My Swiss friend Peter Jäger is an advocate of colour management that works reliably across the boundaries of printers and monitors, computers and colour systems, web and print products: In short, cross-media. And since more and more companies and software from the media industry, such as the products of Colorgate from Hanover, support open systems like the freieFarbe CIELAB HLC colour atlas, cross-media colour management is becoming simpler, more transparent and: Simply more consistent. After all, it is good if it works and achieves accurate, transparent and replicable results.

In his new video, he shows how he lives cross-media in the everyday life of brand colours, which tools he uses, and how good the results are.

3 Minuten Zeit für ein simples Farbmanagement? (tranls.: Do you have 3 minutes for some simple colour management?) by Peter Jäger on Vimeo.

If you want to learn more about colour management and user software, you can access Peter Jäger’s entire training series on and From free Adobe Bridge videos to individual colour management training to PDF output for cross-media or archiving purposes, there is something for everyone. New video online Imagevideo

Regardless of what we write here in the blog: Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. That’s why we’ve put a short video online that introduces us and our work. It gives you a brief overview of who we are and what drives us. What do you think of our short film? We are looking forward to your feedback!

Proof GmbH 2021 Certified Again by Fogra with Fogra “Spot cert”

Title Test Report Fogra Certificate Proof GmbH 2021 Fogra Contract Proof Creation 34558

Fogra Certificate Proof GmbH 2021 Fogra Contract Proof Creation 34558

This year we have again submitted proofs for Fogra certification. We thus prove that we not only deliver excellent proof quality through internal quality controls and checks, but that the quality of our proofs is also confirmed by an external body. We have therefore had proof prints certified for the seventh year in a row.

Already in 2019, we were among the first to also be certified for the representation of spot colours (“Spot-cert”), and in 2020 we also went through Spot-cert in addition. And all in all, we have been successfully certified by Fogra for the ninth time in a row. Sometimes customers ask:

“You get Fogra certified every year. Won’t that become unnecessary at some point? You know you can do it …”

Yes, that is sometimes true. Every certification means effort and costs, the prints have to be made, sheets have to be filled in, everything has to be sent to Munich and invoices have to be transferred. And that’s just so that we can have the same high quality confirmed as in previous years. On the other hand, this isn’t true either.

Proofing is only superficially “service by the book as always”. In real life, no two years are the same. Proofing software, for example, is not sold on the mass market, so every update brings difficulties: Important functions fail, protocols are output incorrectly, optimisations do not optimise but worsen the results…: What we haven’t had to experience! Especially here it is important to have the security of certification by Fogra that even with the latest software revision all relevant processes still run cleanly.

The same applies to the hardware, which can be just as troublesome as the software: sometimes we have a generation change of proof printers, which always involves a change of inks and colour pigments, sometimes the driver or firmware is renewed, sometimes faulty print heads have been replaced …: Here, too, there are many possible sources of error that keep us on our toes. And here, too, the certifications bring us security for daily production – our everyday business. And that, too, is often not commonplace at

Verifiably precise …

Our so-called “everyday business” is often characterised by special cases, exceptions and special requirements. Admittedly: We like to work off Fogra39 proofs in ISOCoatedV2, where all data is delivered in CMYK. Something like that just runs really smoothly for us. But apart from these “standards”, we process much more for our customers: we produce high-precision colour samples, proof individual proof profiles for metal decor printing, process thick, high-gloss papers for proofs and extremely thin, matt papers for art projects, apply PANTONE colours to roll-ups, fine art prints in AdobeRGB on cotton canvas, ECI-RGB-V2 on Hahnemühle papers, print XYZ colour targets for multispectral cameras and …:

Our so-called “everyday business” is often characterised by special cases, exceptions and special requirements. Admittedly: We like to work off Fogra39 proofs in ISOCoatedV2, where all data is delivered in CMYK. Something like that just runs really smoothly for us. But apart from these “standards”, we process much more for our customers: we produce high-precision colour samples, proof individual proof profiles for metal decor printing, process thick, high-gloss papers for proofs and extremely thin, matt papers for art projects, apply PANTONE colours to roll-ups, fine art prints in AdobeRGB on cotton canvas, ECI-RGB-V2 on Hahnemühle papers, print XYZ colour targets for multispectral cameras and …:

Read more

PANTONE Find a Color No Longer Available Without Registration

New PANTONE Find a Color home page: Now only with PANTONE Connect: Without logging in, you can no longer even access the RGB and CMYK values of PANTONE colours on the PANTONE website.

That was fast: Only a few days after Adobe’s announcement to remove the PANTONE colours from their latest revisions of the Adobe product range, PANTONE reacted and removed the popular tool “PANTONE Find a Color” from the internet. Instead, the login to PANTONE Connect can now be found there, a tool that provides the previous functionality partly for free and partly for a subscription price with extensions.

New PANTONE Find a Color home page: Now only with PANTONE Connect: Without logging in, you can no longer even access the RGB and CMYK values of PANTONE colours on the PANTONE website.


If you are looking for the usual functionality again, you at least have to register, but many additional features are only available for a hefty surcharge. The discount in the first year still sounds reasonably cheap, but when paying the full price, the PANTONE colours are only available for 6.99 €/month or almost 84 euros per year. This is a steep price for the fact that PANTONE should have a vested interest that their colours on the internet should also be used by people who do not have a PANTONE fan in their hands.

Price table of PANTONE Connect: If you need all functions, you have to dig deep into your pocket.

PANTONE Color Manager discontinued

The popular PANTONE Color Manager was also discontinued. This software was available to anyone who bought a PANTONE fan. An individual code was printed on the back of the fan, with which one could download the PANTONE Manager and get it running. Once installed, you could access all current fans, colours and key colour definitions in RGB and CMYK and export all PANTONE colours as LAB, CMYK and more as ASE and ACO for Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. If you now call up the Color Manager website, it says: Product set.


But maybe that is exactly PANTONE’s new approach: We are so big, we can afford everything. Just like Adobe: nothing works without a subscription. But while Adobe has really set standards in the graphics sector, PANTONE has not necessarily stood out as the indisputable “Biggest Global Player in Colour” in recent years due to its often short-term actions.

Let’s see how the next months turn out. It is not impossible that PANTONE will have to row back. If a licence-free colour system like the free colour CIELAB HLC colour system should ever gain a foothold, then hard times are ahead for the licence-driven systems. If more companies open up to such duel-open, transparent and yet precise and predictable solutions, then PANTONE will quickly be on a difficult track. Because when it comes to colour, it is certainly difficult to regain market share once lost. Also noticeable:

PANTONE Connect rated very poorly

If you search for PANTONE Connect in Adobe’s extensions, reading the ratings will bring tears to your eyes. At the tool Ekomi, which we at Proof GmbH use for rating collection, the best rating score is only up to 4.8 out of 5 stars. And below 4 out of 5 stars, everything is rated as a disaster. And PANTONE Connect: 1.9 out of 5 stars. In other words: absolutely miserable.

Read more

Adobe Software Without PANTONE Colours

CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas XL Colour Wheel v1

This was not the announcement that was expected: As of March 2022, new Adobe software products will no longer include included PANTONE colour libraries. Adobe said: “In March 2022, Pantone colour libraries pre-installed in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Color and Adobe Capture will be removed from future software updates.”

That Adobe and PANTONE have become increasingly estranged in recent years has been noticeable for some time.

The integration of current PANTONE libraries was sluggish or, in recent times, no longer automatic; anyone who wanted current libraries had to export them via the PANTONE Color Manager and import them into Adobe software … a tedious and error-prone system. Presumably, however, it was the licensing costs that prompted Adobe to take the final step. The clear leader in software production was probably simply tired of being bullied by PANTONE in terms of licensing law and took the logical step: no more PANTONE palettes for Adobe products.

Will the users care? Anyone who has designs in PANTONE colours in their computer still has all the colours available in their software, every AI or EPS from Illustrator placed in InDesign has the PANTONE spot colours created there imported directly back into InDesign. And another colour is also quickly created manually – well, maybe not with the latest LAB values from PANTONE, but a CMYK equivalent from the gut is also good to be able to see the colour at least halfway on the screen. So I don’t think the phone lines will be ringing off the hook because our customers can no longer find their PANTONE colours.

But nevertheless: it is a shift in paradigm that Adobe is carrying out here:

After all, PANTONE has not been able to improve as much over the years as the industry had hoped. Holger Everding from freieFarbe summarised this appropriately in his blog entry. He writes:

“The lack of quality of the system should be known to most readers of these lines:

  • confusing variety of colour guides and the colour tones they contain
  • the associated incomplete software integration
  • lack of accuracy and high metamerism of the colour guides and shades, due to various manufacturers with different papers and pigments
  • very restrictive licensing policy, no freely accessible source for colour values”.


But does the rift hurt PANTONE or Adobe?

I am divided on this. Presumably both partners will quickly get their act together: PANTONE will certainly take the understandable path of changing and softening the restrictive licensing policy of recent years: they must offer more standard features free of charge for all users. Small businesses and designers in particular want to and can pay my monthly subscription costs for the non-slimmed-down version of Adobe Connect. After all, Pantone is just a guide, there are many other ways to determine colours. And Adobe? Adobe will certainly take the opportunity to put out feelers for practical alternatives to PANTONE and implement them voluntarily in Adobe in order to free itself from PANTONE’s licensing pressure. After all, competition is known to stimulate business. And once free colour systems such as the free colour CIELAB HLC system were integrated into Adobe, PANTONE would surely quickly understand that they do not have a “monopoly” on special colours, on the contrary:

If Adobe were to integrate freely available, precise and transparent colour systems into their software, PANTONE would finally have to take the overdue steps to position itself better and more consistently in order to ever find its way back into Adobe software. If this does not happen, PANTONE will quickly become one of the dinosaur colour systems that have not survived an impact. Because better, more open and more transparent systems are not only waiting in the wings: they already exist today.


PDF 2.0 and PDF/X-6 – The New PDF Standards

PDF 2.0 Standard: The new standard for PDF files

PDF 2.0 Standard: The new standard for PDF filesFor 20 years now, PDF/X standards have been available for the printing industry and have enjoyed great popularity. Now, with the introduction of PDF 2.0 in 2017, another milestone in PDF standards has been introduced, having been developed by numerous PDF experts over many years. And just recently, the ISO published a new revision of PDF 2.0. Soon, the new printing standard PDF/X-6 will also take shape, which contains several innovations in detail compared to PDF/X-3 published in 2002 and PDF/X-4 adopted in 2008. The old PDF standards will retain their validity, but the new ones will certainly find their way successively into the software and processes of the printing industry.

New in PDF 2.0:

  • PDF/A-4 according to ISO 19905-4:2020 – PDFs for archiving
    • The creation of PDF/X-4 data for long-term archiving is getting leaner, as some specifications have been dropped. Digital signatures are facilitated, form fields are now supported.
  • PDF/X-6 according to ISO 15930-9:2020 – PDFs for professional printing
    • The most important innovation is the page-based output intent: A brochure whose cover is printed on coated paper and the inner part on uncoated paper can now be exported as one PDF file with two output conditions: PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3, mixed according to pages. Previously, a file could only contain one output profile. Also new is the depth compensation and the embedding of spectral data for spot colours according to CxF-4. This makes it possible to transfer spot colours with a spectral definition and not just write a LAB or CMYK value into the PDF. Also new is the support of multicolour profiles, i.e. ICC profiles with more than four colour channels. The new PDF/X-6 standard is very similar to PDF/X-4 in many aspects.
  • PDF/VT-3 according to ISO 16612-3:2020 – PDF exchange format for transactional printing
    • The term transactional printing may not be familiar to many media designers. It covers the printing and processing of data for the creation and printing of invoices or account statements, for example. Transactional printing refers to all processes, i.e. from the export of data from an SAP system etc. to the printing, processing and dispatch by post or email to the return of the dispatch into SAP. The new VT-3 PDF standard specifies the parameters for this variable, transactional printing.
  • PDF/R-1 according to ISO 23504-1:2020 for scanning in PDF data
    • A brand new standard is the R-1 PDF standard, the “raster” standard. Developed by the Twain people, it is only relevant for the creation of raster image documents, i.e. scans of pages or images.

The most important innovations for us in the printing sector with the introduction of the PDF 2.0 standard are, of course, the PDF/X innovations with the leap from PDF/X-4 to PDF/X-6, which is being developed on the basis of PDF 2.0.

  • Page-related output conditions: The best examples of applications in these areas are certainly brochures with covers: If, for example, the cover was previously printed in 4/4 colour on glossy picture print and the inner section on uncoated paper, then this could only be realised via two PDFs, one for the cover, one for the inner section. Now a brochure PDF can carry both output conditions, even a colourful cover and a black and white inner section can be combined into one PDF.
    But in application we would certainly like to use this for typesetting work at any time. For us in proofing, this probably has little practical effect, because coated and uncoated paper would also be printed on different proofing papers, so we would have to split the one file into two proofing jobs. Of course, we could also go the comfortable way and proof the uncoated paper on a proof paper for coated paper, but this would not be very comfortable for the viewer in terms of the effect. Sampling a natural paper interior from a natural paper proof onto the production paper is much more coherent and visually better. In laser print-based environments, however, individual paper trays and processing methods of a printer could be assigned to profiles, for example, so that these features could be better used here in daily work. Up to now, this could be done via a job ticket that was created and processed with the PDF file, but now it could be done directly in a document.
  • Spectral data according to CxF-4: Spot colours can now be defined spectrally. The new CxF-4 format, which has also become an ISO standard, is used for this. This is certainly important in two cases: On the one hand, spectral data can contribute to a more precise colour definition of spot colours than pure LAB, RGB or CMYK values are capable of. Especially on modern seven- and multi-colour printing systems with their enormous colour gamut, almost the entire PANTONE colour palette can be reproduced. Especially here, the use of spectral spot colour definitions would certainly prove its worth.
    For us, this is not really an issue in proofing at the moment, as we will probably see little spectral data in customer data. However, in our special applications such as the HLC Colour Atlas or the production of calibration targets for customers, we could well imagine the more frequent use of spectral data. In the new generation of ICC profiles, multicolour ICC profiles can also be used, and the colour sequence in the printing units and the overprinting behaviour can now be better defined. Here, too, we are curious to see how the latest developments will find their way into our work.

Sphere Head Spectrophotometers and Specular Component explained

Specular Component Spectrophotometric Measurement SCI / SPIN and SCE / SPEX explained

Different surfaces can influence both the colour and the appearance of objects. A colourful and glossy object will usually appear more saturated to the eye, while a similar object with a matte, diffuse surface will appear duller.

If you form a glossy, a semi-matte and a matte surface from the same black plastic, the glossy surface will often appear blackest, while the very matte surface will appear much lighter. The same effect can be reproduced with film lamination of prints: a glossy laminated dark blue or black appears more saturated and darker, a matt laminated black becomes lighter and greyer to the human eye due to diffuse light refraction.

Humans perceive the colour of objects through the light reflected from them, and different surfaces reflect light differently. In general, therefore, there are two ways in which light is reflected from an object: The specular and the diffuse reflection.


Specular and diffuse light reflection of matt and glossy objects

Specular reflection

Specular reflection occurs when light is reflected from the light source at an equal but opposite angle. Simply put, you can think of it as a ball bouncing off a smooth floor and bouncing back at the same angle. This reflection occurs mainly on objects with shiny, smooth surfaces.

Diffuse reflection

If, on the other hand, the reflected light is scattered in numerous different directions, we speak of diffuse reflection. This reflection occurs on objects with matt and irregular surfaces. A ball would bounce off such a surface – for example, an irregular floor consisting of numerous pyramids of different sizes – sometimes at one angle and sometimes at a completely different angle.

Spectrophotometers with an integrating sphere

Today, when colour and gloss are to be evaluated in global supply chains and on different surfaces, this is often done with sphere head spectrophotometers such as the KonicaMinolta CM-26d, with which we at Proof GmbH have also measured the semi-matt and matt free-colour CIELAB HLC Colour Alas XL. With the d:8° geometry and the integrated 60° gloss sensor, which can handle both the SCI – “Specular Component Included” and SCE – “Specular Component Excluded” measuring modes, this measuring device can measure colour and gloss within less than a second without having to use an additional measuring device for gloss and always having to be set up and aligned again. KonicaMinolta CM26d Kugelkopf Spektralmessgeraet mit SCI und SCE Messung: Messung des freieFarbe CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas XL KonicaMinolta CM26d Kugelkopf Spektralmessgeraet mit SCI und SCE Messung: Displayanzeige KonicaMinolta CM26d Kugelkopf Spektralmessgeraet mit SCI und SCE Messung: Beim CK-26d kann durch eine zurückschiebbare Klappe direkt in die Ulbricht-Kugel gesehen werden, und so der Messausschnitt durch die Kugel noch einmal visuell kontrolliert werden.
With the KonicaMinolta CM-26d it is possible to look directly into the integrating sphere through a flap that can be pushed back, and thus the measuring section can be visually checked and readjusted through the sphere once again.

With integrating sphere measuring instruments, the surfaces to be measured are usually illuminated at all angles and measured at an angle of 8 degrees from the vertical axis. This measurement condition is referred to as d/8 or d:8. Most of the integrating sphere measuring devices such as the CM-26d can measure with or without a gloss component as previously described.
In contrast, the 45/0 models used in the printing industry such as the X-Rite i1 Pro2 always measure without the specular reflection. The reflection of the sample surface is therefore perceived differently by the optical geometries d:8 with gloss component – SCI – , d:8 without gloss component – SCE – and 45/0 respectively.


Specular Component Spectrophotometric Measurement SCI / SPIN and SCE / SPEX explained

SCI measurement mode

To measure the true colour of an object without the influence of surface texture, the Specular Component Included (SCI) measurement mode is used. SCI mode includes both specular and diffuse reflected light and is ideal for quality control and colour quality monitoring.

  • Illuminates the sample evenly from all sides.
  • Takes into account the total surface reflection.
  • Has good repeatability and is insensitive to surface variations or artefacts.
  • Does not perceive gloss differences of the sample and therefore does not simulate visual assessment.

SCE measurement mode

The Specular Component Excluded (SCE) measurement mode, on the other hand, which excludes specularly reflected light, is used to evaluate the colour of an object to match the visual perception of the human eye. In SCE mode, a glossy surface is typically measured darker than a matte surface of the same colour; similar to how the human eye sees it. This mode is typically used in quality control testing to ensure that colour matches colour standards through visual inspection.

  • Illuminates the sample evenly from all sides, but not in the reflection angle of the measurement.
  • Excludes specular surface reflection, although usually not completely
  • Includes diffuse surface reflection.
  • Is somewhat sensitive to surface variability and unevenness.
  • Measures the colour of a surface similar to how the human eye sees it. parcel labels: Now paper instead of plastic More eco-friendly shipping labels made of paper instead of plastic

We have found a more environmentally friendly parcel sticker for our brown shipping boxes: Instead of a classic PVC sticker, we can now save the environment a little plastic with a paper label produced in offset printing, without compromising on quality and appearance. Admittedly, perhaps not a big step. But every small contribution helps to save our environment a little bit. More environmentally friendly parcel labels made of paper instead of plastic


We have always used electricity from 100% hydroelectric power, print invoices and letters using energy-saving inkjet printing and have switched our IT to increasingly energy-saving computers, servers and NAS devices.

In addition, for the past two years we have been participating in the German Packaging Act through our partner Veolia, with the aim of minimising the impact of packaging waste on the environment in Germany.

Our annual disposal contribution serves to implement Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. The aim is to further increase recycling rates in Germany. / Proof GmbH is a Member of Fogra Proof GmbH Tübingen is a member of Fogra Research Institute for Media Technologies e.V. Proof GmbH Tübingen is a member of Fogra Research Institute for Media Technologies e.V.Proof GmbH is a member of Fogra – Forschungsinstitut für Medientechnologien e.V.. Why? In recent years, we have been able to draw on the support of Fogra with numerous projects, or work together with Fogra, for example for Fogra58 beta – Textile-RGB (where Matthias Betz was also able to report on our experiences as a speaker at the Fogra Colour Management Symposium 2020 in Munich as part of the presentation “Proofing of Fogra58beta”) or have contributed test prints and proofs to the research project “11.004L – Improving the printability and readability of bar and 2D codes in inkjet printing”.

In addition, we have been certified by Fogra every year since 2013 for the production of proofs ( and are very grateful for the services of Fogra, which confirm the quality of our proofs every year, also externally.

Our most important contact person, Dr. Andreas Kraushaar, has often promoted membership to us, and now we have actually taken the step, although we still think that the membership fee is poorly structured, especially for small companies like Proof GmbH (companies with 1-100 employees pay the same membership fee) and we would like to see a more favourable entry. But on the other hand it is true: Fogra with its expertise, its competence and its always competent, helpful, quick and fit contact persons like Andi Kraushaar, Yuan Li and many more also deserves the support of companies that benefit from Fogra’s activities like we do.

We would therefore like to thank Fogra for all the support we have received and knowledge we have gained over the years. From now on, we are a member of Fogra and look forward to many more discussions, projects, ideas and initiatives.

New at The EPSON SureColor SC-P9500 Spectro Our new EPSON SureColor SC-P9500 Spectroproofer

For whatever reason: December is traditionally the month in which we make the most important new acquisitions. In order not to break with this tradition, the new proof printer generation from EPSON moved in with us this year: The SureColor SC-P9500 Spectroproofer.

Unpacking traditionally has to be done in front of the door, we wouldn’t be able to get the printer into the office on the two-metre-long pallet, but once it’s on rollers, it works fine. Our new EPSON SureColor SC-P9500 Spectroproofer

The new SureColor P9500 complements our range of SureColor 7000 and 9000 proof printers and, above all, hopefully brings us a further plus in speed, especially for larger jobs. Thanks to a newly developed and now fully loaded print head with 12 inks with up to 800 nozzles each, it is said to print up to 2.4 times faster than our other proof printers, which is particularly advantageous for large proof volumes.

An overview of the most important new features of the EPSON SureColor 9500

  • High productivity thanks to higher production speed
  • Reliability thanks to better automatic jet inspection and dust protection
  • LCD display with 4.3 inch (10.9 cm) touch panel
  • Simultaneous use of glossy black and matte black, eliminating the need to switch inks
  • Lighting at the paper feed for better visibility of the printing process
  • Prints now fall on the reverse side in the delivery, which should reduce scratches
  • Higher print resolution with 1200×2400 DPI
  • “Black Enhancement Overcoating” technology for higher perceptible black density

We are currently still in the process of measuring the large number of media we use on the new printer and gaining experience with the new proof printer. Many of the “advantages” are not really relevant for us, as we have very specific requirements in proof printing. In terms of gamut, i.e. the maximum colour space that can be achieved, we were unfortunately unable to determine any real gain. According to our measurements, the colour space has changed marginally compared to the previous proof printers, but not really increased.

2.4 times the printing speed does not automatically mean that the proof printing will also be faster … 🙂

For example: Admittedly, the printer prints much faster than our other printers. But in return, it takes much longer to transport the proof paper to the fans for drying, and the subsequent measurement of the media wedge also takes longer than on the 7000 and 9000 systems. For an A4 proof with media wedge and test report, the 9500 is only 8 seconds faster, taking just over 8 minutes. In other words, the higher print speed is almost completely lost in other areas.

Therefore, A4 proofs will not be the domain of this printer, but rather we will try to proof the larger formats on the 9500, where the speed advantage comes into play more.

This reminds me a little of the upgrade to Fiery 7, which was supposed to be up to 5 times faster than the previous version with FastRIP technology. In fact, the FastRIP technology was and is so error-prone that we were never able to use it, as we felt that every 20th job was processed incorrectly or could not be processed at all. On the other hand, with the version upgrade, the entire proofing software became considerably slower … So for us as non-FastRIP users, all that was left on average was a slower system.


And so we are still making our experiences with the new proof printer. The first conclusion we can draw is that many things are better, some are worse and some are simply different. The fact that the printer is still quite new is also evident from the fact that new media updates are constantly being added. We have already run some good jobs through the printer and it has not disappointed us. In this respect, the first conclusion looks fairly optimistic.

Proof GmbH 2020 once again Fogra and Fogra “Spot Cert” certified Proof GmbH Fogra Certification 2020 according to Fogra Spot Cert for ISOCoatedV2, PSOCoatedV3, PSOUncoatedV3 and eciCMYK-v2 Proof GmbH Fogra Certification 2020 according to Fogra Spot Cert for ISOCoatedV2, PSOCoatedV3, PSOUncoatedV3 and eciCMYK-v2

This year we have again submitted proofs for Fogra certification. We thus prove that we not only deliver excellent proof quality through internal quality controls and checks, but that the quality of our proofs is also confirmed by an external body. We have therefore had proof prints certified for the seventh year in a row. Already in 2019, we have also been certified for the representation of spot colours (“Spot-cert”), and in 2020 we were the first company ever to add the Fogra-59 certification:

  • We were certified for the new Fogra 59 eciCMYK-V2 standard for the first time
  • We have again carried out a certification for PANTONE spot colours for all four printing conditions, the “Spot cert”. We certified the spot colours PANTONE 2270 C, PANTONE 151 C and PANTONE Cool Gray 6 C for the proof standards ISOCoatedV2, PSOCoatedV3 and eciCMYK-V2 and PANTONE 2270 U, PANTONE 151 U and PANTONE Cool Gray 6 U for the standard PSOUncoatedV3.

The quality of our prints and our spot colour reproduction of PANTONE colours has been confirmed to us by Fogra for all four proof standards.

You can download the complete 14-page test report from Fogra here. 

We have implemented the new certifications on the current software revision Fiery XF 7.1.3 and on the papers EFI Gravure Proof Paper 4245 Semimatt, EFI Proof Paper 8245OBA Semimatt and EFI Proof Paper 8175OBA Matt.

Publication of Fogra 56/57 for Glossy and Matte Film Lamination of PSOCoatedV3 Prints

Offset film lamination with matt or glossy OPP film of a print according to Fogra51 PSO Coated V3

A few days ago Fogra published the characterisation data for the new printing standards Fogra56 and Fogra57 while ECI provided the respective ICC profiles for download on the website.

FOGRA56 and FOGRA57 are the separation and printing standards for matte and glossy film lamination of “PSO Coated v3” / Fogra51 prints.

Offset film lamination with matt or glossy OPP film of a print according to Fogra51 PSO Coated V3
Offset film lamination using matt OPP film on a print according to Fogra51 PSO Coated V3 | shutterstock | zefart

At, with regard to the two predecessor standards Fogra49 and Fogra50 for glossy and matte film lamination of ISOCoatedV2 / Fogra39 prints, the majority of inquiries were for the standard for matte film lamination only, as this is where the greater and more difficult effects occur with regard to colour changes due to the lamination process. Particularly in the area of colour-critical prints, such as catalogues for the automotive industry, extensive tests are sometimes carried out with different film laminations in order to be able to recognise and compensate for differences between a normal matte film lamination and a scratch-resistant matte OPP lamination, for example. We also expect a higher demand for consulting and proofing for Fogra56 and Fogra57 for matte film lamination.

The European Colour Initiative ECI states on its website that the differences between different glossy films are rather small, while matte films are available in very different opacities. According to the ECI, the “average” matte film used as a reference in FOGRA56 leads to a lightening of ∆L* = 6 in the black solid tone and fits well with typical production. The lightening is lower with more transparent foils and higher with matte foils. In order to be able to assess one’s own films, the ECI recommends measuring the black solid tone before and after finishing on the same field on the same sheet.

You can download the new finishing profiles here from the ECI or from You can find the matching characterisation data here on the Fogra pages.

Fogra56 / PSO Coated V3 Matte Laminate

The ECI offset profile PSO_Coated_v3_Matte_laminate.icc is based on the characterisation file “FOGRA56.txt” and applies to the following printing conditions according to the international standard ISO12647-2:2013:

  • Commercial offset, premium coated paper, dot gain curve 2013-A, followed by matte film lamination (typical OPP matte film 15 μm with medium opacity ~70%, i.e. lightening ΔL* = 6 on black solid after finishing), white measuring base.
  • The profile is consistent with the PSOcoated_v3.icc profile and shows the matching glossy finished result.
  • The profile was calculated using Heidelberg ColorToolbox 2019 with the following settings: Black length 9 (insertion point 10%), Black width 10, max. area coverage 300%, max. black 96%.

Fogra57 / PSO Coated V3 Glossy Laminate

The ECI offset profile PSO_Coated_v3_Glossy_laminate.icc is based on the characterisation file “FOGRA57.txt” and applies to the following printing conditions according to the international standard ISO12647-2:2013:

  • Commercial offset, premium coated paper, dot gain curve 2013-A, followed by glossy film lamination (typical OPP glossy film 12-15 μm), white measuring pad.
  • The profile is consistent with the PSOcoated_v3.icc profile and shows the matching gloss finished result.
  • The profile calculation was done with Heidelberg ColorToolbox 2019 with the following settings: Black length 9 (insertion point 10%) , Black width 10, max. area coverage 300%, max. black 96%.


Proofs according to Fogra56 and Fogra57 for matt film laminated or glossy film laminated prints according to Fogra51 can now be ordered directly in the Proof Shop at

PANTONE Metallics and Premium Metallics combined in one fan

PANTONE Metallics Solid Coated fan by PANTONE

PANTONE has combined and supplemented its two metallics fans “PANTONE Metallics Coated” and “PANTONE Premium Metallics Coated” into one fan. On the one hand, a new metallic base colour, “PANTONE Rose Gold 10412 C” has been added to the existing “Premium” base silver “PANTONE Silver 10077 C”, adding 54 new metallic shades. On the other hand, the two previous fans are now separated according to Metallics base colours, the fan is divided into two areas: Into one Metallics area for “packaging” and into one for the classic “printed graphics”.

The 354 high-gloss, durable metallic packaging colours are based on the two premium metallic base colours PANTONE Silver 10077 C and PANTONE Rose Gold 10412 C and form the front part of the fan. Fan pages with the 54 new colours are now marked with a black square on the top pagination to make the new colours easier to recognise, a good idea in my opinion. The 301 metallic spot colours for advertising graphics are based on the seven classic, “old” PANTONE gold and silver shades with PANTONE 871 C to PANTONE 877 C and form the back part of the fan.

Printed graphics PANTONE Metallics (previously referred to as “Metallics”)

Metallic inks for non-packaging projects Marketing and sales materials, publishing and literature. The colours are based on the seven classic PANTONE Gold and Silver Shades 871 to 877 C.

Packaging PANTONE Metallics (previously referred to as “Premium Metallics”)

Metallic packaging inks for packaging printing. These former “Premium Metallics” colours are created with the basic colours Pantone Silver 10077 and Pantone Rose Gold 10412. These special inks are made with pigments that are easier to process with water-based and UV varnishes. The varnish seals the inks, this protects the inks and thus provides the protection that is often required in the packaging sector. According to PANTONE, the new inks offer

  • Better print results
  • Greater brilliance
  • Higher gloss
  • More durability
  • Less leafing and tarnishing in the long term

According to PANTONE, the inks used to produce these inks (if my memory serves me well, from Sun Chemical) are somewhat more expensive, but are also suitable for a wide range of aqueous and UV coatings.

PANTONE and EFI? No chance.

After having implemented the new PANTONE colours in our proofing system over the past few days via a difficult update from Fiery XF, we noticed that the new Metallics colours were still missing.

Currently, the PANTONE Metallics colours for packaging printing are not yet supported by Fiery XF, and there are no plans to support them, according to Fiery Support. For us an incomprehensible decision. Admittedly, metallic colours cannot be reproduced in the proof anyway, as only the colour but not the metallic gloss can be reproduced. For us as a service provider, however, this decision by EFI means that we – when customers order proofs with Premium Metallics colours – have to create them manually with LAB values in the job, because our proofing software will not recognise all current PANTONE colours, but will mark them as unknown special colours and refuse the proof.

Since the current PANTONE V4 colour palettes can only be integrated into the Adobe product palettes with considerable effort on the part of the users, it is not quite clear to me whether the lack of colours in Fiery is due to a profit-driven, ostentatious PANTONE licensing policy or a miserly, ostentatious EFI product policy. However, be sure:

We at will provide the service and also offer these colours for the proof. We owe this to our customers.

Barcode Check: New in ISO 15416:2016 New criteria for barcode checking according to ISO/IEC 15416:2016

The “ISO/IEC 15416:2016 – Information technology – Automatic identification and data capture methods – Test specifications for bar code print quality – Linear symbols” specifies the current criteria for testing bar codes. ISO 15416:2016 replaces ISO 15416:2000 and defines modified bar code quality calculations for some areas. During the barcode check by Proof GmbH, barcodes are checked according to the current criteria of ISO 15416:2016.

An overview of the most important changes in ISO 15416:2016:

  • New criteria for barcode checking according to ISO/IEC 15416:2016Four of the seven barcode parameters – symbol contrast, modulation, defects and decodability – were previously graded by whole numbers, so the evaluation could be 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4. With the adoption of the ISO/IEC 15416:2016 standard, evaluations are now graded to one decimal place. So under the old standard there were only five possible parameter gradations (0/1/2/3/4), now there are forty-one (0.0/0.1/0.2 etc. to 4.0).
  • This also changes the rating with letters. Since this is even less precise than the evaluation by numbers, it is omitted in the new standard, whereby the usual letter notes can still be provided for information purposes. However, the nominative standard must be given as a decimal number.
  • Defects are now calculated methodically differently. A defect is a light spot on a dark bar or a dark spot on a light surface. If a defect was at the edge of a bar or a gap, the old standard gave a worse rating than the same defect that was further from the edge. The calculations in the new ISO/IEC 15416:2016 standard describe the effects on the readability of the barcode much more accurately.

The new calculation methods lead in some cases to a higher averaged score for the barcode compared to the method described in ISO 15416:2000.

We have also updated our REA TransWin 32 evaluation software to the latest version and also provided our barcode checking device with a firmware update.

Order Barcode Checks for EAN13 and EAN8 Codes in our Proof Shop



eciCMYK_v2 / Fogra 59 Available for Proof

The new CMYK exchange colour space eciCMYK v2 (FOGRA59) is the successor of eciCMYK (FOGRA53) from 2017. The new “V2” profile is based on the revised characterisation file FOGRA59. For the same colour space, the new profile offers a significantly modified and improved grey axis, which now contains the familiar cyan, magenta and yellow components from classic printing processes. Thus eciCMYK v2 offers a further advantage besides a large colour space and proofability. Practical tests with various digital printing systems have shown that, in addition to the conversion from “ISO Coated v2” to “PSO Coated v3” data, the assignment of the new CMYK exchange colour space profile also enables improved output on digital printing systems with a larger colour space: the printed image appears richer in contrast, with brighter colours. The icc-profile “eciCMYK_v2.icc” can be downloaded from the ECI in the download section.

Proofs in the eciCMYK_v2 colour space can now be ordered in the shop at

WordPress Cookie Plugin by Real Cookie Banner