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.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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