PRESS Release: GRACoL® Launches G7™ Press Pre-Qualification Project


For Immediate Release
G7 Media Contact:
Dianne Kennedy

*GRACoL® Launches G7™ Press Pre-Qualification Project*
*G7 Works When the Press Works!*
*Alexandria, VA, March, 20, 2008.* IDEAlliance today announced that its GRACoL Committee is launching a new activity to assist printers in qualifying their presses for G7 Calibration. The new G7 press pre-qualification toolkit will provide guidelines and tools to help printers access the readiness of their press to undergo G7 calibration.

After nearly two years of on-press G7-calibration experience on over 200 presses worldwide, the GRACoL Committee has learned some critical lessons. The first lesson was that G7 alone is not enough. Good printing techniques must be practiced on a daily basis if the true benefit of G7 is to be realized. The second lesson is that a stable, well-maintained press is critical to the success of the G7 calibration process. According to Gerry Gerlach, Integrity Graphics and Chair of the GRACoL Committee, “While most printers keep their presses well maintained, the truth is that some printers do not. When a G7 calibration is attempted on a press that is not stable and well maintained, the exercise quickly runs into significant difficulties. A requirement to assess press performance prior to a G7 calibration comes from industry professionals who assist printers to achieve G7 calibrations on a daily basis. It is a significant concern and a disappointment for a printer to attempt G7 calibration without success. We hope that our new G7 press pre-qualification project will address this issue.”

*The GRACoL Press Operator’s Guide Project*
During the summer of 2007, the GRACoL Committee worked to address the first consideration by developing the Press Operator’s Guide to Color and G7. GRACol members joined other industry associations to complete this project to provide guidance to the pressman so that G7 techniques can be used along with process controls defined in ISO 12647-2 on a daily basis. The goal of the Press Operator’s Guide initiative was to identify current pressroom best practices and specify a new set of best practices to implement G7 techniques press side. According to Dianne Kennedy, the IDEAlliance GRACoL Program Director, “The experience of our printer and press manufacturer members shows that G7 techniques are not incompatible or in competition with the best practices defined by ISO 12647-2 and widely implemented around the world. By documenting these best practices along with additional G7 best practices for the press room, IDEAlliance hopes to provide a much needed bridge between G7 and ISO 12647-2 process controls so that pressmen can reap the benefits of both sets of process controls being used in tandem.” The Press Operator’s Guide to Color and G7 can be downloaded from
G7 Press Pre-Qualification Project

The IDEAlliance GRACoL Committee is now launching a new activity to address the second item of concern—the readiness of a press for G7 calibration. Experience has shown that G7 calibration is not possible if the press cannot reach and maintain gray balance and exhibit a stable printing condition. The committee’s new project is to develop guidelines and tools to assist printers in pre-qualifying their press prior to attempting calibration to G7.

The G7 pre-qualification toolkit will consist of easy to follow steps that will help printers audit press performance and provide the printer with a G7 readiness assessment. If the press achieves a favorable rating, the printer is ready to proceed with G7 calibration. However if faults are discovered, the printer will be advised to seek professional assistance to tune the press before proceeding with the calibration. Anyone who is interested in participation should contact Dianne Kennedy.
Jeff Collins, Quality Control and Color Manager, Print Fulfillment Services, and co-chair of the GRACoL Committee will be leading the press pre-qualification activity. According to Collins, “I am excited to help provide new tools to printers that will not only ensure they can successfully calibrate their presses to G7, but also quickly diagnose problems that may go undiscovered and silently compromise the quality and efficiency of the printer.”

*About G7™*
G7 is an IDEAlliance specification that outlines methods to calibrate proofing systems and presses based on principles of digital imaging, spectrophotometry, and computer-to-plate (CtP) technologies. The goal of G7 is to simplify calibration and help printers reliably achieve a close “visual match” from proof to press and from press to press. G7 is intended to be in compliance with the ISO 12647 Standards and has incorporated aim values from ISO 12647 into their process. G7 is unique, however, in that it breaks from tradition by focusing on colorimetric data for gray balance in the mid-tones, image contrast and image weight in a precise and 100% colorimetric manner rather than relying totally on densitometric aims, i.e. dot gain, for each color which alone does not define vital visual metrics of an image. With G7, widely different printing processes can share not only common gray balance, but also common tonal contrast and image weight, regardless of paper type, ink quantity, screening type or imaging technology. This “shared appearance” concept offers a significant new default compatibility benefit when exchanging files between different imaging systems. G7 is currently being applied to many types of printing including commercial and publication printing, newsprint and even flexo and gravure. G7 is the trademark and intellectual property of IDEAlliance.

Note: Although G7 was developed by the efforts of the GRACoL Committee, it should not be confused with GRACoL. G7 is a trademark of IDEAlliance. Learn more at
About GRACoL®

In 1996, a graphics arts task force was formed by the Graphic Communications Association (now IDEAlliance) to develop a document containing general guidelines and recommendations that could be used as a reference source across the industry for quality color printing. Since that time, the GRACoL Committee has developed, maintained and published printing guidelines that have since become de facto standards on many pressrooms. The mission of GRACoL is to improve communications and education in the graphic arts by developing best practices and specifications that reflect the influence and impact of new technologies in the workflow of commercial offset lithography. GRACoL is a registered trademark of IDEAlliance. Learn more at
About IDEAlliance

IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance) is a not-for-profit membership organization that has been a leader in information technology and publishing since 1966. IDEAlliance advances core technology to develop standards and best practices to enhance efficiency and speed information all facets of publishing – creation, production, management, and delivery of knowledge-based content – digitally and in print. IDEAlliance members represent a unique convergence of the leading brand owners, agencies, publishers, printers, materials suppliers and solution providers. IDEAlliance provides a user-driven, cross-industry, and open environment in which its members can strategize, innovate, standardize, and implement solutions to real business challenges in publishing. GRACoL, SWOP, and G7 are all specifications developed by IDEAlliance working groups and committees. See for more information.

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Re: PRESS Release: GRACoL® Launches G7™ Press Pre-Qualification Project

After all this time, you say the GRACoL committee has just learned that the press needs to be more consistent? Who would have guessed that.

It is good to get the press to be more stable and consistent but even if it is maintained properly, the modern offset press is still NOT Statistically Capable of producing consistent visual results.

This is not a matter of maintenance but a matter of the design of the technology. It could be a lot better but the industry consistently goes to "band aid" remedies instead of attacking the fundamental problems that cause variation and the lack of predictability.

These band aid remedies, which there are many, are based on assumptions about the process which are not true and this usually results in less than satisfactory results. And when the results are not good, something else must be at fault.

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