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President David Zwang talks about what's new with the Ghent Work Group

Published on March 24, 2011

David Zwang updates Cary about the goings on at the Ghent Work Group including expanding beyond just PDF workgroups into packaging and adding spectral colors.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, Cary Sherburne and Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I’m pleased to be here with David Zwang, who is the Chairman of the Ghent Work Group, used to be called the Ghent PDF Work Group.

David Zwang:  Yes, it did.  And that was before we decided that the world is bigger than just PDF.

Cary:  Well, there you go.  Don’t say that too loud, our friends in San Jose might not like that.

David:  Yeah.

Cary:  But maybe you could talk to us a little bit about some of the newer initiatives.  You know, we’ve talked before about the great work that the Ghent Work Group is doing in terms of standardizing various processes, but what’s new?

David:  Well, I guess, I mean, we’re continuing to do a lot of the work that we’ve always done, with regard to best practices and specifications in PDF work flows, etc.

But I think that we’ve kind of taken it to the next level in a number of different specific verticals.  For example, packaging.

Cary:  Okay. 

David:  We started doing work with packaging a number of years ago and we’ve expanded that work considerably to the point where we’ve actually started to get to the core of the obstructions, if you will, from complete adoption of PDF work flows in packaging, some of those centered around special colors, spot colors, and how those get defined and handled within the PDF work flows.

Cary:  Okay. 

David:  We’re working with the international standards bodies and as a matter of fact, the next version of PDF currently being worked on in the ISO 32,000 committee.  We’ll have a provision to allow spectral color use as an identification.  Now, this has wide implications beyond just packaging, because obviously anybody who is working in print who needs to identify special colors currently was limited in terms of what they could do, so we’re working with them on that, and that’s a big one.

Another big area that we’ve been working on is the XMP job tickets and—

Cary:  And XMP?

David:  Oh, the Extensible Metadata Platform.

Cary:  Thank you.

David:  Which was originally developed by Adobe, actually introduced in 2005 in Photoshop, I believe it was, and now it is actually also going to ISO.

Cary:  Okay. 

David:  So it will be an international standard.  And we’re working with, as a matter of fact, I’ve got a meeting with the Immediate 21 Group, which is the major magazine players in the US on developing a better way to expand beyond just ad delivery, direct ad delivery, the work flow, the job ticketing.  So we’re using XMP for job tickets in ad delivery, soft proofing, and universal proof of pre-flight.

Cary:  And the other thing, as you get more into packaging, would be the whole idea of 3D, too, right?

David:  Well, that’s coming down, and it’s interesting, as we, once we get past this color issue, which is really a big issue, it opens up a whole other host of types of environments we can work in because currently the definition of color and the ability to pass that information across, and also the ability to see it, was limited to the RGB space or the LAB space, and that was very difficult.  By using spectral, all of a sudden we have what color is all about, it’s about waves.  And once you’ve got that, you can define just about anything, so using something that was developed there originally by XRite and also went into ISO that went to into standards, something called CXF, we’re able to take all this information now and package it into a PDF.  So you can take it through the entire work flow, the whole channel.

Cary:  That’s great.  And if people want more information about your group, GWG.org?

David:  GWG.org, lots of free stuff up there, come on up, take a look.

Cary:  That’s great, thank you.

David:  Oh, thank you.

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