Welcome to the website of VIGC, the Flemish Innovation Center for Graphic Communication, the knowledge center for the graphic arts industry. Graphic industry should be seen as broad as possible. Printing companies, prepress houses ... are just a small part of a large ecosystem. An ecosystem that becomes bigger and bigger, thanks to new technology: designers, writers, publishers, photographers, prepress houses, printers, finishing and fulfillment companies. All of these players are interconnected: the job of one of them has a strong influence on the job of the other.
A major task of VIGC, as a knowledge center, is to follow up on new technologies and new evolutions in the market space. But VIGC also assists companies in the world of graphic communication that embrace innovation. We assist companies that are looking for a higher degree of efficiency, for innovation in processes and products. VIGC is a member organisation, located in Turnhout (Belgium). Most of our activities, like our magazine and our seminars, are in Dutch. However, some seminars and some services can be delivered in English, upon request.
Color management on tablets
How accurate are colors on a tablet? We did a small test: we put the same images on six different tablets and photographed them, all at once in one single shot, to have a good (but relative) comparison...
VIGC Output Essentials
Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop are very powerfull tools. But number of important functions are sometimes hidden deep in the menus. This can lead to errors, therefor VIGC has developped a new tool: the VIGC Output Essentials. With these custom panels you get easy access to a largenumber of really essential function.
VIGC tests PDF to EPUB conversion tools, average of 30%
Publishers wanting to convert their library of books to ebooks may find it problematic, after a test run by the VIGC found tools for converting PDFs to EPUB files scored an average of 30% – with the lowest-performing tool scoring just 10%. And even more significant: the four EPUB validation tools we used produced different results. The VIGC will continue its search for good tools, to support publishers and printers.
VIGC PDF/X-4 Audit: first big PDF/X-4 RIP test, seven systems get 'passed' label
The next big step in prepress will be PDF/X-4, which allows transparency and layers. But what about the support of PDF/X-4 by RIP vendors? VIGC has carried out its first PDF/X-4 audit and is pleased to report that seven systems were awarded its 'PDF/X-4 Audit: Passed' label. The audit involved the first large PDF/X-4 RIP test in the world, and following the results a number of vendors have improved their products.
VIGC-study reveals: 220% TAC acceptable
How do you get the deepest black in a printed picture? Old wisdom says that you need 320 to 360% ink coverage, e.g. 95% C, 95% M, 45% Y, 95% K (ISO coated v2 ECI). But is that true? The VIGC took the challenge: how low can you go - in ink coverage of course - before you see a visual difference? Based on our extensive knowledge and many testing in the field of color, printing standardisation and color profiles, we started experimenting. And what did we find: nobody could see a significant difference between a maximum ink coverage on coated paper of 320% and 260%... On condition that the right (VIGC) profiles for color conversion were used. Just calculate how much ink you can save!
When we did the test with a few dozen of people at a print show, not one professional found even the 220% unacceptable! One even said: "If you would send this job to four different printing companies, you would see bigger differences than what you are showing me." More than half of the professionals gave the same or even a higher value to the images with a lower TAC.
VIGC launches color test suite: VIGC50 XCS
The VIGC50 XCS (eXtreme Color Suite) is a new test suite for color management. And not just another color test suite: the images from other test suites are either rather old, or mainly studio images which were taken specifically for the test suite, usually with very balanced colors. That approach has its advantages, but also disadvantages. The VIGC50 XCS is different: we searched for 'real life' images where color management goes wrong. To show the limitations of color management, to show the areas where color management could be improved. And that is unique.
VIGC tests PDF viewers. Most fail.
Using the right tools is essential in a printing, a publishing workflow. E.g. tools for viewing a PDF. Multiple members of VIGC have been confronted in the past with inappropriate tools, leading to discussions with customers and reprints: the customer saw something different in his PDF viewer (e.g. Mac OS/X Preview) than the printer in Adobe Acrobat.
That's the reason why we have tested over 20 PDF viewers: desktop applications, iPad apps and online tools for PDF sharing. Conclusion: most won't render a PDF correctly. Of all the tools we've tested, only Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader showed the PDFs correctly. And our tests consisted mainly of elements which are essential for the printing industry...
(A real life example: the printer saw the image on the left, the client the image on the right. The white text was set to overprint. Because most PDF viewers don't know this concept, they won't show it correctly.)