Book review: Printing-Process Control and Standardization

Robert Y Chung, RIT Press, Rochester, New York, 200 pages, August 2020, US$ 45.00

Robert Chung
Printing-Process Control and Standardization Robert Y. Chung RIT Press, Rochester, New York, 200 pages, August 2020, US$ 45.00

Control and standardisation are two difficult goals to achieve in printing, especially when it relates color. In each of the printing processes there are more than 150 variables, and every variable ultimately affects ink transfer to the substrate – hence a great need for process standardization.

Robert Y Chung the author of one of the latest books on the subject Printing-Process Control and Standardization has over 36 years of teaching experience at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He unfolds the history of colour management and process standardisation to the present and gives a thorough explanation of various ways it has, and can, be achieved.

The book starts with explanations of densitometry, colorimetry, ICC color management before the explanation on standards. Chung explains that there are the following categories of standards around the world and also explains how they differ but are trying to achieve the same basic reproduction criteria established now and over the past 100 years.

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1. Industry level, e.g., SWOP, GRACoL, G7 (USA0, Fogra, bvdm (Germany), Ugra (Switzerland), BPIF (UK)
2. National level, ANSI, CGATS in USA
3. International level, ISO / TC130

The ISO / TC 130 (which the Bureau of Indian Standards MSD 6 interacts with), has eleven working groups, and each standard goes thorough seven stages from initiation to final publication.

To implement the standards, ‘conformity of print production’ is required based on statistical process control. This process has to be based on deviation from standards as well as production variation. The difference between the two is nicely explained in the book. Material testing, process standardization, and personnel training are key factors to be successful in these efforts. However, it is stated that there has been a decline in the number color process standards certified printers globally, and certification is basically driven by the print buyers if they insist. The current total number of certified printers are around 3,000 globally. Following are the present certification bodies worldwide –

Brazil – ABTG
France – UNIC
Germany – bvdm, Fogra, Heidelberg ISO 12647-2
Italy – CertiPrint, cmyQ
Japan – JPMA
Netherland – SCGM
Sweden – CGP
Switzerland – Ugra
UK – PMC, BPIF, Mellowcolour
USA – G7, PSA, GMI, X-Rite Pantone

The book also explains how the projects are undertaken at the RIT and this should be of great interest to the print faculty as well as students all over the world. The book is highly recommended for every one involved in graphic arts and printing activities.

Kiran Prayagi can be reached at

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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