ISO to develop new PDF print standard

The International Standards Organisation is setting up a new task force to develop a PDF standard to guide production workflow decisions, which it hopes will make it possible to describe what a final printed piece is supposed to look like. This is in response to requests from transactional printers to be able to include media selections and simplex/duplex controls in a PDF file.

It will be chaired by Martin Bailey, chief technology officer for Global Graphics, who explained: “The new standard will enable graphic designers, file creators and buyers to describe how their final work should look without having to specify the details of the processes required to make it. The thought process is that the digital front end (DFE) on a digital press can map from that to the actual steps needed.”

He continued: “As a simple example, a request for a specific substrate should be fairly easy to map to an entry in the media library in a DFE and therefore to tray selections (on a sheet-fed press) and to installing the correct ICC color profile. In closed loop workflows such as web to print the first mapping shouldn’t be necessary at all, because the media selection will be pre-populated from the same data as the media library.”

Bailey says that the first priority is to develop a standard for commercial printing but that this will be followed by versions aimed at packaging and at wide format. Anyone wishing to get involved can contact him directly at





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