Monday, January 10, 2011

What Defines Accuracy?

The idea behind G7 Neutral Print Density Color Control Methodology is: If our workflow is calibrated to neutral, any file we send through the process will come out neutral and accurate to the file. In Figure 2, I would remove the color cast in these images, but our job is to give the file's creator an accurate reproduction of their file. The constant questions challenging printers are: "Which one is accurate?" "Are my printing presses or prepress procedures adding the cast?" "Is the client's file yellow cast or blue cast?"

Print A in Figure 3 is correct to the client's file, printed with no cast added by the printer. I know this because the G7 Gray Bars prove the press is producing neutral results. Print B shows an example of a color cast to blue. If the client submitted a file with a blue cast, I would print it with a blue cast if my printing workflow prints to neutral. As stated previously, the definition of accuracy is printing to "neutral print densities."

Don Hutcheson, a top industry consultant, applied this definition to the most useful and accurate print methodologies in the world: G7. When a printer understands this simple concept, their print control world quickly becomes manageable. Also, you will not spend late nights at the press trying to understand why you can't match intended color targets. Remember this: The more confidence you have in your ability to accurately represent the original, the more profitable graphic reproduction becomes. Printing to G7 Neutral Print Densities provides this tool.

{ Continue Reading |, "Maximizing Print Accuracy with G7" }

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What is G7 and Why Should You Care?

If you are a print buyer or graphic designer, and the term “G7″ elicits a confused “Say what?” from you … read on.
papertip1The term is new for many in the industry, and it’s often confused with “GRACoL” and “GRACoL 7.” Time to fix that! For this Tip, I interviewed Randy Allen, digital prepress manager of Concord Litho in Concord, NH. Randy served on two G7-related panels at the 10th annual PIA Color Management Conference in Arizona in December. Concord Litho earned its G7 Master Printer status last November.
MD: Randy, make believe our readers know nothing about G7. Please define it for us.
Print buyers, agencies and marketers want to be able to make things “look the same,” regardless of where or how they’re printed. G7 is an improved method for matching color across multiple devices. It’s all about calibrating printing presses and proofing systems with the goal of repeatable, consistent color and images from proof to press, press to press and even facility to facility. The G7 specification is managed by IDEAlliance, and the biggest breakthrough is its emphasis on gray balance “target values” to monitor and control color.
The ‘G’ stands for the new calibrating Gray values and the ‘7’ for the core colors in our ISO printing rainbow . . . Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y), Black (K), Red (M+Y), Green (C+Y) and Blue (C+M).
For print buyers, G7 means that if you are working with two or three firms – say one in New Hampshire, one in Chicago and one in Texas – and all of them are G7 Masters, you can be more confident that the vibrant reds and yellows in your new marketing campaign will “visually match” across all three locations, regardless of whether it’s printed heatset web offset, sheetfed, inkjet or digital … and whether it’s a point-of-purchase display, brochure, self-mailer or packaging.

{ Continue Reading | Margie Dana, "What is G7 and Why Should You Care" }

Friday, January 7, 2011

Buyers Dig Certificates

Fact of the matter is, there are a lot of people in the industry who can’t pick up the minor, subtle differences between proof and press. And those people are your existing or potential clients. But buyers, by nature, are drawn to certifications, qualifications and embossed stamps that declare someone or something as having been validated by an expert. That gives them the peace of mind to do business with a company that’s touting a quality logo.

“I can think of a number of times in recent months where (G7 qualification) has been a factor, particularly in the business development environment,” notes Bill Tucker, executive vice president of sales for Cincinnati-based Berman Printing.

“It establishes a certain amount of credibility. We use our G7 logo prominently in our marketing materials, when we do sales presentations and on our Website. Frankly, I’m surprised at how many times it’s come up. Potential clients and existing customers who really don’t understand what it means have latched onto G7 as a way of finding quality printers.”

{ PI World | G7 Qualification: The Art of Maintaining Color }

Joe Fazzi of IDEAlliance explains what G7 is

{ Read Transcript | }

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why are print buyers making G7 a requirement?

Typically a print-buy is either distributed geographically or distributed across different print types. So, for example, a buyer may want to purchase marketing collateral, packaging and signage with the same brand imagery. Clearly the substrate, gamut and other print characteristics will vary for the different print products. But if all the print products have the same gray balance and neutral tonality defined by G7, they will look remarkably alike to the human eye. Because buyers believe the similarity of the visual appearance across print products is critical, they now make G7 a buying requirement.

{ TEC Color Craft | G7 Frequently Asked Questions }

Origins of the G7 Process

In 2004, the IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance) GRACoL® (General
Requirements and Applications for Commercial Offset Lithography) Committee,
published a characterization data set, based on a sheetfed offset press run, that the
committee believed represented good commercial printing on a #1 coated sheet for
commercial printing. Almost immediately this data set was deemed to be unacceptable
by the printing community. When the GRACoL Committee went back to the drawing
board its next attempt to define specifications for commercial printing took a radical
turn that even today has printers and the print-buying community abuzz.

Their development of a radical, new proofing and printing methodology grew out of a
demand from the print-buying community for a closer “visual” match between proofs
and the final printed product. The effort was guided, in part, by one of its co-chairs,
Anthony Bellacicco, then Director of Prepress Services, Foote Cone & Belding, New York.
Anthony strongly advocated developing not only new aims for commercial printing, but
a new process that would assure him of a closer visual match between the vision of the
creative and the finished product on press.

The GRACoL team was rounded out by its chair, Don Hutcheson, a leading color
management consultant and Gerry Gerlach, a printer and former scanner and digital
photographer. This team lead a series of 19 research press runs to refine the G7™
Proof-to-Print Process and to develop a characterization data set for commercial
printing on a #1 coated sheet that will be published as GRACoL 7.