Talk:Specifications for Web Offset Publications

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Basically speaking, that is, speaking basically.

The second paragraph (beginning with "Basically speaking") does not seem to fit the way it is currently worded. Any suggestions? Dcook32p (talk) 14:14, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

It's harmful at the moment. The references are good, but the article seems to be a misrepresentation of what SWOP is and why it is used. Really, the author sees the term and defines it by the single use they have seen. Even in this, it denigrates the SWOP profile to a default to be used when a device is unknown, rather than a specific and precise set of conditions that have a purpose and widespread standardisation. (talk) 14:31, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Here's an attempt at writing up what SWOP really is:

SWOP is an organisation and the name of a set of specifications that it produces, with the aim of improving the consistency and quality of professionally printed material in the United States, and of certain other products, programs and endorsements related to their work.

The SWOP specification covers many areas related to print production, complementing, extending and limiting those in other industry stardards. The specification includes (but is not limited to) the following.

  • A specification for the colors of the cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks used in CMYK printing. Inks conforming to the specification can be called SWOP inks. The specifications make reference to, but are not identical to, the ISO standard ISO 2846-1:2006.
  • A specification for the colors of proofs produced by various technologies, so they are accurate representation of the SWOP inks eventually used to print. (See SWOP Certification Program below). Proofs made from systems that meet these specifications may be called SWOP Proofs.
  • Specifications for expected dot gain (caused by ink dots enlarging over absorbent papers).
  • Requirements for producing halftones and colour separation
  • Design constraints, such as the minimum size of type which is to printed reversed or knocked out of a background, to keep legibility.
  • Production constraints, such as a limit of 300% on the total mixture of inks (taking a mixture of 100% each of cyan, magenta, yellow and black as being 400%).

SWOP also endorse, produce or specify some other things.

  • ICC profiles for color management, based on the standard called TR001, an ANSI technical report whose full title is “CGATS TR001-1995 Graphic Technology-Color Characterization Data for Type 1 Printing.” SWOP make reference to this, and a number of profiles using this are made with SWOP in the title, such as the profile USWebCoated (SWOP), which is widely available because it is included with many Adobe applications. TR001 profiles are not universal, because they were generated and tested with specific inks, papers, and printing technologies.
  • The SWOP booklet gives the specifications mentioned above, often in reference to other industry specifications (ISO and other).
  • A SWOP Certification Program for proofing (not press) printing systems. This is used by manufacturers, rather than purchasers, of systems.

SWOP is a non-profit volunteer organisation, and concerns itself only with the United States. In some other areas, similar efforts have been made by other organisation, taking account of national variations in printing techniques, expectations, and requirements.

Chief reference is the SWOP FAQ already linked. Almost all of this can be specifically sourced from that. I've never read the SWOP booklet, I think someone who has should go further. (talk) 14:26, 8 October 2010 (UTC) (I do not make any undertakings to take this work further. I absolutely will not commit time to this. Please run with it).