After approximately fifteen years, organisations such as the German FOGRA, the Swiss UGRA or the American GATF have worked to implement standards of good practice leading to a real exchange of information between all those taking part in the graphics chain. These rules allow everyone, in each stage in of the creation of a document, to know what can and should be done in order to obtain the best possible result and to have perfect control over the production process. These rules have become procedures and are now subject to ISO standards.
The ISO 12647 standard includes several chapters that describe all the parameters to be taken into account when printing documents in offset (ISO 12647-2) or when creating test pages (ISO 126747-7).
Thanks to these standards there is clarity and everyone has the same information for creating, testing and printing documents.
The ISO standards provide information regarding offset printing on 5 existing types of standard paper; glossy, and matt coated paper for sheet-fed machines, coated paper for a rotary press as well as white and yellow uncoated paper.
Standardised ICC profiles are available so you can correctly convert your files that need to be printed on each one of these papers using a printer that is locked onto the standard.
These ISO profiles are available on the ECI (European Color Initiative) website: www.eci.org. For example the ISOCoated_v2_eci.icc profile corresponds to the coated sheet-fed press papers.
Likewise, a proofing system that is calibrated and certified in accordance with the ISO12647 standard guarantees that you will produce “correct” proof pages that actually represent what your printer is capable of printing from your files.
You should remember that just because a proofing system has been certified by the manufacturer as responding to the standard doesn’t mean that yours will be. This only means that it has reached the standard. For your system to produce the test proof pages that comply with the ISO standard it should have been correctly set up for this, with the correct paper, and certified by an approved body, the FOGRA or UGRA.