Print

Ask a Smartpress.com Expert: G7 Compliance & Color Consistency

Ask a Smartpress.com Expert: G7 Compliance & Color Consistency

I’m in charge of doing the first real print buy for my company. I read that GRACoL 7 compliance is something that I should look for in a printer. Smartpress.com is G7 compliant, but I’m still not quite sure what that means, as the resources I’ve found seem to be intended for print experts. Can you help me understand G7 and how it can help with my printing needs?

- Bewildered Print Buyer

GRACoL stands for General Requirements for Applications in Commercial offset Lithography, a comprehensive set of guidelines for planning and processing work for printers.  GRACoL 7, or G7™, is a defined, measured methodology for color management that provides optimal color consistency between a press sheet and a proof. Being G7 compliant enables Smartpress.com to consistently produce digital printing of the highest quality, while keeping costs low by reducing prep times and waste.

G7 Gracol 7Put simply, G7 basically helps us to provide consistent color reproduction for designs across multiple processes and materials. G7 can ensure the closest visual match between printed images, regardless of how they are produced or upon which substrate they are printed.

So, for example, say you want to purchase marketing materials, packaging and signage with the same brand imagery. The different substrate, gamut and other print characteristics will vary for the different print products, leaving the potential for variations in color and saturation from your printed brochure to your product packaging to your hanging banner. This is undesirable, especially if you have well-defined brand colors.

But with G7 controlling the gray balance and neutral tonality of the design, the different print marketing materials will have a remarkably similar appearance to the human eye. That means the colors on your brochures and banners will be the closest possible match to the colors on your product packaging. And it’s not just restricted to those three print products, G7 compliance means that we can match colors across nearly any media you wish, including business cards, booklets, posters and more.

Because similarity of the visual appearance across print products is critical, most print buyers make it a buying requirement that their digital printer is G7 compliant. For a first-time print buyer, I’m impressed. You may be new to print buying, but you’ve really touched on an advanced subject. Thanks for your question and please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you with placing your digital printing order.

Have a question about online printing that you would like to have answered? Leave your question in the comments below or email us at customerservice@smartpress.com and we will do our best to answer your questions.

About Jill Alfano

Jill Alfano, mother of two, loves musicals and gardening. She has 12 years of prepress and printing experience in digital, offset, flexo and screen printing.