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SWOP Advances Specifications to Meet Today's Industry Needs

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Alexandria, VA, USA. February 20, 2006 -- SWOP (Specifications for Web Offset Publications), one of the family of IDEAlliance print initiatives, today announces changes that herald but will have made the leap from the existing TVI-based specification to a set of new specifications based on spectral data that can reliably provide for the close visual match that industry has been seeking for today's publication printing environment. When SWOP merged with IDEAlliance in 2005, SWOP set plans to aggressively set a new course to better serve the publication printing industry. According to Nubar Nakashian, Executive VP of Tanaseybert, LLC and Chairman of SWOP, "Working within the IDEAlliance infrastructure has provided synergy for both SWOP and IDEAlliance programs. We are working together to extend the reach of specifications and guidelines across the printing industry. SWOP has accepted the challenge to update its specifications to represent the state-of-the-art in today's publication printing environment." Recommendations for defining new SWOP paper stocks and adoption of the G7 calibration, printing and proofing process control methods to conduct a series of SWOP publication press runs on web presses are among today's announcements. Acceptance of New Paper Specifications The SWOP Advisory Board recently voted to accept the recommendation of the SWOP Technical Committee and the IDEAlliance Print Properties Committee for defining new SWOP paper specifications that will include both a #5 grade groundwood publication printing paper (Monterey Gloss a paper that meets the SWOP Specification) and a new #3 grade paper (Fortune Gloss the paper chosen for the press run) favored by many as their proofing stock of choice for monthly publications that print on papers closely resembling those characteristics. It is important to note that any paper meeting the Specification is acceptable for use in SWOP proofing. After testing and evaluation, the SWOP Technical committee chaired by Neil O'Callaghan and Steve Smiley presented the results of the Certified Press run conducted at CRW Graphics in Cherry Hill, NJ in late 2005 to the Board. The press run was supervised by Joel Rubin, past chair of SWOP, and Don Hutcheson, Hutcheson Consulting and Chair of the GRACoL Committee, utilizing the new G7(tm) methodology that defines gray balance along with target neutral print density curves for three-color gray and black as the primary target for color control as opposed to the current method that focuses on ink density and TVI (formerly known as dot gain). The CRW press run has validated ANSI / CGATS TR 001 as the characterization data synonymous to "SWOP" proofing on #5 grade paper. As a result of this work, the SWOP will support both #5 and #3 grade papers within SWOP Specification. Errata, updating the SWOP Specifications to include the #3 grade paper has been posted to the SWOP web site and will be included in the 11th Edition. SWOP plans to update the Digital Calibration Kits for distribution through www.printtools.org in the near future. SWOP Proofs on Fortune Gloss (#3 grade papers) The most commonly asked SWOP support question is "How can I make a SWOP proof?" The acceptance of the brighter #3 grade paper by SWOP adds an alternative for SWOP proofing that the industry has been asking for. Beginning in 2006, either a #5 or a #3 sheet can be used to create a SWOP Proof. Of course the proof must be made on a SWOP Certified Proofing System according to the Application Data Sheet that specifies the correct setup for that proofing system. SWOP Web Press Runs in 2006 As part of its commitment to update SWOP specifications to meet the requirements of today's publication printers, SWOP, working with the IDEAlliance Print Properties Committee, is initiating a series of press runs on web presses to develop an idealized characterization data set for both the #5 and #3 grade papers. These runs are noteworthy because for the first time publication press runs on web presses will serve as the basis for defining the specifications for both SWOP proofing and SWOP printing. Following the G7(tm) calibration and process control methods that make use of spectrophotometry and CTP, the goal is to establish new visual-appearance-based SWOP specifications designed to enable printers quickly and accurately replicate the visual appearance of imagery from proof to press. The final data from these press runs will be used to derive ideal target neutral print density curves for three-color gray and black that will be published as the new SWOP 11 Specification later in 2006. It is likely that that the new characterization data will also be submitted through the IDEAlliance Print Properties Committee to CGATS for consideration as a new Technical Report which may be a revision to TR 001 or an entirely new TR. David Steinhardt, President and CEO of IDEAlliance commented, "We believe the new research that has been launched on behalf of SWOP is a very positive step. By the end of 2006 we look forward to not only establishing specifications for new paper types, but will have made the leap from the existing TVI-based specification to a set of new specifications based on spectral data that can reliably provide for the close visual match that industry has been seeking."




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