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3DAP Version 2 is up and running

Thursday, 18 August 2005
By Print 21 Online Article

A good crowd of industry types – unfortunately short on print specifiers or agency people – turned out at the GASAA organised event at City Tattersalls Club in Sydney last night for the launch of the second version of the guidelines. (The GASAA organised Melbourne launch will take place next Tuesday, 23 August at the Celtic Club, 320 Queen St, Melbourne. To register GASAA)

The 3DAP committee, chaired by Barry Smith of ACP, presented the often controversial updated proofing guidelines, again warning it cannot guarantee results and does not claim that it is promoting a standard. 3DAP V3 is simply a guide that individual publishers may choose to adopt in order to achieve consistency in material supplied from different sources.

Bruce Sinnott of IPMG made the presentation of the eagerly awaited Version 2. He pointed out that V2 has moved beyond visual matching to comparing spectral data from 1,485 colour patches on the new test sheet. “ It is much less subjective than before. While the new changes are not dramatic, they are more achievable on press. The new version has broad agreement from all parties – printers, publishers and suppliers,” he said.

Already nine proofing solutions from four suppliers have been accredited to V2. The proofing devices from vendors must go through three stages to gain accreditation. The test sheets must be able to output within measured spectral tolerances, they must pass the visual test by the 3DAP committee, and the vendors must submit a full set of documentation. For proof originators to register their 3DAP approved proofing systems they must be trained by the vendor in the required procedures before they can use the sought-after 3DAP swatch on their proofs.

Despite the usual cautious caveats put out by the committee that they are not producing a standard, the fact remains that the previous iteration, 3DAP (V1), is widely used in the Australian graphics industry for proofing in areas well outside the heatset web offset window 3DAP targets. In a vigorous question and answer session after the presentation the committee was forced time and again to restate the limitations of its aims.

When pressed as to why we cannot simply use SWOP or Euroscale standards, Sinnott claimed the ‘flavour’ of Australian printing in press settings, inks and paper is such that overseas standards just don’t apply. “Besides, we think we do it better,” he said.

3DAP Version Two is promoted as delivering an improved match to current heatset web offset print conditions in the Australian market. A file proofed on a V1 proof when compared to V2 will exhibit subtle changes in colour; the new version is closer to the average printed result obtained on a 65gsm coated stock. The inclusion of other stocks at some stage in the future was flagged during the launch.

Most of the major Australian magazine publishers as well as the heat-set web offset printers have representatives on the 3DAP committee. IPMG, Webstar and Argyle Times have tested the new proofing guidelines with controlled print runs. The result is described in LAB colour values and represents a new target colour-space i.e.V2.

Version Two will be the only proof guideline endorsed by 3DAP from February 2006. However, both versions will remain valid up to this date, to allow time for the change to filter through the market. This is possible as the new version whilst different is not a radical change, and the committee believes that both can be used during the changeover period.

The 3 DAP committee is endorsed by the Magazine Publishers Association and it’s charter is to offer digital proofing and file guidelines to the magazine industry, specifically targeting advertising content.

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