A Collaborative Effort
"DDAP's mantra is 'Open process integration through the use of accredited standards,'" says Alan Darling, chair of Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications (DDAP), an association that advocates the adoption of digital advertising workflows. With a commitment in place to support 25-year-old SWOP (Specifications for Web Offset Publications), the two industry groups updated SWOP's Digital Calibration Kit that includes PDF/X-1a files in its test suite.
According to both companies, the kits have included TIFF/IT-P1 format test files since 1999, allowing printers and manufacturers a means of relating press, press proofs and off-press proofing results to SWOP Specifications. These tools are designed to determine the closeness of a visual match between a Certified Press Proof and the proofing system in use. As a follow-up to the stance SWOP took on PDF/X in their revised specification, SWOP for the New Millennium: 2001, and in response to a growing demand for PDF/X test files, both groups embarked on this joint project to update test files contingent on industry support.
Joel Rubin, SWOP chair, along with board members George Leyda and Nubar Nakashian, in with the help of Alan Darling, DDAP's chair, initiated the effort to add the PDF/X-1a test files to the kits. Several other companies that support the ISO accredited standard within their products also participated in the project, including Apago (responsible for processing the 130+MB original PostScript files to PDF/X-1a files with Piktor PDF/X Creator and checked the files with Apago Checkup, an Adobe Acrobat plug-in), Total Integration (developer of the DDAP PDF/X-1 Verifier designed to verify files in compliance with the PDF/X-1a standard), Western Laser Graphics (a DDAP member that proofed the files to Imation's Matchprint Digital proofing material on a CreoScitex Spectrum through CreoScitex Brisque) and Quality House of Graphics (assured that proofs met SWOP compliance and prepared files for distribution to Calibration Kit buyers).