Post the seminar at the Indian Habitat Centre on 9 November - most of the delegates understood the importance of colour management and being a part loop is the best way forward. The views from the audience were that the need of the hour is to work efficient and with good quality - reducing the finger-pointing and bring in predictability which comes with standardisation procedures.
Alok Singh, owner, Collegare Media & Communications, in his inaugural address said, “We are trying to bring across awareness about global best practices through seminars and workshops like these. Especially, with retail giants Wal-Mart, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Carrefour among others are expected to touch base in the country post the government approval to FDI, creative agencies and printers both will be under pressure to meet on the global quality and standardisation practices.”
Singh pointed out that although the Indian printing industry has been grossing a double-digit growth rate, the country has only two UGRA certified printing houses (Sai Packaging, Bengaluru in Karnataka and Janus Packaging, Baddi in Himachal Pradesh) and one pre-press service provider (Color Dots Prepress Studio); plus one print firm which is under process (Replika Press, EPIP Kundli in Haryana).
Setting the tone for discussion, Erwin Widmer, managing director, UGRA started off his presentation stating, “Certification is the start of whole process and not the end.” He elucidated the process for attaining an UGRA certification in three steps: measurement technology, standardisation and certification.
Explaining measurement technology he said, “Just because a print looks fine doesn’t mean it meets the standardisation norms. People always think they have the most updated printing presses, thus they would easily meet the standards. Wrong. Your employees should know the details of how to print?”
Answering a query of a delegate on various standards such as PSN (newspapers), PSR (rotogravure) and PSD (digital) etc, he said that these are more of processes than standards based on ISO standards. He suggested delegates to go through the PSO (Process Standard Offset) book as it explains standards in a printer's language.
Explaining how UGRA certification plays an important role in building up trust with the print buyer, Widmer said, “When a company is able to print according to the standards, it can give a proof to its clients via means of a certification that have been awarded by a neutral organisation. The audit from an experienced and independent expert from outside the company can show where improvement can be made.”
Tarun Chopra of Color Dots Prepress Studio who is instrumental in promoting standardisation via Colour Mechanics through an elaborate presentation explained how colour-space influences colour-appearance and how numbers were irrelevant without appropriate colour space information in the file.
“Printing is now an established measureable manufacturing process. Printing is not an art, according to Chopra "We are in the business of reproduction not creation, creation can be art but reproduction has to as faithful to the original as possible not better or worse. Colour management is all about controlling appearance through various stages of print production".
Another relevant point Chopra touched upon during his presentation was the need for creating awareness about differentiating between a reference print and a certified proof. “For a print to qualify as proof it has to have media wedge, and should have an attached report qualifying it as a proof. A certified proof is an ideal representation of how the numbers in the file would show in print for a specific print condition.
Chopra also stressed how the concept of shade cards being followed by Indian print industry is flawed and stressed the need to get rid of the obsolete practice if we want to compete internationally.
Ian Reid of Bodoni Systems, UK transported in his the discussion from a printer’s point of view to a print buyer’s point of view. Through his presentation titled how print buyers eye print, he stressed upon the need for better communication not only between the client and servicer but also between the different facets of the process like pre-press and printing.
“The value of process certification is far more important and valued by customers (buyers) than product certification. Process certification communicates your capability, while product certification delimits your credibility till reproducing a product of similar level. In next five years, there would less number of printers, just like in Europe. So you would not be competing just with your domestic competitors but also international ones,” he said.
Satish Nayak of Bodhi Professional Solutions rounded up the day’s discussion through an interactive presentation. He said, “I still believe that the industry is focusing on the secondary and tertiary steps without working on the basics.” Using practical examples, Nayak provided a revision of the day’s salient points for the delegates. He explained the concepts of colour and L*a*b colour space in simple terms and also broke several myths attached to the science of colours.
The ten-city conference conceptualised by Collegare Media and powered by Konica Minolta; and after Mumbai and Delhi it will now be heading to the third destination, Bengaluru.