A Rainbow of Perspectives on G7 Color Calibration
Last week, Printing Impressions, a sister publication of packagePRINTING, hosted a "colorful" webinar titled "G7 Color Calibration: Real-Life Print Buyer and Printer Perspectives and Practices," sponsored by Canon U.S.A.
Moderated by PI's Editor-in-Chief Mark Michelson, the event featured vivid perspectives on the importance of color calibration across the printing spectrum — from print buyer, to commercial printer, to equipment manufacturer, to industry certifier.
Administered by Idealliance, G7 Master Qualification is an international standard for calibrating printing presses and proofing systems. It enables color to be standardized across all types of analog and digital printing systems and devices, both new and old.
Sonja Dearden, associate print production manager for Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli, opened the discussion with her point of view as a buyer of printed products. She said that working with G7 Master Qualified vendors not only produces a better product, but it also saves time.
Deardon explained that she does not have to be present for press checks anymore. If any issues come up, both printer and print buyer speak the same language and can come to a resolution a lot faster.
"We had some pushback in the very beginning," she shared. "Printers didn't want to be told how to run their presses or do their jobs." But now, she said, these vendors find G7 Master qualification so helpful they are asking their other clients if they'd be willing to follow the G7 process.
As a print provider, Al Carrero, president, operations and finance, at newly branded Macedonia, Ohio-based Source3Media (formerly known as Hudson Printing), shared the benefits of becoming G7 qualified. Verifiable proof accuracy is a huge advantage, he said. Many times, a customer will bring in a file or a proof that is incompatible or not able to be reproduced. Or, perhaps, they like the way something looks on their screen, but not in the finished product.
With the G7 process, Carerro said, "We can verify what the customer is seeing, and know that we will be able to hit the color on any press." Not only is the customer happy, but the operators are too.
In addition, Carerro noted that G7 processes have reduced makeready and setup time for Source3Media, along with ink and paper waste, especially on the offset side.
Alexandria, Va.-based Idealliance is the industry nonprofit that created the G7 standard, and Timothy Baechle, director of global print media markets and technologies, was on hand to answer questions.
Baechle explained the differences between the group's three well-known specifications:
- GRACoL: General Requirements and Applications for Commercial Offset Lithography
- SWOP: Specifications for Web Offset Publications
- G7: As the foundation for GRACoL and SWOP, G7 is a proof-to-print process for calibrating printing and proofing devices to a common gray balance and neutral print density curve.
A key benefit of G7 calibration is that it ensures a common neutral appearance between all printed graphics, regardless of what material it is printed on.
John Scott Thorburn, senior analyst at Canon U.S.A., shared his perspective as an equipment manufacturer that offers G7 certified systems. In July of 2016, the Canon PRISMAsync Color Print Server for imagePRESS color digital presses received the G7 Certified System designation from Idealliance. This is the first time G7 calibration has been offered directly at the digital front end.
"It's a platform for expanding value because it gives the opportunity for G7 conformance out-of-the-box, so to speak, with your digital press system," he said.
The featured speakers relayed the economics, practicalities and benefits of G7 qualification, as well as a few horror stories of jobs gone sour. With the G7 process, users get numeric feedback instead of purely visual feedback, such as, "Sure, it looks good."
If you missed last week's webinar, never fear, the free event is archived here from now through March 21, 2017.