Ghent Workgroup addresses small format digital print

The Ghent Workgroup, or GWG, which develops guidelines and specifications to help printers make better use of PDFs, has released a new specification to cater to the growing small format digital print segment. 

Elli Cloots, Vice Chair at the Ghent Workgroup and Senior Product Marketing Manager at EFI.

The new specification provides standardized guidelines for PDF file creation and quality control for the small format digital print segment. This market is similar to traditional commercial print, but the methodologies and equipment used are different enough to require specific guidelines. Thus, for example, rules focusing on overprint problems have been significantly relaxed because the output devices in this market can handle those problems natively. Equally, the checks on image resolution have been relaxed to better reflect the nature of the work that’s typically printed in digital.

However, the new specification retains other requirements such as PDF/X-4 compliance, basic PDF file integrity verification, ensuring overprinting white objects don’t disappear and avoiding color shifts when using the wrong transparency blending color space. Essentially the GWG specifications offer a good set of base rules to build on and companies can always add additional requirements on top of these.

Elli Cloots, Vice-Chair at the Ghent Workgroup and Senior Product Marketing Manager at EFI, explained: “In a recent Ghent Workgroup survey, digital print was identified as a key area missing good guidelines for the usage of PDF.” She added: “Having this new specification helps significantly to improve standardization, and thus the possibility for automation, in this growing segment.”

The digital print specification is released under the umbrella of the Ghent Workgroup’s 2015 specifications, as it builds on the same principles. The specification describes the rules that PDF files used for digital print should follow. Software and hardware vendors can then use the specification to finetune file creation and quality control in their workflows and output devices.

Anyone interested in this can download the specification and application settings built from it from the Ghent Workgroup website, free of charge.

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