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To guide printing companies in accurately characterizing the color performance of their presses, the American National Standards Institute's Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS) Subcommittee 4 (Process Control) has developed a CGATS Recommended Industry Practice.

The press color characterization data gathered from these recommended procedures can help graphic designers and prepress technicians use digital proofing systems to better predict how their digitally prepared files will appear when output from the press.

The document covers the planning, preparation, printing, and post-printing steps involved in gathering color characterization data. It includes a sample checklist for offset lithography, but the techniques can be modified as appropriate for other types of printing.

The Recommended Industry Practice document can be downloaded in PDF form from the website of the NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies (www.npes.org/standards/workroom/html). For more information, contact the Director of the Standards Program Mary Abbott at mabbott@npes.org or 703-264-7200.

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