Ghent releases GWG2015 PDF Specification

Ghent releases GWG2015 PDF Specification

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Ghent
David Zwang, chairman of Ghent Workgroup

The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) has released the GWG2015 PDF Specification for print and packaging production. The new GWG2015 PDF Specification describes file setting and workflow processing requirements necessary to achieve the highest quality production and exchange efficiency of PDF files. Compliance with the new GWG2015 PDF Specification ensures quality consistency across the supply chain up to printing and publishing.

The GWG2015 Specification is built on the modern ISO PDF/X-4 standard, and adds a number of specific requirements for different market segments, called variants. The variant ‘family’ covered by the GWG2015 PDF Specification is heatset and coldset printing – it includes more conservative variants restricted to the use of CMYK and more progressive variants allowing wider gamut color spaces for image content.

The GWG2015 PDF Specification for packaging addresses offset, gravure and flexographic printing. Leading the creation of this specification were the chairs of the packaging committee, Steve Carter from PhotoType and Lieven Plettinckx of Esko. They comment, “Because of the unique requirements inherent in the process, we needed to develop a dedicated PDF Specification for packaging. Built upon the ISO PDF/X-4 standard, the GWG2015 PDF Specification for packaging meets that need and addresses the specific issues relevant to package and label production.”

David Zwang, chairman, Ghent Workgroup comments, “The GWG2015 PDF Specification was developed to keep up with the changing state of technology and the market demands. The significant change in the 2015 specification was related to what constitutes the safe color spaces and conditions that can be used for reliable reproduction. In addition, there were other minor changes that are designed to address user feedback on the GWG2012 specification.”

Within the GWG2015 PDF Specification, the GWG defines a number of guidelines, which support different market segments, output processes or workflows. A magazine advertisement workflow has totally different guidelines than a commercial sheetfed workflow. Practical examples of requirements include the color spaces allowed in a PDF file, or the image resolution required for images in a particular type of workflow. PDF Specifications also feature page and text scaling, overprint, and ink coverage, as well as ICC profile usage.

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The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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