Current Proof Standards 2024

Offset and Newsprint ISO Coated v2 (ECI) / ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI) Profile: ISOcoated_v2_eci.icc Standard for glossy and matte coated paper Paper: Types 1 and 2, gloss and matte coated Tone value increase curves A (CMY) and B (K) as defined in ISO 12647-2:2004 Characterisation Data: FOGRA39L ISOUncoated Profile: ISOUncoated.icc Standard for uncoated white natural paper Paper: paper grade 4, uncoated white offset, dot gain curves C (CMY) and D (K) from ISO 12647-2: 2004 Characterisation Data: FOGRA29L PSOCoatedV3 / Fogra 51 Profile: PSOcoated_v3.icc The successor of ISOCoatedV2 for glossy …

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Scheufelen Heaven 42 Heaven42 Comparison with digital proof from Proof GmbH

Heaven 42 proofs on proof paper with optical brighteners

The Proof GmbH provides proofs for Scheufelen Heaven 42 papers on the new EFI 8245 OBA proofing paper. With this new proofing paper it is now possible to proof the bright-white paper dye of Heaven42l. With Heaven 42 a bright white paper was developed by the German paper company Scheufelen, which opened up a new color whiteness. Especially technical motifs (shades of gray, silver tones from 4c, strong contrasts) act on Heaven 42 particularly brilliant and neutral. With an unchanged separation (eg with ICC profile “ISOcoated_v2”), but the printed image with the …

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Is it possible to proof on special paper such as production paper?

“We print 135gr/sqm on a Berberich Allegro. Can you make us a proof on this paper? Can you proof on our final production paper?”

Our telephone support often asks for a proof on production paper. Unfortunately, we always have to answer the question negatively. I would like to briefly explain the reasons for this in the following article.

Proofing on production paper is still technically impossible.

All proofing systems currently certified by Fogra are based on an inkjet printer as a test printer, mostly from Epson, Canon or HP. These printers are characterised by a large colour space, good resolution and excellent homogeneity and colour stability – all characteristics that are absolutely necessary for a proof printing system. The Epson systems used by the majority of proof printers are based on 11-colour pigment inks, which can reproduce a significantly larger colour space than e.g. ISOCoatedV2. However, the prerequisite for this is the use of special papers optimized for inkjet printing, in which the pigments and inks are optimally emphasized. This requires special coatings that are optimized for optimum reproduction, fast drying, good abrasion resistance and high UV stability of the print. On an image printing paper without these coatings, the ink would run, hardly dry and would not be smudge-proof. The color space would also be impossible to achieve. A proof would therefore not be possible from this point of view.

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Create EAN / GTIN codes: Tips for graphic artists

EAN codes are standard on every product today. While in the good old days, shopowners themselves typed the prices into a cash register by hand, today scanner cash registers are the rule, which scan standardized EAN codes with a laser and thus clearly recognize the article and add it to the receipt.

EAN, by the way, stands for “European Article Number” and was replaced in 2009 by the global GTIN, “Global Trade Item Number”. The EAN or GTIN is a barcode that can be read automatically and read by barcode readers.

For graphic designers in Europe, two standards from the almost infinite number of EAN codes in use worldwide are primarily important in the product area. EAN 13 and EAN 8, i.e. a barcode of either 13 or 8 digits. What do these numbers actually mean?

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Onlineshop for colour accurate contract proofs -

Order Proofs: is online

From now on you can conveniently order proofs at At is available under a comfortable online shop with numerous benefits available: Convenient Data Upload: Each item one or more files can now be uploaded. So you can assign your data directly to the individual proofs. Payment by Paypal, direct debit, invoice etc .: You are on with Paypal and direct debit payment methods more available. Of course you can continue to conveniently order proofs on invoice. See Previous orders, invoices, data uploads: You can always check your …

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The proof is much darker than the image on my monitor. Why?

Customers are often unsettled when they hold a proof in their hands. “The proof of the picture is much darker than the picture on my monitor. Why is that so? And what do I do now?” There are many possible reasons for a deviation between the proof and, for example, the monitor display: The monitor is not calibrated Only calibrated monitors can accurately display color. When I buy a cheap monitor and connect it to my computer, I definitely can’t see any real color. As a rule of thumb, only …

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My customer wants to print on a tin can. Pantone? CMYK? Can this be simulated in the proof?

Requests such as the proof of a printed tin can often reach us. Why can’t such a printed can be “proofed”? A proof is a standardized product. Take the classic ISOCoatedV2 proof, for example; the standard proof for coated printing paper. Here is the definition in brief: “Paper type 1 and 2, glossy and matt coated paper, dot gain curves A (CMY) and B (K) from ISO 12647-2:2004” (Source: Metal is printed with a varnish. Neither the colour of the metal of the tin can nor the colour of …

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A proof without profile. Is that possible?

Proofing service providers are often asked the question: “I have to have a proof done, but I don’t know for which profile. Can I also have a proof made without a profile?” Proofs are standardized products that are created and tested according to a certain set of values. This is exactly the point that distinguishes them from any “colourful printouts”. Specifically: A proof for coated printing paper is produced according to the standard values of ISOCoated V2 (paper type 1 and 2, glossy and matt coated image printing, dot gain …

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Paper white simulation of PSOUncoated

Since 2009 PSOUncoated has been the standard profile for uncoated paper. Nevertheless, proof service providers often have the problem that at first glance proofs on PSOUncoated often differ significantly from the print result. Immediately visible: the white point of the paper. The PSOUncoated paper white looks very grayish. If, for example, PSOUncoated is proofed on an EFI 9120 XF paper, which actually has a neutral white coloration as paper, then the paper must be recolored by the printer in terms of paper white. This paper-white simulation makes the proof look …

Read more Packaging of a Proof/ Digital proof

What’s a proof for? The most important reasons for proofing!

A proof is reassuring: The proof shows the colour result of the subsequent printing. The customer knows exactly the later result from the proof and is reassured. The printer knows that the customer knows the proof and is also reassured. A proof is fast: Ordered today, delivered tomorrow: Modern proofing service providers work quickly and produce hardly any loss of time in the design and printing process A proof is precise: All professional service providers nowadays work with proof printers that are recalibrated at short intervals. A media wedge with …

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Softproof – opportunity or risk?

Softproof means: The correct color display of a printed product on a monitor. Both a standardized print, e.g. according to process standard offset printing, can be simulated – e.g. a later offset print according to ISOCoatedV2 can be simulated correctly in colour on the screen – and the output on digital terminals such as LFP systems in advertising technology. From a technical point of view, soft proofs are now well controllable. The monitor technology is advanced enough to provide excellent displays with a high color gamut and consistent illumination even …

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Embed profiles for proofing? Yes or No?

The question often arises whether color profiles should be embedded in the PDF files for proofing. To answer the question, you have to get some answers: The proof should simulate the subsequent offset printing. For offset printing, with few exceptions, the imagesetters have been configured so that a 70% black in the file is displayed as 70% black on the printing plate, no matter what profile was specified in the file. It didn’t matter whether it was coated paper or uncoated paper: 70% in the file corresponded to 70% on …

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Depending on the selected setting, the EAN lines in proofs are displayed smoother or less smooth. It is clearly recognizable that the modules are built up by many colours and especially within the narrow black lines a considerable increase in width takes place. Normally, a narrow black EAN bar should correspond to the width of the white space in between.

Verifiability of GTIN codes in proofing

Proofing service providers are increasingly required to be able to display “verifiable” GTIN codes, i.e. barcodes in the proof. The background to this is that especially the big german discounters like Aldi, Lidl, Hofer & Co. want to see a packaging proof from their suppliers in advance for approval. This packaging proof is not only visually assessed according to colour, but also the legibility of the printed EAN codes is evaluated using a measuring device and must meet certain criteria: Symbol contrast, modulation, decodability, defects, blemish: all this is measured …

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What data should I give for proofing?

A proof is suitable for two types of color control: firstly, during the creation or retouching phase, e.g. to reconcile a color retouched image with the original, and secondly to check the final data directly before printing.

For control proofs during the data creation of a project, the data format usually does not matter. Whether PDF, JPEG, TIFF; EPS, PS or even PSD… Many proofing companies accept a variety of data formats. For a correct evaluation of the result, however, it is important to proof in the color space in which the print product is also created later. Data for a letterhead should therefore be proofed in ISOUncoated or PSOUncoated, while products printed on image printing paper should be proofed in ISOCoatedV2. For yellowish paper, newsprint or gravure printing, there are many other profiles for which a proof can be produced. You can find a good overview of the current proof profiles here. It is also important that the proof format and the final print format do not differ too much. Only in this way is a correct check possible.

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Can spot colours be proofed?

Since many printed matter contains spot colours such as Pantone or HKS, the question often arises whether these colours can be proofed at all. The answer is “no”. Only an approximate simulation of these colors is possible.
The reason: Each special ink is a specially mixed, “real” ink and therefore cannot be mixed from the 4 printing inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).

Today, modern proofing machines have up to 12 different printing colours and, in addition to the classic primary colours, also have, for example, orange and green and violet as real colour pigments in the machine. Proof printers such as the Epson SureColor P9000V are therefore capable of displaying significantly larger color spaces than, for example, ISOCoatedV2. The spot color simulation in these devices is therefore sometimes very good when controlled via a Contone driver, which can access the entire color space of the proof printer. Epson himself points out, for example, that “98% of all Pantone colors” can be covered. This may be doubted, but a number of over 90% of all Pantone colors is realistic from our point of view.

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Embed fonts, convert them into paths or rasterize them?

To ensure secure data exchange between customers and proofing service providers, fonts must be embedded, converted into paths or rasterized. This ensures that it is and remains exactly the same font and exactly the same style. How do I do that? With InDesign and QuarkXPress, you select the PDF/X-3 standard when exporting data. For Illustrator and Freehand, select the font and select “Convert font to paths” from the menu. In Photoshop, select the text layer, right-click on it and select “Rasterize Text”.  

Ugra Fogra-MediaWedge V3.0 and measuring protocol

What is the UGRA-Fogra Media Wedge 3.0 used for?

Every print shop in Germany adheres to a predefined standard, the process standard offset printing. This standard defines target and tolerance values for printed products. In order to prove that your proof delivered to the print shop meets these standards or is within the tolerances, the media wedge is measured and the values analysed in case of doubt – i.e. in case of a streak. If these measured values are correct, the print shop is obliged to adhere to and achieve these values. Practice generally shows the following: If you …

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Ugra Fogra-MediaWedge V3.0 and measuring protocol

How colour-accurate are proofs?

A proof is prepared according to the currently valid ISO standard 12647-7 and is legally binding with a UGRA-Fogra media wedge and measurement report. How does this check work? If you need a proof with UGRA/Fogra Media Wedge CMYK V3.0, there are two ways to add the test report to your data. With proofing devices in which a measuring device is integrated, the media wedge with 3×24 standardised colour fields is printed directly under the proof data. This media wedge is driven directly in the proofing device to a kind …

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What is a Contract Proof? Softproof? Validation Print?

Very simple: A proof is the simulation of a later print, either as soft proof on the monitor or as contract proof, validation print or as form proof on paper. Softproof: A softproof is the color-accurate representation of the print on a monitor. This can be done either at the agency or directly at the printing machine, for example, so that the printer can coordinate the production run with the soft proof. Contract Proof: The “highest” level of proofing: A contract proof is a very high-quality simulation of the subsequent …

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