Color-Related Standards and Specifications

The following classification system, which also was used in Color and Its Reproduction, is a modified version of that suggested by David Q. McDowell, a noted authority on standards. The entries presented here were chosen with greater emphasis on the interests of printing companies rather than those of equipment manufacturers and are based, in part, on the NPES Technical Standards Catalog ( Current articles related to standards are posted on the IDEAlliance website (


Measurement and Assessment Procedures

CGATS.4-2011, Graphic Technology—Graphic Arts Reflection Densitometry Measurements—Terminology, Equations, Image Elements and Procedures

ISO 5-3:2009, Photography and Graphic Technology—Density measurements—Part 3: Spectral conditions

CGATS.5-2009, Graphic Technology—Spectral Measurement and Colorimetric ­Computation for Graphic Arts Images

ISO 13655:2009, Graphic Technology—Spectral measurement and colorimetric ­computation for graphic arts images (based upon CGATS.5)

ISO 14807:2001, Photography—Transmission and reflection densitometers—Method for determining performance

ISO 15790:2004, Graphic Technology and Photography—Reflection and transmission metrology—Certified reference materials—Documentation and procedures for use, including determination of combined standard uncertainty

ISO 20462, Photography—Psychophysical experimental methods for estimating image quality

ISO 20462-1:2005, Part 1, Overview of psychophysical elements

ISO 20462-2:2005, Part 2, Triplet comparison method

ISO 20462-3:2012, Part 3, Quality rules method

AS/NZS 1580.601.3:1994, Colour—Methods of Colour Measurement

AS/NZS 1580.601.4:1994, Colour—Calculation of Colour Differences

AS/NZS 1580.601.5:1994, Colour—Calculation of Small Colour Differences Using the CMC Equation

CIE 116-1995, Industrial Colour-Difference Evaluation


Characterization Targets and Test Images

IT8.7/1-1993, Graphic Technology—Color Transmission Target for Input Scanner Calibration

IT8.7/2-1993, Graphic Technology—Color Reflection Target for Input Scanner ­Calibration

IT8.7/3-2010, Graphic Technology—Input Data for Characterization of 4-Color Process Printing

IT8.7/4-2005, Graphic Technology—Input Data for Characterization of 4-Color Process Printing—Expanded Data Set

ISO 12640, Graphic Technology—Prepress Digital Data Exchange

  • ISO 12640-1:1997, Part 1, CYMK Standard Color Image Data (CMYK/SCID)
  • ISO 12640-2:2004, Part 2, XYZ/sRGB encoded image data (XYZ/SCID)
  • ·

ISO 12640-3:2007, Part 3, CIELAB encoded image data (CIELAB/SCID)

ISO 12641:1997, Graphic Technology—Prepress digital data exchange—Colour targets for input scanner calibration (equals IT8.7/1 and IT8.7/2)

ISO/TR 14672:2000, Graphic Technology—Statistics of the natural SCID images defined in ISO 12640


Viewing Conditions

ISO 3664:2009, Viewing Conditions—Graphic technology and photography

CGATS/ISO 12646:2008, Graphic Technology—Displays for colour proofing—Characteristics and viewing conditions

CGATS/ISO 12646:2008/Amendment 1:2010

AS/NZS 4004:2006, Lighting Booths for Visual Assessment of Colour and Colour Matching

BS 950, Specification for Artificial Daylight for the Assessment of Colour

  • Part 1:1967, Illuminant for Colour Matching and Colour Appraisal
  • Part 2:1967, Viewing Conditions for the Graphic Arts Industry

AS/NZS 1580.601.3:1994, Standards for Colour, Visual Comparison and Instrumental Measurement


Materials Evaluation

ASTM International Standards on Color and Appearance Measurement, eighth edition, American Society of Testing and Materials, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania (2008).

ISO 12040:1997, Graphic Technology—Prints and Printing Inks—Assessment of Light Fastness Using Filtered Xenon Arc Light

ISO 2846, Graphic Technology—Colour and transparency of ink sets for four-colour printing

  • ISO 2846-1:2006, Part 1, Sheet-fed and heat-set web offset lithographic printing
  • ISO 2846-2:2007, Part 2, Coldset offset lithographic printing
  • ISO 2846-3:2002, Part 3, Publication gravure printing
  • ISO 2846-4:2000, Part 4, Screen printing
  • ISO 2846-5:2005, Part 5, Flexographic printing
  • ·

ISO 2834, Graphic Technology—Laboratory preparation of test prints

  • ISO 2834-1:2006, Part 1, Paste inks
  • ISO 2834-2:2007, Part 2, Liquid inks
  • ISO 2834-3:2008, Part 3, Screen printing inks

ISO 12040:1997, Graphic Technology—Prints and printing inks—Assessment of light fastness using filtered xenon arc light

ISO 12634:1996, Graphic Technology—Determination of tack of paste inks and vehicles by a rotary tackmeter

ISO 12644:1996, Graphic Technology—Determination of rheological properties of paste inks by the falling rod viscometer


Printed Output

CGATS TR 001-1995, Graphic Technology—Color Characterization Data for Type 1 Printing & Supplement 1

CGATS TR 012-2003, Graphic Technology—Color Reproduction and Process Control for Packaging Printing

CGATS TR 015-2011, Methodology for Establishing Printing Aims Based on a Shared Near-neutral Gray-scale

CGATS TR 016-2012, Printing Tolerance and Conformity Assessment

ISO 12647, Graphic Technology—Process Control for the Manufacture of Half-Tone Colour Separations, Proof and Production Prints

  • ISO 12647-1:2004, Part 1, Parameters and measurement methods
  • ISO 12647-2:2004, Part 2, Offset lithographic processes
  • ISO 12647-3:2005, Part 3, Coldset offset lithography on newsprint
  • ISO 12647-4:2005, Part 4, Publication gravure printing
  • ISO 12647-5:2001, Part 5, Screen printing
  • ISO 12647-6:2012, Part 6, Flexographic printing
  • ISO 12647-7:2007, Part 7, Proofing processes working directly from digital data
  • ISO 12647-8:2012, Part 8, Validation print processes working directly from digital data

ISO/TS 10128:2009 Methods of adjustment of the colour reproduction of a printing system to match a set of characterization data

Specifications for Web Offset Publications, eleventh edition, IDEAlliance (2007)

Specifications for Newsprint Advertising Production, SNAP Committee (2011)

Australian Print Standards, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1995

General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography, Version 7.0, IDEAlliance (2007)

Published on Monday, April 1, 2013 (updated 05/31/2014)