The Dog Didn't Eat Our Homework...
Last Spring we went through our GRACoL qualification process. I was told to expect a couple of days, a few thousand press sheets, several sets of plates, and a potential risk to the sanity of my press-operator. In reality, it was much easier than any of us could have anticipated. Our G7 Expert Color Consultant from Fuji gave us credit for already following many of the "best practices" that GRACoL recommends for a successful qualification.
The benefits: Making colors print sharper and more consistently across multiple printing devices allowing you to benefit from the best-priced print technology without compromising quality. Not as easy as it sounds, since we offer lots of different color devices and each use their own inks or toners, papers, and their own software RIPs. GRACoL 7 bridges the gap . For those techie-geeky types that want to know the in-depth explanations of GRACoL, GRACoL 7, and G7, feel free to click here.
Fortunately, we do our homework (and kept it away from the dog!) We start with quality papers from environmentally responsible sources and use eco-friendly inks and toner. Then we follow that up with regular calibration and an industry leading QA system to monitor our color. The final ingredient is skilled and knowledgeable staff, who continue to monitor color through the entire run.
Seems simple, but apparently it's not! I guess that's why our G7 Expert Color Consultant seemed surprised when our first test sheets, from our first test plates, were almost within specs without having changed a thing. A process that could have taken two days, took just over two hours on press.
So we proudly became one of the first printing companies in the Carolinas to qualify as G7 Master Printers. And now, one year later, we've gone through our first RE-qualification process and are STILL only one of seven G7 Master Printers in the Carolinas. GRACoL has made some changes in their qualification criteria and expectations are a little higher. We weren't scared, though... hit it on our first pull. Piece of cake!