In the graphics market there is an expectation of consistency and repeatability of output, regardless of where and when the job is printed or which print technology is used. However, this can often be a challenge for commercial printers with an array of devices being operated by employees of varying skill levels. To help ensure accurate and predictable color printing – and meet growing customer demand – more and more commercial printers are looking to implement quality and process controls, such as G7® Process Control, into their operations.
Canon Solutions America, Inc., a subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc. explains how G7 Process Control helps commercial printers ensure consistency and repeatability of output across a gamut of printing devices and substrates, and better position themselves to meet the printing needs of large corporate businesses.
What G7 Certification Means for Commercial Printers
Customers outsourcing their print needs want the output to look the same every time. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that can significantly impact the color quality of that output, including printer type, the raster image processor (RIP) used, the type of ink and substrate material, as well as the skill level of the print operator. That’s why the G7 process control was created.
With certification available for print facilities, operators, system manufacturers, and software systems, G7 helps guarantee that print operators have the expertise in the field of color management, established processes and quality control for proofing and printing. This certification helps to deliver repeatable, predictable results and that the software system has the ability to calibrate a printing device to meet the G7 grayscale definition using four 1-D Curves and its ability to operate a consistent G7-managed workflow.
G7 allows print providers to deliver the highest possible color match with less preparation and waste, ultimately providing a higher quality product at a lower cost. While you can still produce quality work without being G7 certified, G7 certification provides a set method and specification to produce consistent, high-quality results. And that assurance of quality and predictability can be critical for many customers looking to outsource their print needs.
The Importance of G7 Certification Varies Depending on Customer Type
Many corporations have strict corporate policies around the colors used for their brand. Whether it’s fashion retailers printing banners and counter cards with specific colors to promote a new line of clothing or companies with logos that are a particular Pantone®, it is critical that all print jobs have the desired color – regardless of where the job is printed, how often a job is repeated, who is doing the printing and what technology and substrates are used.
While print quality is important to all customers, the value of G7 certification can vary depending on the size and type of company outsourcing the print job. A recent study from the Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization (PRIMIR)1 found that the requirement for color certification and quality assurance when selecting a wide format signage and graphics supplier increases with buyers’ company size.
According to the PRIMIR survey, 90 percent of respondents with 500 or more employees reported that they look for a color certification or some other assurance of quality when selecting a wide format signage and graphics supplier. This compares to only 48 percent for companies with less than 100 employees and 75 percent for companies with between 100 and 500 employees.
However, of the wide format print service providers surveyed, only 21 percent reported that they are G7 certified or have some other color certification. As a result, commercial printers who are G7 certified are better positioned to serve those customers, especially large corporate accounts, who require quality assurance certification.
Partnering with the Right Vendor
With G7 certification comes the expectation to provide your customers consistent, high-quality color print jobs. But not every workflow is up to the task of G7 certification. As a result, commercial printers who are G7 certified, or who are looking to become certified, should partner with a print solution provider who understands the process, the challenges and your equipment needs. By selecting a vendor who is G7 certified, not only can they help provide you with the necessary printing equipment, but they can also provide consultation and support to help you within the workflow and assist you in the proper use and operation of the system.
1. PRIMIR Wide Format Inkjet Printing Trends, June 2015