PDF/X-4 and its advantages and applications for packaging workflows

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PDF/X-4 and its advantages and applications for packaging workflows

GWG Specificationsand Packaging• So far, Packaging is not based on thesame core specification than the otherstandards of the GWG• The GWG specifications are built on topof PDF/X1-a:2001 and PDF/X-3:2002which are based on PDF 1.3


PDF 1.3 is not good enoughfor Packaging• Packaging has specific needs• Packaging has an heavy usage of :− Layers− Live transparencies


GWG Specificationsand Packaging (again!)• The new GWG specification, based onPDF/X-4 (and therefore PDF 1.6) willallow Packaging workflows to be for thefirst time PDF/X compliant• Packaging will not be an ‘asidespecification’ for the GWG


Usage of layers inPackaging• Layers have been used for a long timeto separate technical information fromcontent− Die-cut− Embossing− Varnish− …• …from design to PDF


From layersto optional content• Layers are used in authoringapplications− For separation of contents− For simplification of the file construction• Optional content has been designed inPDF to allow versioning of a file (mainlylanguages differences)• Why not doing both?


Roles in the PackagingGraphic Chain• Many different contributors, withdifferent needs are active in thePackaging Graphic Chain process− Marketing / Project Managers− Packaging Technologists− Legal, Consumer Service,…• Why would they need to see extracontent when they need to be focusedon their task?


File Usage in the PackagingGraphic Chain• The same PDF file could be used fordifferent purposes during the process− Online validation− Proofing− Plate making− Cutting tools generation• Could the same file be able to serve allthese purposes, with only the contentneeded? Automatically?


PDF/X-4:2010Usage of optional content• OCCDs/OCMDs are helpful to fulfill bothroles and file usage needs− Instead of generating several ‘flavors’ of thesame file, it is now possible to activate only thecontent needed in one single file (interactive)− Automation of the file usage will be possible inthe future by using metadata attached toconfigurations to be able to automatically selectthe correct set of content to be used• die-cut visible for proofing but not used when making plates• Correct configuration presented to the user during onlinevalidation process


PDF/X-4:2010Usage of optional contentDifferents roles


PDF/X-4:2010Usage of optional contentDifferents languages/zones


PDF/X-4:2010Usage of optional content• OCGs are still very useful to be able toactivate/deactivate part of the contentto help in validation process


Is this a perfect world?Of course, not!


Lack of tools• While PDF/X-4, as a standard, ishelping a lot in the processes describedabove, there is a lack of tools availablein the market• Needs full implementation fromsoftware vendors


Complexity of the workflow• Automation is not (completely) there− Specification for metadata is needed todescribed the different contents• It is not easy to design files− New way of designing files to allow this process− Needs evangelization of this new process• …and last but not least… Packagingpeople are still reluctant from using afull PDF workflow!


Thank you!Christian BlaiseCo-Chairman of the GWG Packaging SubCommitteebleuprocess, founder+33 6 77 25 32 43christian@bleuprocess.comhttp://www.bleuprocess.com

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