“PDF is becoming more common beyond commercial print in wide-format and packaging,” said GWG technical officer Andrew Bailes-Collins. “As a result we decided to develop a standard for wide-format.”
Bailes-Collins added that it is the first time the organisation has gone to the market to seek input prior to defining the specification.
“If we get it wrong then no one will use it, so we have to get it right,” he said.
Defining a specification for wide-format files is complicated by the range of output sizes and viewing distances, and therefore image resolutions that need to be covered. To handle this, it will be necessary to introduce a dynamic parameter for resolution and also for minimum point size for type.
“We want to find out how people are working today and to work out how to implement that in a pre-flight workflow regardless of whether it is automatic or manual,” he said.
A further issue is the limitation of PDF to file sizes to 200x200 inches (5x5m), which means some artwork needs scaling applied before output.
GWG members involved in the initiative include Canon, EFI and Ricoh. It is also in discussions with Fespa regarding getting feedback from its global community.
It plans to have developed an outline specification for review in time for its next meeting, which will be held in Krakow in October, with the aim of publishing a final standard early next year.
Any firm that wants to have an input into the proposals can contact the GWG via the contact form on its website www.gwg.org.