Print Specification

Most, if not all, major printing houses around the world have a printing specification. This can be supplied to advertising agencies upon request and is the basis of all processes, which go to make up a newspaper. It can be a hard copy, or a PDF that can be downloadable from the Internet.

As an example the print specification could contain the following information:

A Digital colour profile, which can be loaded into Pre-press applications -- Recognised by the industry, IFRA and most international printing advisory organisations.

The Newspapers preferred screen Rulings and Angles for:
Colour, Mono, Any special irrational screen angles, Special extra colours or varnishes.

Typical tone reproduction guidelines:

  • Highlight                                    0-4%;
  • Quarter tone                              25%;
  • Mid-tone                                    50%;
  • Three Quarter tone                   75%;
  • Solids                                       100%.

Grey balance targets, proportion of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow used to make a 30% black.
UCR/GCR separation set up.

Ink Coverage, Total ink weight for, four-colour process. ISO standard is 240% for newspapers

Preferred Ink weight densities, which appear to be:

  • Cyan                 0.86
  • Magenta            0.95
  • Yellow               0.90
  • Black                 1.09
  • (These figures should be reviewed for each customer)

Advice on Dot Gain and preferred maximum colour values
E.g. any colour specified at 85% will print solid.

Colour chart outlining the following: (see example in Document examples page)

  • Actual printed colours
  • The component colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black).
  • Instructions for Advert agencies for producing proofs and replicating the preferred printed result (we would recommend that soft proofing could be introduced over time).
  • Where colour bars should be sited.
  • What colour bars are preferred.
  • Type of Ink used in production.
  • Type of substrate e.g. Any special finish, mechanical or chemical created paper.
  • Fountain solution/chemistry.
  • Press blanket type

Use of  certain types of picture, which are typical of the region covering key areas, such as:

  • Skin types;
  • Vegetation;
  • Sky colour;
  • Buildings.
  • A general look and feel of how images should look when they are printed.

The specification could also include an overview of Media Pre-Press and Press Data, such as:

Scanning devices :

  • Flat bed;
  • Drum;
  • Copy Dot.

Type of Plate/Image setters.

Press sequence of printing:
E.g. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black as opposed to Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow which is popular amongst quality magazine printers;

Grey Balance Colour reference patches (often referred to as jelly beans);

Types of Negative working plates and types of Positive working plates;

CTP devices used;

Printing Presses;

Take off system and preferred method of insertion (Ferrag).

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