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VIGC launches Quality Perception Benchmark service

Jun 20, 2011 12:00 AM


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The Flemish Innovation Center for Graphic Communication (VIGC) has launched an image-based “Quality Perception Benchmarking” service. It enables users to make objective comparisons of different versions of a print job or different impressions within a large production run, without control strips.

The VIGC Quality Perception Benchmark is based on seven parameters that are relevant to visual perception of quality. Measurements are based on images in the print job.

"Comparing and assessing the quality of multiple print jobs can be very difficult," says Eddy Hagen, managing director and trend watcher for VIGC. "This is because most quality benchmarking systems are based on control strips, which get cut off in the finishing stage.”

Fons Put, senior consultant at VIGC responsible for the project, explains how the organization set about overcoming the challenge: "We had to perform a quality benchmark on finished print jobs, so we couldn't start with the traditional measurements, e.g., density or the colors of CMYK solids in CIELab. We needed to go for other parameters that are important for image perception, such as dynamic range. So we devised a new, unique measuring methodology to get an objective assessment of these visual parameters. Differences in these parameters between multiple samples can always be related to one or more printing parameters, e.g., density or print contrast."

The VIGC has tested and refined the methodology over the last two years, in the course of a consulting job for one of its members. The company changed its production based on the VIGC reports.

And now the VIGC has made its Quality Perception Benchmark service available to all companies interested in an objective quality benchmark for printed jobs.

A crucial factor in the VIGC Quality Perception Benchmark is that all tested parameters relate to printing parameters. In its assessment report, the VIGC does not only show whether samples conform or differ, but also it states what could cause the differences, and which printing parameters are probably different.

Contact Eddy Hagen, managing director, VIGC, at eddy.hagen@vigc.be.