Lower Total Area Coverage Is Acceptable and Offers Big Savings, VIGC Finds

VIGC’s total area ink coverage test forms.

Erik Arras, also a senior innovation consultant, adds, “But that is only the first stage. We carried out a whole series of tests in combining and refining our ICC profiles with a reduced TAC. Every new combination is tested in keeping with the critical pictures from the VIGC50 XCS, firstly on the screen and then as a print proof. In this way, we finally arrived at our optimised ICC profiles. We also compared the conversions of test pictures using the VIGC profiles with the known profiles of Adobe and ECI, for example, and the tests were definitely positive for the VIGC profiles.”

Lower TAC holds its own in the field

The VIGC eventually moved on to a print test to investigate if what was visible on the screen or on the proof, would be confirmed when being printed. The results were presented to several printers and the findings were amazing—nobody saw any significant difference between the pictures with 320 percent and 260 percent ink coverage. A packaging printer that regularly prints packaging for chocolate and sweets even found the 220 percent version to be the best.

Versions of the test pictures that had been converted with the known Adobe and ECI profiles were also included in the print test, but no real difference was visible there either, as far as the optimum black was concerned.

More positive results at the Print/EasyFairs trade fair test

Dozens of print professionals conducted the VIGC test at its booth at the Print/EasyFairs trade fair in Brussels. Four versions of one of the test pictures were shown. Although most of the specialists detected a minor difference, none found that any one of the versions was qualitatively poor due to lower ink coverage.

Even the version with only 220 percent ink coverage was qualitatively acceptable as far as all the specialists were concerned. One of those present at the trade fair commented, “If you gave this job to four different printers, you would end up seeing bigger differences than between your four versions.”

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