Saturday, 17 May, 2014

If you weren’t there, you missed it

I could easily write that if you missed Metpack and interpack in Essen and Dusseldorf respectively, you don’t have to worry — your wonderful trade magazine will bring you everything that happened there. Alternatively, I could suggest you spend hours on YouTube trying to catch up or figure out what was interesting. However, the fact is that if you weren’t there you missed it and try as we may we cannot recreate the experience for you. The bigger problem is that there were many prospective packaging buyers who actually missed you — they were looking for Indian monocarton, corrugated and flexible packaging suppliers and who for the most part — were not there at all.

Amongst the film, label and packaging suppliers Uflex, HTW Jindal, Chiripal, Dhiman Systems, Manaksia, Huhtahmaki, Positive Packaging, Maharshi and Sodaltech were there so flexible packaging, caps and closures, labels and a very committed supplier of specialized kraft cones, tubes and trays did good business. However many of the other Indian packaging suppliers who did not enjoy being on the second floor in Hall 7 at the last interpack decided to forego the expense this time. Perhaps wisely, they retreated but if the issue was cost and visibility they need to sort it out by getting together as successfully as the Turkish packaging suppliers did this time. Exhibiting together and separately they upheld a single branding theme proclaiming ‘Turkey is Ready.’

The turnout at Metpack and interpack from South Asia was quite large this time. Of course the Indian filling and sealing machine manufacturers are admired around the world and they were there with new machines and technologies. Visitors from South Asia included senior personnel from pharma and food processing companies who already have in-house packaging plants. And most interesting were the medium sized companies that were firming up their diversification plans — either to enter can manufacturing or to tie-up with joint venture partners in new segments and geographies.

interpack is large and has specialized areas — most visitors go there to address a problem in a particular area of the packaging workflow or to learn about a new technology. Like the exhibitors, the visitors are very focussed — both know what to look for and recognize it when they see it. The rest of the time is spent on learning and networking — and drinking beer.

This issue begins our coverage of Metpack and interpack 2014, triennial fairs that Packaging South Asia is covering for the third time. For us it is both a learning and networking experience and although we go there with our own list of tasks, we do learn a couple of new things each time. Part 2 of our review and some of our learning will appear in the June issue of Packaging South Asia in which we hope to share a bit more of what we could learn at these two interesting and successful shows.

Naresh Khanna, May 2014 issue Indian Printer and Publisher

Wednesday, 7 May, 2014

Proofing as a concept for building and monitoring quality

Proofing is part of the culture of modernity. In the previous century, the attitude of many Indian offset printers was: “Why do it?” However, even with single color offset machines, it made all the difference between the majority of printers and the award-winning, color-proficient and profitable printers. Nevertheless, it was a challenge to match a wet single color ‘progressive proof’ with all its overlays to the final printing.

In the late 1970s and the early 1980s, to Indian offset printing came scanners, imagesetters, densitometers and 4-color presses that printed wet on wet and the awareness – if not universal acceptance of printing a quality control strip on the tail of the sheet for both measurement and visual evaluation. The same era saw the introduction of flatbed proof presses in India. First came the FAG proof press and then a bit more economically Dainippon Screen and eventually Chinese-made machines got into the industry. These were single color machines that provided analog progressive proofs.

The masters of good flatbed proofs (including progressive proofs) were the prepress trade houses such as Unique, Comart, Jasra and Supressa and Express Colourscan. Flatbed proofs battled it out with the DuPont Chromalin proofs that were quick and easy to courier with a set of films but which did not satisfy everyone. Some publisher printers proofed all the ads on a flatbed proof press and then sent a letter to each advertising agency saying that they could not be responsible for the end result and thus successfully circumvented the very idea of ‘a contract proof.’ Needless to say the very idea of a contract proof is a kind of holy grail in printing that at least in India is rarely achieved.

The digital inkjet proofers arrived in the 1990s and many of the ad agency guys of still wanted progressive proofs, lamenting that they could not see the final dot or flower pattern of their favourite screen ruling on the final proof. There were digital methods that showed the actual screened dot such as the Kodak Approval system but this was in most cases, an expensive system for the Indian environment.

Ultimately the inkjet proofers won the day simply for ease of use and their price performance and also because of the huge improvements in software and inkjet proofing media that could actually match multicolor presses that were fingerprinted. This trend also benefitted greatly from the use of computer to plate (CtP) devices that created first generation dots on the plate with the possibility of improved dot gain curves for plate exposure based on press fingerprinting.

One of the huge contributions of CtP was that a printer could output a first generation quality control strip on every plate rather than having to compromise by using a contact film strip that often did not even register. Moreover, color management as a concept took hold as the software began to work and densitometers were replaced by spectrophotometers and variations in color began to be measured in Delta E’s.

Thus in the first decade of the 21st century we arrived at the contemporary age of hard copy proofing (while soft proofing on super calibrated press-side monitors is still the next big thing.)
However, there are still two type of inkjet prints being produced. A simple color print which is also called a concept proof and used sometimes just to visually establish the placement of the appropriate pages on a folded signature. And then there is the proof print. Quite often a color print is mistakenly treated as a proof print.

However, the key difference is that a proof print is output on a high quality printer using a RIP or software that is calibrated with a reference. The reference may be a global standard such as GraCol or FOGRA or an in-house standard based on fingerprinting the installed multicolor presses. Such prints can also also be certified to match the reference standard within specified tolerances.

Epson’s inkjet printers, by and large, have become the de-facto proofing output devices in India (as well as globally). However, each industry segment has its own proofing requirements and the printer model, the software and the proofing medium have to be chosen accordingly.

Epson has 4, 8 and 10-color models to choose from. The 4-color printers are normally recommended only for newsprint. Generally newspapers like to create proofs using one-bit output files on the same newsprint that they print their dailies. They can choose the Epson T-3070 a 24-inch wide printer which just about covers two broadsheet pages. Or they can choose a 17-inch printer to proof a single broadsheet page at a time but the only printer available in this size is the 10-color Pro 4900 which is more expensive than the 24-inch T-3070.

Commercial printers need an 8-color inkjet printer to cover the wider gamut that they can produce on coated papers and they often choose between the 24-inch wide Epson Pro 7890 and the 44-inch Pro 9890. For commercial and packaging printers who need to proof Pantone colors and other special and brand colors, it is recommended to use 10-color printers to improve the oranges and greens. These are the 24-inch Pro 7900 and the 44-inch wide Pro 9900 devices from Epson.

For those in the board, label and flexible packaging segment who need to have proofs that include metallics and also to be able to proof on flexible film substrates, there is the extremely effective 24-inch Epson Pro WT 7900. In this category, increasingly there is competition for Epson from both Roland and Mimaki who also promote their inkjet machines as short run label printing devices. It is important to keep in mind that all hard copy proofs need to use media that is generally supplied by the manufacturer, although some high volume printers use high quality paper which they have effectively calibrated and matched to their in-house and other standards.

Most packaging buyers often insist on proofs on the same media that will be used for the actual pack. This is somewhat difficult to achieve with inkjet printers as special coated media is needed for the inkjet printer to actually perform to spec. The solution sometimes is to use the Kodak Approval system which actually outputs on a special foil which is then laminated on the substrate to make a proof that incorporates the substrate or laminate that will eventually be used. Inkjet proofs such as those done on the Pro WT 7900 on special films can also be laminated to appropriate materials.

Another question is what is the best software for each of these applications? Mumbai Epson dealer and color expert Himanshu Desai says, “Although I have a clear bias, I would vouch for ORIS. However, on a more neutral note, what is needed is any software that can achieve a proof resulting in a Delta E of less than one. The software should also handle spot colors and allow selective color correction. Finally, it should be both user friendly and user configurable.”

We will continue our discussion of proofing and color management in the next issue but there are a number of software providers that have their strengths and which can be chosen on the basis of features appropriate for your application, price and local support. These would include, GMG, CGS, Alwan Systems, Color Logic, Système Chromatique and several others that are now used not just for proofing but for the standardization of the entire workflow. Similarly, new proofing substrates and inks especially for metallics are being continually released that broaden the possibilities of inkjet hard copy proofing. In subsequent issues, as in the past, we will continue to discuss quality, proofing, color management and standardization issues.

Naresh Khanna, April 2014 issue Indian Printer and Publisher

Thursday, 27 March, 2014

Seven pillars of wisdom -- an update on print quality standards

The question, whether process control data or color characterization data should determine printing aims and tolerances, has come in the forefront of ongoing efforts to develop universal print quality standards. And it looks like it is dividing those involved more than ever.

While the general secretariat of TC 130, ISO’s technical committee in charge of graphic technology, has shifted from Germany’s national standards organization DIN to the Standardisation Administration of China, its working groups met several times over the past twelve months. The most controversial discussion was and still is the relationship between the ISO 12647 and ISO 15339 sets of standards. WG3, the TC 130 working group looking into processes and metrics, is increasingly polarized between those primarily interested in the continual development of the ISO 12647 process control standard and those moving towards the process-independent ISO 15339 standard first drafted in 2010.

Ironically, both sets of standards apply to the separation and printing of our traditionally four process colors CMYK, relevant for full color reproduction mainly in commercial offset and publication printing, whereas packaging, signage and industrial decoration printers increasingly apply larger and specific color gamuts, not just by adding spot colors and special inks but by converting the three or four process colors into PMS as well. These applications require tightly controlled color management, proofing and monitoring procedures. But standards?

At any rate, a long awaited update of the ISO 12647 set of standards has been finalized. The offset and proofing parts, ISO 12647-1 through 3 as well as 7 and 8, have been published in December 2013. Parts 4, 5 and 6, for publication gravure, screen and flexo, are to be published shortly. Corresponding Fogra characterization sets and ICC profiles will be developed and released over the coming years. No agreement could be reached on the image quality measurements required for a separately planned standard for digital printing, ISO 15311. As a consequence, this project has momentarily been downgraded to the status of a prospective standard or, in ISO language, a ‘technical specification.’

Discussions on ISO 15339, the standard-to-be for printing from digital data across multiple technologies, are a bit in a limbo as well. A majority of WG3 participants, mainly the Germans and their European allies, is opposed to linking characterization data to press calibration and criticizes the substrate correction approach and tolerances proposed so far. The Americans decided to push ahead for their part and published their own standard, CGATS 21, largely reproducing the ISO 15339 specifications. New proposals for a three-part adaptation, including principles and procedures, a minimum set of reference characterization data, and a link-up to ISO 12647 specifications, are currently under scrutiny.

What all these standards have in common, is their emphasis on printing conditions. For ISO 12647, a printing condition is a set of primary process parameters describing the conditions associated to a specific output process, including the printing process, substrate type, ink, screening, surface finish, and printing sequence. The specifics of colorant descriptions (color gamuts) and tone value increase (dotgain) targets correspond to the different printing conditions. For ISO 15339, printing conditions are target references based on color characterization data defining the intended relationship between digital input data and the average achievable color gamuts in print.

ISO 12647-2, for sheetfed offset and web heatset, was slightly amended in 2007 to reflect advances in paper and ink developments enabling improved color gamuts. The standard’s present revision defines new TVI curves for periodic (AM) screening, TVI targets corresponding better to the characteristics of CtP plates, a better description of gray balance, and a standard method for processing non-standard substrates. The five paper types (PT) in the old standard have been replaced by eight printing substrates (PS) and their correlating colorant descriptions (CD), covering most common paper types in offset production.

ISO 12647-2:2013 Eight Printing Substrate Categories:
PS1 / CD1 Premium Coated, with one gamut for matt, silk and gloss coated wood-free paper; replaces PT 1 and 2 of the old standard, and the Fogra 39 dataset.
PS2 / CD2 Improved Coated, for MWC and Improved LWC, not covered in the old standard; will replace Fogra 45.
PS3 / CD3 Standard Glossy Coated, for standard LWC in heatset; corresponding to PT3 and Fogra 46.
PS4 / CD4 Standard Matte Coated, for LWC and MFC in heatset; not covered in the old standard; Fogra 41 has been used for this type of paper.
PS5 / CD5 Wood Free Uncoated, for uncoated paper in sheetfed and heatset; corresponds to PT4.
PS6 / CD6 Super Calendered Uncoated, for SC paper; not covered in the previous standard; Fogra 40 has been used for this type of paper.
PS7 / CD7 Improved Uncoated Newsprint, for improved newsprint in heatset presses; not in the previous standard but covered by the Fogra 48 dataset.
PS8 / CD8 Standard Uncoated, for standard newsprint in heatset, currently covered by Fogra 42.

Seven pillars of wisdom
The ISO 15339 standard defines achievable color gamuts in printing conditions ranging from offset or gravure printing on premium coated paper to coldset printing on newsprint, while adding an extra large gamut for digital printing and special applications. Acknowledging that there is significant overlap of process, substrate and ink combinations, a choice was made for intermediate gamuts representing seven widely used printing conditions, defined by reference characterization data specified in the standard. The standard includes a method to change the data in case the printing substrate to be used has a color that differs from the reference printing condition.

Because these data are to be used as the reference for any printing process, they are not aligned with TVI and trapping settings associated with a specific process. According to the draft standard, they need to be ‘middle-of-the-road’ values representing a compromise between all processes: ‘in effect, virtual printing on a virtual printing system.’ The seven characterized reference printing conditions (CRPC) proposed for the ISO 15339 standard have been adopted in the USA as their own CGATS 21, and the initial datasets and profiles have been made available for testing on the CGATS and ICC websites, respectively. ( and

ISO 15339 Seven Reference Printing Conditions
RPC0 (CGATS 21-2-7) Extra Large, for digital printing, special inks, and potentially other large gamut printing processes.
RPC1 (CGATS 21-2-6) Premium Coated, large gamut using sheetfed offset or gravure; corresponding to GRACoL #1-2 coated paper types.
RPC2 (CGATS 21-2-5) Publication Coated, for magazine publication printing; corresponding to SWOP #5 coated.
RPC3 (CGATS 21-2-4) Super Calendered, for general printing on super calendered paper.
RPC4 (CGATS 21-2-3) Premium Uncoated, for utility printing on matt uncoated paper.
RPC5 (CGATS 21-2-2) Heatset News, moderate gamut for heatset or similar printing on improved newsprint.
RPC6 (CGATS 21-2-1) Coldset News, small gamut for coldset, flexo or letterpress printing on newsprint.

Although some experts argue that creating color characterization sets for reference printing conditions would be easier than developing process-specific press targets, and could thus be more accessible for printers, others are more concerned with the different output results of the standards existing so far. Harmonization of printing aims between the different standards, each with their own and conflicting approaches, still appears to have a long way to go.

Substrate corrected colorimetric aims (SCCA) for new and non-standard paper categories, with or without optical brighteners, also remain an unresolved question. Standards may be useful for equipment and material manufacturers, as well as for print buyers, but they have to be reasonably and reliably applicable for printers as well. A group of paper manufacturers heavily involved in the development of the ISO standards itself, comprising Norske Skog, Sappi, Stora Enso and UPM, commented: “We develop papers for customers, not for standards.”

In the meantime, who can blame the printers who apply their own standards – mostly with device link profiles, standard software, and the rule-of-thumb Delta-E 3 trick. Nevertheless, some 2,800 printing houses and 1,000 individuals worldwide have had the output quality of their printing processes certified one way or another already. Some of these certifications or qualification proofs are referring to the ISO 12647 series, such as RIT’s PSA scheme, the Process Standard Offset, Digital and Gravure (PSO, PSD, PSG) procedures of Fogra, Ugra and its European partners, Japan Color and equipment suppliers like Heidelberg, Esko and X-Rite. The majority, more than 65%, refer to less ‘universal’ standards and specifications such as SNAP for coldset, FIRST for flexo, and IDEAlliance’s SWOP, GRACoL and G7, all largely based on CGATS standards and guidelines developed in the US.

Ron Augustin, March 2014 issue Indian Printer and Publisher

Sunday, 10 November, 2013

NPES and IDEAlliance colour management program

An instructional and certification program for colour management best practices for use in the pressroom is being organized by NPES and IDEAlliance on 15 and 16 February 2014 in New Delhi. The trainer for this two-day course is Steve Ballinger, director of training of IDEAlliance USA.

The objective of this two-day workshop is to impart knowledge and understanding of colour management to printers and printing professionals. At the conclusion of this course, all participants will be given the opportunity to take a Color Management Professional – Printing certification examination. All successful candidates will be awarded the Color Management Professional(CMP) for Printing certificate by IDEAlliance.

The Color Management Professional for Printing program is designed as an easy to understand instructional guide to basic colour management principles for establishing benchmarks for consumables, lighting, instruments and output devices. It explains the importance of choosing a target reference condition and how to benchmark press performance in order to determine and verify tone reproduction and plate curves in the pressroom. The two-day course covers topics such as optimizing press production and strategies for maintaining press calibration. Applying the principles of the CMP-Print program will assure a consistent colour managed workflow that adheres to industry specifications and standards.

There are a very limited number of seats available for this very reasonably priced program and members of IDEAlliance India will get preference in admission and also benefit from a discount on the fees. For more information about the course and registration please contact Vinod Vittoba, director, at NPES India at +91 9818278460 and eMail – or Komal Singhal of IDEAlliance India at +91 9873844739 and eMail –

IDEAlliance based in the United States is a not-for-profit trade association of more than 1300 member companies. In April 2013 it announced a significant expansion of its global operations, with the addition of International Affiliates in Europe and India. IDEAlliance-Europe and IDEAlliance-India join current International Affiliates in China, South Korea, Mexico, and Columbia, expanding IDEAlliance’s growing influence in the worldwide development and adoption of media production standards and best practices.

On becoming an International Affiliate for IDEAlliance, Naresh Khanna, editor of the trade magazines Indian Printer and Publisher and Packaging South Asia as well as director for Ipp Services, Training and Research, commented, “IppStar is keen to bring IDEAlliance’s colour management training and G7 certificate programs to India. These programs will forward our work in the improvement in colour reproduction and quality standards of a vibrant print and packaging industry. Our organization is fortunate to enjoy the trust of the graphics arts community in a region where there is still double digit growth in print and packaging, and where brand owners are becoming increasingly demanding.”

International Affiliates promote and develop IDEAlliance programs for their local networks of technology and service providers, as well as offer individualized member services and benefits. David Steinhardt, IDEAlliance President and CEO, commented, “The work of IDEAlliance is global because media production is global. The demands of international business requires IDEAlliance to communicate and train in different languages and build specifications and best practices for a worldwide platform. IDEAlliance commits to meet the diverse needs of a global membership through its Affiliate partners. We welcome their support in advancing media production.”

There are three levels of membership in IDEAlliance India – for individuals; for small and medium companies; and, for large companies. For membership information and benefits please contact Komal Singhal as above.

Krishanu Dutta, November 2013 issue Indian Printer and Publisher

Friday, 23 December, 2011

Blogs are time consuming

It's true that blogs take up a lot of time. And that's why some of the graphic arts sites pay people to write blogs. I have considered this as well and it's not a bad idea but if we did implement this the price per entry would have to be something that corresponded with our economy -- with the price of things in India. Since blogs work across boundaries our Indian rates and Indian currency may be deemed a very small reward or even motivator for people from across the world to share their ideas.

Maybe we could get into some other kind of currency such as 'bitcoins' which I read about in a magazine a few months ago. Bitcoins are a kind of eCurrency and are being traded in United States and I suppose you could look it up on google and figure it out and even get rich. I do think that we Indians have a talent for this kind of stuff and we seem to have the time assets and mental assets to conjure value out of nothing. Even our companies have done well with carbon credits which are an environment currency that is tradable.

While the above comment has turned into a bit of an aside or tangential early morning contemplation, the real purpose of this blog is to inform and update the printing community about technology in general and standardisation in particular. There is a bit of news on this front.

Dr Rajendrakumar Anayath, Venkataramana Rotti and I have been talking to some of the faculty at RIT and one of the students there about a survey they want to do to asses the Indian printing industry's interest and knowledge in colour process printing standards and certification. We have decided to help this student Lekha Lokhande, in her project, which will also hopefully yield a serious and objective idea about where our leading printers are, and how they see the future in respect to colour print standardisation and certification.

The survey will take place largely in January 2012 and we should have results by March. I encourage the Indian technical experts to encourage the leaders of the print community to take part in this exercise. Taking part does not mean you agree or approve -- the survey questions I think have room to reflect your views even if your view is that standardisation is unnecessary or too expensive or simply a pipe dream.

On the other hand, for those of you who see the need for standardisation and certification this is a chance to revive your knowledge and to show your interest by taking this survey. We at IPP with our two magazines and with IppStar plan to revive the discussion with articles in the magazines and on our websites. By the way, I meet young second and third generation printers every week who seem to very excited by ideas that take the industry forward in a scientific and objective way. They are keen to build processes in the plants and to educate their human resources. And this is why I am optimistic about the colour standards movement and discussion that has been slow to take root in our printing industry.

As some of you know, we conducted the Monsoon Summits on the 12647-2 standard in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in July 2009 -- during the monsoon rains. Then we held a meeting during the Pamex exhibition in January 2010 when some of us decided that we had to build a technical advisory group so that we could begin talking to the Bureau of Indian Standards and this would allow us to participate in the TC130 group of the ISO which is working on the standard and developing it further.

The idea was 'to get inside the tent' instead of criticising the standard from outside. It took us a while and with the efforts of Parshav Jain and Venkataramana Rotti we were able to participate in the BIS meetings on the print industry. I confess that I went to very few meetings even after roping Tarun Chopra into attending some of them. Rajendranath Anayath also attended at least one meeting. Parshav went abroad to study further, but Tarun and Venkat have attended some of the BIS meetings. The attitude of the BIS is very friendly and emphathetic but the printing industry by and large apart from these individuals, has been too busy to take part. I am of course putting this more politely than I normally do.

In the meantime, Venkataramana Rotti has attended several of TC130 meetings which take place around the world. He has done this at his own cost without any financial support from anyone so now one Indian technical person takes part on behalf of all of us, in this important activity. I won't say anymore. In any case, now this standards survey is taking place driven by an Indian student at RIT and the RIT faculty. This could be a time to revive our standardisation movement. As a first step let's take part in the survey and then, let us keep our thinking caps on and take our industry forward not in the little steps and struggles that we are individually making and have to make every day, but also toward some collective action and goals. End of sermon and Merry Christmas.

Naresh Khanna

Wednesday, 7 December, 2011

How can the Indian packaging industry be greener?

“Change management is always difficult, but industry has to lead, especially if there is no law that insists on change for the better.” – Vijay Gupta of Siegwerk India

Mostly, most of us do not think. We tend to repeat cliches and slogans that put us in a helpless situation in which we are always waiting for the other guy (or the government) to do something. Thus it was refreshing to talk to Vijay Gupta who admitted that industry has to lead on environment, health and safety issues. Well some of you might say Gupta or the ink company he leads has a ‘vested interest’ in talking about environment – that he wants to sell more expensive ink. Well you would be wrong.

First of all, many of you already happily buy his ink and indeed inks from the other excellent ink companies who have state of the art plants within India – DIC, Sakata, Huber-Micro, Flint, Toyo and others. All of these companies manufacture safer and more environment friendly inks than we generally buy in India. Unfortunately neither packaging buyers are insisting on greener and safer inks, nor is the government able to go into the entire gamut of complex technical, social and administrative issues which it needs to address to come up with a total cradle to grave packaging life-cycle program. The industry associations are also on the defensive about issues which are indefensible instead of coming up with a plan or a solution in which the end-users, the packaging converters, the suppliers of equipment and consumables and the government can apply their creativity and their extensive assets.

Secondly, come out of your denial of facts. Stop denying that what we do every day has intense environmental, health and safety implications. Packaging uses the overwhelming majority of paper, paperboard, plastics and films consumed in India. Fact – The Indian packaging industry will use more than 7.5 million tonnes of paper and paperboard and more than 5 million tonnes of plastics and films in the 2011-2012 financial year (Source: IppStar Indian Print Industry Survey 2011; In comparison to the rest of the world this is not a huge amount in per capita terms. This is precisely why we could be one of the greenest packaging industries and countries in the world. But take a look at the garbage strewn everywhere; at the lack of separation of various waste materials; at the almost total absence of collection and waste recycling systems.

Thirdly, act now. Use sustainable materials as much as you can. Convince your customers to lightweight and to use materials that can be separated for recycling. When environment-friendly fountain solution concentrates and recycling systems are available in India why not use them? When process-less or low chemistry plates are available, why not use them? When low-chemistry processing and recycling systems are available why not use them? When low solvent inks are available in India why not use them? When solvent recovery systems are available why not use them? When sustainable forest sourced paper and paperboard is available why not offer to use these at least for customers who can be persuaded? And then no matter what materials you are using right from the oil for the lubrication of your machines to your film and plate chemistry to the water for dampening solutions – these are the wastes in your factory and it is your responsibility to reuse, recycle and reduce these – to treat and ultimately dispose these not in some drain or nala but responsibly. There is a lot you can do and are already doing. Speak out and send me an email about what you are doing at

Naresh Khanna

Monday, 5 December, 2011

The colour management movement in India needs to accelerate

Over the past few years IppStar has tried to focus the Indian print industry's attention on colour management and standardisation. As some of you recall we together with Satish Nayak and Gretag-Macbeth (which later became part of X-Rite) did the colour management certificate course in Delhi and Chennai for which the main faculty was Paul Lindstrom of Digital Dots.

Then in July 2009 we conducted the Monsoon Summits in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai to discuss ISO 12647 colour process standardisation. Other organisations such as Kiran Priyagi's GATE and the Heidelberg Print Media Academy have also been doing work in this area. However, as of now I only of four organisations in India that have actually achieved 12647 certification. Of these two are in prepress including Color Dot and Hemanshu Desai's organisation in Mumbai. The other two that I know of are in packaging -- Janus in Baddi and Sai Packaging in Bengaluru. I do know of one more ogranisation which is trying but met ran into some temporary technical challenges.

One achievement of sorts is that the Indians are finally at least taking part in the TC130 meetings. First a few of us got involved with the Brueau of Indian Standards because that is essential if we want to attend international meetings such as the TC130. Although I confess that I have missed all of the recent BIS meetings but the most persistent of all us has been Venkat who is now with HT-Burda. He has at considerable cost taken part in the BIS meetings and has also attended several of the TC130 meeting abroad.

Thus one could say the movement for colour standardisation is slow, sporadic and still dependent on extreme efforts by a few individuals. Our group including IppStar is planning to help RIT to do a survey soon on the colour standardisation issue. So, friends, let's see if we can get this going.