Digital Printing Colour Standards Being Established by SGIA

The SGIA, one of the main trade associations in the print industry, have announced their intention to create new digital printing colour standards.

Citing a sore need for new rules and specifications for digital colour within the print industry, the Speciality Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) made their stance known earlier this month by proclaiming they will develop new digital printing colour standards.

The SGIA hope that the new standards created will target waste production and more efficient use of substrates and ink for those who work in the print industry.

Digital Printing Colour Standards Group Assembled

Work on the project has already begun to take shape, with the SGIA enlisting the help of a group of professionals, all based in digital printing backgrounds (including ink manufacturers, print media manufacturers and printing press manufacturers.)

Included within the project team is The Sonoco Institute for Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University. They will be assisting the SGIA by providing accurate measurement data regarding the new digital printing colour standards being put into place.

In terms of gathering statistics and carrying out analytical research, this will be handled by Andrew D. Paparozzi, Chief Economist for the SGIA.

Other group participants and companies involved within the project for creating new digital printing colour standards have been named as:

  • Travis Barcelona (Nazdar)
  • Bruce Bayne (SpotOn!)
  • Tim Bolton (Ricoh)
  • Dave Brewer (Image Options)
  • Tom Cooper (WestRock)
  • Ann Crum (Phoenix Ink)
  • Dan Gillespie (Alder Technology)
  • Josh Hope (Mimaki, USA)
  • Mike Mentone (3M)
  • Chris Padilla (Mutoh)
  • Peter Pretzer (FUJIFILM)
  • Jim Raffel (ColourCasters)
  • Bruce Ridge (Nazdar)
  • Paul Roba (Avery Dennison)
  • Toby Satterfield (Ricoh)
  • Max West (Holland and Crosby)

Reasons to Introduce Digital Printing Colour Standards

Ray Weiss, the Director of Digital Print Programs at the SGIA, explains the situation regarding digital printing colour standards further, expressing:

“There is a big gap in the specification arena in the printing industry.

While colour specifications such as SWO and GRACol are based on offset presses running traditional CMYK inks, digital printing is the Wild West, with substrates and ink sets varying tremendously.”

Weiss does believe however, that despite the initial hurdles presented, that their plans to introduce new digital printing colour standards should prove successful, before summarising:

“This is a challenging project, but we have some of the best colour people in the industry working on it. We have knowledge base and we have the support of manufacturers and printers.

The time is right to take action.”

Will New Digital Printing Colour Standards Affect the Web-to-Print Industry?

One of the largest growing areas within commercial print, the web-to-print industry could likely be affected by new digital printing colour standards being put into place. Experts don’t expect however, that this will affect the growth of web-to-print overall.

As mentioned in our article on the web-to-print industry, official statistics state that the web-to-print market is set to reach $1.3 billion (approx. £1.1 billion) by the year 2022 globally, with contributing factors to this including:

  • The rise of e-commerce
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities
  • The overall advancement of the internet
  • A rapid progression of digital technologies.

As the print industry continues to develop, it will provide no huge shock should we see a large amount of online businesses and well-known retailers adopting web-to-print in order to continue to stay relevant to their customers on the high street and on the web.


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