Ghent PDF Workgroup Releases Base Line Format for Packaging PDF


GHENT, BELGIUM—According to the Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG), during its late-June meeting, it welcomed a new member, set up a new subcommittee for Office Document Printing and Marketing, and released a 2004 Base Line Format for packaging PDFs.

Formed in June 2002, the GWG says its objective is to establish and disseminate process specifications for best practices in graphic arts workflows. During Drupa in May, the workgroup—comprised of international industry associations and suppliers from across Europe and the US—released its new 2004 (version 2) specifications for PDF/X Plus specific workflows for newspaper and magazine ads as well as for sheet-fed and web offset printing for cold set, heat set, CMYK, or spot color printing.

GWG explains, after almost a year of testing, the Packaging subcommittee has released the Base Line Format for PDF. "[This] Base Line Format...includes specifications to create and control proper 1.4 PDF files, including transparency and spot colors for proofing and exchange in packaging workflows among brand managers, design, and prepress." Adds the group, "In a later stage, these packaging specifications and best practices workflows will be extended to the exchange of print ready PDFs among prepress and packaging printers."

According to the GWG, the research for the Base Line Format for Packaging PDF and the best practices workflows has been conducted by a large number of renowned brands, prepress houses, vendors, and printers in the packaging industry both in Europe and in the USA. "The [format] will be published on the [GWG} web site,, for more widespread testing in the upstream creation and proofing workflow. The documentation on best practices will follow," says the group.

Also at the last quarterly meeting, the GWG says the general membership accepted France Repro, representing more than 20 digital printing companies in France, as a new association member. The GWG reports the addition of France Repro brings the total number of GWG members to 27 associations and vendors (including Adobe, Agfa, Artwork Systems, Creo, Enfocus Software, Esko-Graphics, Global Graphics, pub-specs, and Screen).

The admission of France Repro came with the decision to start a new Office Document Printing subcommittee that will handle the specific print-ready PDF specifications and best practices workflow of documents, which are not generated by graphics arts page-layout software.

"The Ghent PDF Workgroup is inviting more associations and vendors in the area of Office Document Printing to join [the organization, in order to define] the right specifications and best practice workflows for this area of the publishing and printing industry," says GWG.

Active GWG subcommittees as of the June 25, 2004 meeting are:

  • specifications
  • job ticketing
  • RIP output
  • packaging
  • color management
  • office document printing
  • documentation
  • marketing

For more information about the GWG, visit

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