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Joe Fazzi of IDEAlliance explains what G7 is and talks about their third summit

Published on October 21, 2010

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I’m here with Joe Fazzi, who is the Vice President of Print media for IDEA Alliance.  Welcome. 

Joe Fazzi:  Thank you. 

Cary Sherburne:  So I understand that you’ve had a very successful G7 Conference and you’ve done a few, but this is the first time it’s been done on the tradeshow floor at Graph Expo, but before we get into all of that excitement, maybe you could explain for those who, just bring us all up on the same level, what is G7?  What does that mean? 

Joe Fazzi:  G7 stands for Grayscale and the seven ISO inks, but it’s a methodology for balancing or managing the grayscale in any time of output device, so any type of print process.  It could be screen, flexo gravure, offset, digital. 

Cary Sherburne:  Okay. 

Joe Fazzi:  It’s a way for us to gray balance an image, typically let’s pretend it’s a brand owner image and there’s recognition color in there and then you can go to various output devices and know with confidence using proper color management in addition to gray balance that all that imagery will have a common visual appearance; a common neutral appearance across those. 

Cary Sherburne:  Okay.  And so, this isn’t exactly a brand new concept, right?  It’s been around for a while. 

Joe Fazzi:  No, you know if you look back in time, you know, photographers used grayscales in all of their photography to make sure that they had their proper exposures done.  It’s just we’re applying it a little bit differently, but there’s also some new technology out.  You know, we have spectrophotometers that is an instrument that measure color and we’re much more keener, scientifically about what that – what’s going on.  So we’re talking the guess work out of color management, we know now what it is and how to predict it. 

Cary Sherburne:  So it becomes a scientific process rather than a more of an art. 

Joe Fazzi:  it is.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah. 

Joe Fazzi:  Yeah, I’ve been accused of taking the craft out of color and I’m just taking the guess work out. 

Cary Sherburne:  There you go. 

Joe Fazzi:  The craft is still you know, getting the paper through the equipment, imaging it properly, converting everything at the end.  That’s still – the craft is still there. 

Cary Sherburne:  So maybe you could talk a little bit about what went on at the conference here, how many people you had, and so on and so forth. 

Joe Fazzi:  And we’re just having a blast.  The G7 summit, this is our third year. 

Cary Sherburne:  Okay. 

Joe Fazzi:  Last year I asked GSAC if we could have the summit here at Graph Expo.  With the economy going the way it is, we wanted to provide an arena for people to come to a conference, learn, and also see things first hand.  What we’ve done unique this year is we’re having free learning labs.  So we have educational sessions and we’re having hands on demonstrations, 30-minute labs that are sponsors are also exhibitors here at the showroom floor.  So we’re not asking our sponsors to spend additional holding it offsite somewhere, at a different date, different time.  It’s a win-win for everybody.  We’ve had great attendance and our – the attendees have been extremely responsive in that, “Gee, Joe, I would not have been able to come to Graph Expo and your summit at the same time.”  And so we’ve given them that opportunity to come and see everything. 

Cary Sherburne:  And then when they leave here, particularly as a result of the summit, they have some distinct actionable things they can take back to the plant to actually implement it. 

Joe Fazzi:  Absolutely.  They’re really learning hands on.  They are. 

Cary Sherburne:  Now at some time in the past, I’ve written quite a bit about G7 and a couple of the print companies that were early adopters of the process and it’s not a standard, it’s a process. 

Joe Fazzi:  It is a process or methodology.  We’re working on it to see if we can get it as a standard.  We’ll probably call it shared neutral appearance if we can get it through as a – we’ll start as a specification and we’re working closely with ISO on the TC130 working groups to see if that can be adopted as a standard. 

Cary Sherburne:  But there’s actually a document in place that kind of takes people through step-by-step what you need to do, right? 

Joe Fazzi:  We have what we call a G7 how to that does that.  Absolutely. 

Cary Sherburne:  Okay.  That’s great.  And where can people get a hold of that? 

Joe Fazzi:  Our IdeaAlliance.org website.  It’s available for purchase. 

Cary Sherburne:  For purchase.  Okay

Joe Fazzi:  Yeah, for our printtools.org website. 

Cary Sherburne:  And then next G7Summit? 

Joe Fazzi:  2011. 

Cary Sherburne: Probably here in this –

Joe Fazzi:  Oh, I hope so.  I think what we’re going to do, we did – our theme this year was workflow from creative through print, and next year I’d like to focus on ISO standards and a lot of people I don’t think realize that everything we do, including G7 is pointing to ISO and I think they need to understand why we’re pointed to ISO and what’s behind, you know, it’s the guy behind the curtain thing.  And also we’re working on our process control certification program called PSA, we partnered with RIT, the Rochester Institute of Technology to develop a process standards audit certification program for the industry. 

Cary Sherburne:  That is great.  Well great work. 

Joe Fazzi:  Thank you. 

Cary Sherburne:  I’m glad you were able to share it with us. 

Joe Fazzi:  My pleasure. 

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