Idealliance releases XCMYK expanded gamut dataset

XCMYK is a four-color printing method, a dataset, and an ICC Profile


The XCMYK dataset and profiles can reproduce a larger gamut than that of GRACoL, the industry’s current standard for print quality. The XCMYK dataset and profiles can also be used directly in digital front-ends for presses, proofers, and other devices. Profiles can be used on traditional four-color presses as well as on a variety of digital devices to produce a colorspace larger than current traditional printing.

Tim Baechle, Idealliance director of Global Print Media Markets and Technologies says, “GRACoL continues to meet the quality needs of the majority of printing today, but many devices can now print to a larger colorspace. Because of this, Idealliance and its GRACoL Working Group sought to develop a colorspace for the future that can be used both by digital devices as well as traditional offset presses.”

The output space of XCMYK represents an expanded gamut based on 26 dedicated pressruns conducted on offset presses using standard IS0 12647-2 compliant inks and non-traditional screening, as well as a wide variety of digital devices. The project was overseen by the GRACoL Working Group and a special task force of more than 100 professionals from 88 companies, and conducted over a 15-month period in 2015-16 involving test runs from all over the world, including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Canada, and the United States.

The XCMYK project involved significant contributions of pressruns, time, labor, and raw materials from printers, manufacturers, and Idealliance volunteers, with total time and raw materials estimated at more than US$ 350,000.

XCMYK Expanded Gamut printing represents just one part in a series of Idealliance expanded gamut initiatives. The Idealliance Print Properties and Colorimetric Council and GRACoL Working Group is conducting a traditional expanded color gamut (CMYK+OGV) research and education project, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

With the introduction of XCMYK, Idealliance is making profiles, datasets, and basic information about calibration and profile use available.