Ghent Workgroup to appoint four new subcommittee chairs

New chairs selected by members of the Ghent Workgroup

Ghent Workgroup to appoint four new subcommittee chairs

Most of the work of the Ghent workgroup is done by subcommittees focusing on different PDF technology needs, either during in-person meetings (three times a year) or in between these meetings using web conferencing technology and email exchanges. Each subcommittee has a chair or several co-chairs to manage and steer the work and present the work during the general GWG meetings. Ultimately, all decisions are presented to all members and decided by the group.

These new chairs were selected by the members of the Ghent Workgroup at our last meeting held online in September.

Variable data printing subcommittee

The variable data printing (VDP) subcommittee works on issues related to generating reliable variable data printing documents. This is a technology that makes it possible to personalize all or part of a printed document according to the person for whom it is intended. For many marketing departments, variable data printing is the first step towards cross-media and multi-channel communication.

The most common use of variable data printing is to personalize first and last names on a printed document sent in a prospecting process by mail. Tombola or Lottery tickets, show tickets, personalized invitation cards, personalized catalogs, business cards, advertising brochures, flyers, magazines, leaflets, book covers, labels, packaging, envelopes, invoices, statements are all supports conducive to the use of variable data.

Co-chairs of the VDP subcommittee are Yves Bougardier and Frank Vyncke.

Yves Bougardier

Yves has over 25 years of experience in production digital printing at IBM, Infoprint Solutions, Dataone and Impika (Xerox group). Yves has recently created ybam, a French company specialized in consulting, audits, and services in the digital production printing industry.

Frank Vyncke

Frank started his career as developer for Barco Graphics (now Esko) in 1989 and grew to the position of technical product manager. After moving to Artwork Systems in 2001, he took the lead in developing a PDF-based workflow solution and PDF editing tools. Since 2011, he works at Hybrid Software, where he is responsible for Cloudflow Development, which includes a PDF RIP, a workflow engine, and web viewing technology.

Creative outreach subcommittee

The mission of the creative outreach subcommittee is to prepare outreach efforts to involve the creative community and educate them on best practices for print production processes. The creative outreach subcommittee will attempt to ‘translate’ technologically sophisticated, challenging, and complicated documents into simpler and more easily understandable language.

Currently, the creative outreach subcommittee is working on the updating and upgrading of the GWG webpage content, preparation of the GWG iconography, and identification and creation of simplified relevant documents on best practices for print production processes.

Raša Urbas

Raša Urbas has been appointed as the chair of this new subcommittee. Raša is an associate professor at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Department of Textiles, Graphic Arts and Design, and has 20 years of experience in research and teaching in the field of graphic arts and technology. She specializes in graphic prepress and printing, business information systems and applications, as well as microscopy and spectroscopy analysis techniques.

Office document printing subcommittee

The office document printing subcommittee works on issues related to the creation of reliable printable PDF documents from office applications. In most cases, creating files from “non-designer” applications means creating PDFs from Microsoft Office. With digital printing, many documents are created by users in these applications. This subcommittee is working on colour handling, font usage, use of transparency, and various methods and tools for PDF creation.

Koen Degrande

Koen Degrande has been appointed as the chair of the office document printing subcommittee. Koen Degrande has been working in the graphics world since 1991 and started as a service engineer. Nowadays, he works at Igepa Belux NV as PDF and workflow systems specialist and as a consultant for sales in automation.

Koen Degrande adds, “Even non-graphic creations should be professionally reproducible, that is my goal. Since my company is selling digital printing systems, customers ask me when receiving Microsoft Office files how they can reproduce them easily and with high quality.”

On Thursday, November 19, Koen will present a webinar together with Carl Van Rooy (VIGC) on creating PDF files from non-designer applications.

Click here to register for the webinar

The Ghent Workgroup, formed in June 2002, is an international assembly of industry associations, suppliers, educators, and industry members from around the globe. The Ghent Workgroup’s objective is to establish and disseminate process specifications for best practices in graphic arts workflows.

Since its inception more than fifteen years ago, the organization has consistently produced numerous process specifications for PDF exchange, as well as developing useful tools for automating processes and testing and establishing consistent PDFs for print and publishing – all available free at

Members are comprised of graphic arts associations including CIP4 (Switzerland), KVGO (the Netherlands), Febelgra (Belgium), Fespa (UK), Medibel+ (Belgium), PDFX-ready (Switzerland), Printing United Alliance (USA), and VIGC (Belgium). Vendor members include Agfa, Callas software, Canon, DALIM Software, EFI, Enfocus, EngView Systems, Esko, Global Graphics, Heidelberg, HYBRID Software, Kodak, Quark, Ricoh, Tech Research (TagG) and Ultimate Technographics. Industry members are agileStreams, Igepa Sagamgraphic, JP/Politikens Hus, Litografia Rosés, Prinovis, RRD, and ybam. Educational members are Future Schoolz India, Media University Stuttgart, Ryerson University, the University of Ljubljana, the University of Novi Sad, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), and the University of Wuppertal.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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