Alexandria, VA, June 13, 2005. The International Digital Enterprise Alliance (IDEAlliance) today announced that the GRACoL (General Requirements and Applications for Commercial Offset Lithography) Committee has broken new ground in its most research press run held June 2 and 3 at Komori North America. GRACoL is conducting research press runs during 2005 to develop their new specification and working guidelines for consistent, high-quality commercial color printing with a comprehensive view of how to print a color managed press sheet to optimize visual appearance.
This year, GRACoL has conducted a series of press runs to research and develop an unambiguous description of how good commercial printing "appears" to the eye, on a Number 1 sheet. The heart of this "print appearance" specification will be to develop a new, visually acceptable characterization data set to replace DTR004. The second purpose of these test runs is to develop some relatively simple calibration and process control methods and aim points that will help end users accurately replicate the specified appearance on any press or proofing system. The final data from the press runs in 2004 - 2005 will form a body of work to be published as the GRACoL 7 Specification in late 2005.
To date, GRACoL Press runs have been conducted at Sandy Alexander, Integrity Graphics, MAN Roland and LAgraphico. According to Gerry Gerlach, Co-chair of the GRACoL Committee, "In the GRACoL press runs, we have broken from tradition by focusing on colorimetric data for grey balance in the mid-tones rather than on the densitometric aims for each color." Gerlach continued, "Each press run has added to our body of knowledge and we now have a much clearer idea of how a typical high quality commercial printer prints. We are coming closer to standardizing our definition of gray balance and are working to define new aims and achieve even smoother curves that reflect much better the typical performance of today's commercial printers."
The most recent GRACoL Press Run at Komori North America broke new ground on a number of fronts. This press run enabled the GRACoL Committee to not only employ their new GRACoL color methodology for calibrating the press, achieving gray balance to the mid-tones, and matching the TR001 curves to achieve a visual match on the first day, but to duplicate the effort by completing a second, confirming press run that achieved a similar visual match on the second day as well.
Stephan Carter, President, Komori America Corporation stated, "Komori is pleased to support the GRACol committee and their commitment to defining and refining printing standards that will help our customers achieve predictable results press run after press run. It is important that when industry standards are developed that a printer's interests are heard, and at Komori we feel our participation helps to voice those interests and needs of the printer."
According to Don Hutcheson, Chair of GRACoL, "Perhaps the most exciting advance from the Komori run is that we had the opportunity to refine our TR001-based curve to more closely match the average curve of several existing ICC profiles developed by the ECI (European Color Initiative). The change was subtle, but we felt it actually improved the appearance of the GRACoL sheet, while simultaneously aligning the proposed new US commercial printing standard more closely with the goals of the newly-formed "Printing Across Borders" initiative (PAB), of which IDEAlliance GRACoL, ECI and the Ghent PDF Workgroup are founding members. (For more information on PAB, go to www.backandforth.org.)
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