By Ron Ellis, Idealliance PPC Chair, and Tim Baechle, Idealliance CEO

The Idealliance Print Properties and Colorimetric Council (PPC), whose work is done entirely through global collaboration with contributions from the top color scientists, consultants, OEMs, brands, service providers, creatives, educators, and global innovators, recently held a meeting at Kodak in Vancouver, Canada. Before we talk about what the PPC is up to, we would like to provide a little information about the PPC. The PPC is a global think tank, within the think tank of Idealliance, and works on projects under one of the Core Values of Idealliance, which is “Our Work Matters,” because the work produced within PPC has literally transformed the global print and packaging industry.

The PPC produces standards, specifications, datasets, profiles, targets, research, and the globally leading practices in order to propel the industry forward, all of which is done through the service of those that give their time for the betterment of the industry and others, sharing knowledge, and truly making “our work matter.” It is a group of more than 200 individuals from all parts of the supply chain from all over the world. Meetings are held several times a year in person, as well as monthly, via online conference calls. The PPC is a place where all member views and voices are welcome. Many significant initiatives have come out of the PPC, including: the recent TC1617 target (proposed IT8/7.5), IT8/7.4, SCTV (ISO 20654), GRACoL®, SWOP®2013, ISO/PAS 15339 (the 7 Characterized Reference Print Conditions), PRX and PQX (XML metadata exchange for the packaging supply chain working its way through ISO as 20616-1 and 20616-2), ISO 19303-1 (Packaging Printing Color Reproduction), and an incredible number of other standards, initiatives, and implementable actions increasing efficiency. PPC works closely and in parallel with CGATS/USTAG on print standards and specifications that are then chosen to propose to ISO TC 130, where Idealliance has eight ISO Experts on the ISO TC130 Committee and is a Liaison “A,” as well as countless others who serve on the PPC who are also ISO Experts on the ISO TC130 Committee.

Idealliance Print Properties & Colorimetric Council Objectives

The objectives of the PPC are:

  • Perform development projects on new and current industry topics.
  • Provide the industry with leading practices, guidelines, specifications, standards, tools, information, and methods to create extraordinary efficiencies within the industry.
  • Provide application support for end users including calibration, specification, and design creation all the way to production excellence.
  • Create global standards and work in collaboration with global standards bodies for the betterment of the industry as whole.

Idealliance Print Properties & Colorimetric Council Goals

The specific goals of the PPC are:

  • Provide value to the entire global industry, not just member organizations.
  • Thrust the industry forward.
  • Increase efficiency of all aspects of the supply chain where possible.
  • Enrich the life of organizations and individuals through knowledge sharing and education.
  • Maintain PPC as a place where everyone is welcome and ideas and open discussion can flow.

The PPC is a place where you can be involved in projects that propel the printing and packaging industry, as well as learn from some of the sharpest minds in the industry and collaborate with world class companies. We have personally found the most fulfilling thing about the PPC is being involved in projects that change how we work as an industry. When we are at client sites, we frequently see them using ideas and standards that came from the PPC. If you are an Idealliance member, consider joining the PPC and becoming part of the future of print.

Current Projects of Idealliance Print Properties Council

Some of the PPC projects currently underway include:

Expanded Gamut PrintingThe ECG project has been working on standardizing expanded gamut printing for offset, flexo and digital print. The project includes a universal seven-color characterization target, a seven-color proofing control strip, seven-color datasets, and a guide to seven-color calibration.

New CRPCs including a Universal Digital Dataset: The Print Properties Council is also looking at future datasets to better meet the needs of the print community. Although the XCMYK and ECG datasets (including a CMYK version for digital print) provide some larger spaces for wide gamut digital use, many users still want a wider gamut CMYK profile and translation space. Idealliance is working on a larger gamut print and translation space based on the widest known print devices. This larger G7 color space will allow for print without clipping the gamut of digital devices, as well as retaining a visual connection to the existing CRPCs and G7 color spaces.

G7®and ICC Profiling: A research project to document whether or not G7 improves ICC profiling results is being conducted by the Print Properties Council and Ryerson University. It has been believed that doing G7 before profiling results in better ICC profiles. This research project aims to determine if doing G7 results in better ICC profiles. The research is taking place at Ryerson using a variety of print devices, as well as analyzing live data provided by a number of large printers who use multiple calibration and profiling techniques.

Working with Spot Colors: The Print Properties Council is also looking at better ways to work with spot colors. These projects involve looking at further improvement in ways to specify and communicate spot colors as well as tints of spot colors.

TC1617 (proposed IT8.7/5) and datasets: The Print Properties Council will soon release new IT8.7/5 (TC1617) versions of the datasets to accompany CGATS 21. These provide complementary data for those creating and editing profiles.

Updated Paper Calculation Spreadsheet: In addition to updating the datasets, the Print Properties & Colorimetric Council is also updating the M1 Substrate Relative Correction spreadsheet to contain the full IT8.7/5 (TC1617) datasets. This will allow users to work with the full IT8.7/5 (TC1617) datasets, as well as produce profiles and data that will provide necessary data for quality applications, as well as improved profiling.

PPC also has many smaller projects focused on helping end users apply these methods, specifications, and standards. These “how to” documents, videos and tools assist users in understanding and using leading practices. These include an updated Guide to Print Production, updated guides on how to configure Adobe CC, and additional projects.

We are also working to make the meetings easier and more accessible. Sometimes travel time and costs to attend these meetings can limit the number of attendees. Coming up during the next year, these meetings will be streamed live with both video and audio, as well as topics timed so members can call in for pertinent topics. In addition, the Print Properties & Colorimetric Council holds scheduled teleconferences every month and will be recording event video, as well as posting documents, research and standards as they have done for decades.

One of the greatest pleasures we have is working with the other individuals who make up PPC. They range from the deep thinkers, such as physicists and scientists who are committed to standards and leading practices, to ordinary practitioners who are deeply experienced in print production workflows, all of whom give their time, their thoughts, and respect to the others in the room as well as the industry. These individuals are the engine that drives PPC.

If you are interested in joining PPC, please email [email protected] and visit and found out more about Idealliance and how the work being done is truly Powering the Supply Chain®.