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What’s the value of G7 Print Media Certification?

JANUARY 15, 2013| SpeedPro of SF Peninsula


Quality, Standards

G7 Master Qualification Takes Some Effort

OK, we’ll admit it…maybe even boast about it: we are proud of our G7 Master Qualification! It assures that SpeedPro of SF Peninsula meets the printing/imaging industry’s leading standard for best practices in color control.  But for those who are not familiar with the techie issues around color measurement in the print industry…the question may be:  why should I care?  Here, in brief, is what G7 is about, why it matters and who is the IDEAlliance….the organization behind G7 and many of the other key print and graphics industry standards.

Common Visual Appearance

G7 is an industry standard designed to ensure consistency of color, or a “Common Visual Appearance” on printed products.  As many people have regrettably experienced, printing on different materials or with different technologies (offset, screen, large format inkjet, etc.) creates the potential for inconsistent color across various elements in a campaign – not to mention reprints that look different from the previous batch.  G7 defines a common method of measuring output accuracy based on a neutral grey scale to reduce color disparities arising from differences in white point, texture and absorbency of the media and divergences in ink sets or printing technology.

This doesn’t mean that we can exactly hit spot colors with our six color printers (C,M, Y, K, LC,LM), or that we can produce colors that are outside the gamut range of 4CP, but it does mean that if we’re printing a raster (or bitmapped) image using one of our G7 profiles, the colors will share what is referred to as a common visual appearance with other G7 produced pieces.  In other words, it basically looks the same to the human eye, which is a surprisingly rigorous judge. Color science can be exceedingly complex, and G7 doesn’t guarantee that colors in a printed photo will be identical to the same photo printed on a different substrate on another G7 device. But it does mean that to even a sophisticated viewer, the color values and appearance of the pictures will be consistent. And that’s worth plenty!

Get More Information on IDEAlliance and its standards

If you’re interested in more information on G7,  the IDEAlliance, the standards body that developed and administers the G7 certification (along with GRACol, SWOP and others) has posted a slide presentation on YouTube, and deeper technical material is available at

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SpeedPro of SF Peninsula

Studio Owner
Paul Reinhardt