CGS supports open standard to digitally exchange brand colours with ORIS Color Exchange Format (CxF) Toolbox and ORIS CxF Designer that adheres to the ISO Standard17972.

With ISO Standard17972, effectively communicating printing characteristics of inks along the supply chain is essential to ensuring the final piece matches a brand’s vision. Traditionally, inks are thought of as either process or spot colours. Process colours are printed using a combination of the four standard process inks (CMYK), and typically are communicated to the printer in the form of ICC profiles.

Spot colours are premixed inks used when colour accuracy is critical, and to accurately reproduce colours outside the process colour gamut. For the last decade, the respective WG2 workgroup has defined methods for the exchange of measurement data and associated metadata within the graphic arts industry, and for the exchange of files between graphic arts users. ISO 17972 will remove the guesswork of communicating colours from concept to printer by using CxF/X-4 data in PDF documents, and the wait is almost over for the standards’ unveiling.

Scheduled for final publication in October 2014, ISO 17972 looks to standardise the X-Rite CxF designed to accurately and unequivocally communicate all relevant aspects of colour across devices, applications and locations.

This will replace the current CGATS format for communicating colour information, and become a universal language for the print world. CxF works in harmony with the openness of XML to seamlessly integrate with any web-driven workflow, ICC colour profiles etc. This CxF spectral data provides the data to accurately simulate ink colours, tint ramps and overprints for design prints and contract proofing.

In preparation for the standardisation of CxF data use, CGS worked with SmileyColor to develop tools to create, analyse and design CxF files. ORIS CxF Toolbox creates an ISO 17972-4 compliant CxF or CxF/X-4 from a measurement file, including spectral data, delivering a file that allows the printer to define ingredients and tolerances, data for ink formulation and pre-qualification of inks, proofing and process control systems.

ORIS CxF Designer, an Illustrator plug-in imports CxF data containing brand owner’s specific brand colours or libraries into the Adobe design software colour pallet. It then embeds spectral data, tints ramps and opacity information to final PDF/X files in an open file format.

ORIS CxF Toolbox and ORIS CxF Designer use the new ISO standards and an open format the entire supply chain can use. These tools provide all the information required to improve quality, reduce costly errors and improve customer satisfaction.