World Association of News Publishers

ISO 12647-3:2013: Quality standard for newspaper production

ISO 12647-3:2013: Quality standard for newspaper production


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Print standardisation based on agreed international norms like ISO 12647-3 has been a great success for newspaper printing worldwide. In conjunction with the development of “full colour printing” based on process colours (CMYK) replacing the old spot colour concept in newspaper production, the first ISO newspaper print standard was released in 1998 and improved over time.

This new update of the report from 2005, "“Revision of ISO 12647-3 – Special Report 2.37, 2005", includes chapters on:

  • Why standardise?
  • Screen definition & colour separation
  • Print production
  • Tonal value curve
  • Introducing the new standard
  • Quality control mechanism

Newspaper printers embraced the uniform international standard quickly as a matter of course since they were used to standardised and straight forward production. The implementation of the standard in real life has paid off in the years since then.

Newspaper production standards deliver clear and manageable guidelines for printers worldwide. Standardisation became a great tool to create consistency across different print plants. It is a unique communication platform between print buyers, ad agencies, prepress designers and printers. The WAN-IFRA International Newspaper Color Quality Club promotes standardized colour reproduction and is a tool in itself to implement and maintain control over reproduction processes within the value chain of newspaper colour production.

The WAN-IFRA generic newspaper ICC print profile meanwhile is part of hundreds of newspaper print specifications all over. It is included in many software packages that manage the digital production workflow and pre-flight the colour data delivered by different sources. The international norms make printing and print buying easier and lower the costs for printers and their customers by avoiding confusion and misunderstandings.

In January 2015, the WAN-IFRA World Printers Forum Board decided to intensify working in the area of print standardisation in cooperation with newspaper printers worldwide. A new version of the newspaper ICC colour profile was developed and tested by the Swedish Graphic Companies’ Federation in cooperation with WAN-IFRA. This new version adapts the modifications of ISO 12647-3:2013 especially with regard to reduced total ink coverage.

Also, the World Printers Forum Board decided to update the WAN-IFRA report on “Revision of ISO 12647-3” (Special Report 2.37, 2005) accordingly. WAN-IFRA Research Manager Anand Srinivasan wrote this new WAN-IFRA report.

We present this report now to the newspaper print community and encourage readers to comment and discuss questions of newspaper print standardisation on the World Printers Forum website. The Online Forum has been established for the exchange of information for everyone interested in questions of newspaper production.

Anand Srinivasan




2015-07-14 12:58

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