Let’s imagine that my friend, Mark, invites me to the Scottish Steak Club in Birmingham to taste Haggis.
I take my car across the Channel on the Eurotunnel shuttle. Once I arrive in England, the signs inform me to drive on the left and that the speed limit is 120km/h on highways (whereas in France, we drive on the right and the maximum speed is 130km/h). I can ignore the signs, but at best, I get a fine and, at worst, a serious accident.
The report is the same if you do not respect the standards in printing, you will print 1 file, 2 files, then one day a file will not print correctly, or worse, your digital press will refuse to print your file. Just because you can view your file correctly on your screen does not mean that it is correct and will print according to your expectations.
Standards exist to tell you that in England, for example, you should drive on the left and not exceed the speed limit of 120km/h on the highway. In 4-color digital printing, the most commonly used standard is PDF/X-4. It specifies, among other things, that the file must contain all resources (fonts, images, etc.), that a password must not protect your file, and so on.
The specifications of the Ghent Workgroup come to complete or even restrict the standards they govern. For example, the Waze or TripAdvisor applications on my smartphone signal me that it would be better to avoid the M25 because there are traffic jams, to think about changing money. After all, the restaurant does not accept credit cards, and that in England, the currency is the pound sterling. In our printing project, they will alert me if an image in my document has the wrong resolution; if the white text is overprinted, etc.
The standards exist to make sure that my document prints, the specifications have as interest that your document prints as faithfully and qualitatively as possible.
Your customer expects his document to print as he envisions it, just as Mark will be grateful that I arrive on time.
The requirements are not the same whether you are making a document to print on a CMYK printer, a packaging intended for seven-color printing, or a document intended for display on a smartphone. It is similar in that you won’t have the same constraints driving in Germany on an autobahn as you do in other countries. This is why the Ghent Workgroup comprises several committees in charge of writing recommendations for each type of use. These recommendations are written by the experts who constitute the members of the GWG.
All components of your workflow must follow the same standard, from the document creation tool to the printer. For example, what would happen if, while driving on the M20 towards Birmingham, I come across a motorist driving in the wrong direction? I risk having an accident while I respect the instructions given to me.
It is a question of bringing an entire production environment into conformity with components capable of following the same standards.
The GWG is made up of graphics associations, software and hardware solution providers, end users, universities and consultants such as ybam. Our goal is to write the specifications that meet your expectations so that we speak the same language.
We provide you with tools to check the compliance of your workflows and best practices to create your documents so that they are distributed as your customers expect them to be.
Sorry Mark, I’m not a fan of Haggis.
We want to write other articles to answer questions that many of you have. Please feel free to submit topics that we could demystify for you and others.