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Ghent PDF Workgroup Announces New Organizational Structure and Executive Committee Personnel

Press release from the issuing company

DRUPA 2004 – Düsseldorf (Germany) - May 6, 2004 - After nearly two years of growth and progress in establishing well-received, industry-wide specifications and processes for PDF-based digital file exchange, the Ghent PDF Workgroup has announced an important restructuring of its organization, as well as the recent election of executive committee members. In addition, three European printing and publishing associations and six industry suppliers were voted in as new members. The new organizational structure took effect April 1, 2004. The three new workgroup members are as follows: • FICG (French Printing Federation), representing 1,300 printing companies; • VIGC (Flemish Innovation Center for Graphic Communication), representing 250 members in Belgium; • PPA (Periodical Publishers Association), representing 300 UK magazine publishers. This brings the current total number of industry association members to 17, representing tens of thousands of graphic arts and publishing professionals in eight European countries and the US. In addition, under the restructuring, for the first time industry suppliers were allowed to join. The initial group of supplier members are: Agfa, Adobe Systems, Artwork Systems, Creo, Enfocus Software, Esko Graphics, Global Graphics, Screen and pub-specs. The new members spoke out in support of the workgroup’s primary objective: “In a highly competitive industry, standardization and automation are the keys to profitability,” said Eddy Hagen, trendwatcher of VIGC. “With open workflows, where customers deliver so-called ‘press-ready’ files, standards like PDF and PDF/X Plus are essential. VIGC has long advocated the PDF/X Plus specification, and now as members of the Ghent PDF Workgroup, we can participate in the creation of the specifications themselves.” Andy Psarianos, Head of IT and Project Management at F.E.Burman Limited and a member of the PPA's pass4press committee is optimistic about membership of the Ghent PDF Workgroup. "The PPA members can only benefit from this association," says Psarianos. "The advantages will be significant if we can all work towards collaboration and the creation of sets of guidelines for file transfer within all sectors of the Printing and Publishing Industry.” "In essence," explains Psarianos, "we are joining an established, recognised and respected association. The objectives of the Ghent PDF Workgroup are to bring organizations and companies together to work towards achieving better working practices and procedures. It is important today for the future of the industry to have internationally recognized specifications of file transfer for particular markets such as newspapers, magazines or packaging. At present companies are having to supply different specifications according to diverse geographies and cultures. With the technology available it will save time and money if there are rules and guidelines to address global communication." Michaël Lancar of FIGC said, “More and more digital files are being passed on to the printer with incorrect specifications for offset printing. This results in extra work and lost production time. By teaming up with the Ghent PDF Workgroup, we will be in a position to contribute to creating standard processing rules for printing with the PDF format.” Under the new structure of the Ghent PDF Workgroup, seven executive committee members were also voted in. Their role will be to organize and oversee meetings and activities that continue the Workgroup’s mission. Every member of the Ghent PDF Workgroup, including the vendors has the opportunity to be a candidate for these positions. The new executive committee members and their affiliations are as follows: • Chair: Erwin Danis (Medibel+, Belgium) • Vice Chair: David Zwang (IPA, USA) • Executive Director and Treasurer: Saskia Desmet (Enfocus Software, Belgium) • Marketing Officer: Menno Mooij (IDP Group, The Netherlands) • Technical Officer: Elli Cloots (Enfocus Software, Belgium) • Documentation Officer: David van Driessche (Enfocus Software, Belgium) The Ghent PDF Workgroup was initially established to develop and maintain a set of vendor-independent PDF/X Plus specifications for the worldwide graphic arts community. The original bylaws specified that the workgroup would dissolve itself after two years (on March 31, 2004) and evaluate its future. Based on discussions held during a recent meeting, it was decided that the workgroup should continue its efforts and broaden its mission to “establish and disseminate process specifications for best practices in graphic arts workflows.” The workgroup meets four times per year. In addition a number of subcommittees meet regularly to prepare the workgroup meetings. Subcommittees are: packaging, color management, job ticketing and the subcommittee on Rip/output.