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Do we need a standard for Improved Newsprint?

Do we need a standard for Improved Newsprint?

Manfred Werfel's picture


The actual newspaper printing standard ISO 12647-3 of December 2013 basically contains the same color definition for standard newsprint as the former one, which is:

L* = 82
a* = 0
b* = 3
(D50, 2°, 45/0, black backing)

This means the newsshade of standard newsprint is unchanged.

However, there is a debate whether we need an additional definition of improved newsprint. In the informal (non normative) part of the new print standard ISO 12647-3 an additional paper shade of improved newsprint was proposed:

L* = 86
a* = –1
b* = 2
(D50, 2°, 45/0, black backing)

But it is not clear if this definition is meeting the mainstream of improved newsprint requirements. This is why we would like to start a discussion among experts on this question. In a WAN-IFRRA field test in 2010 we found different lightness steps of improved newsprint versions: one at around L* = 86, the second at about L* = 89, and the third at about L* = 93 (D50, 2°, 45/0, black backing; see diagram attached).

We would be very interested knowing your preferences: Should we have an additional definition at all? If so, which one should it be? Should we create an additional newspaper ICC color profile for improved newsprint and who is willing to support test prints for such a profile?

Please post your thoughts.

Manfred Werfel

Deputy CEO
Executive Director, Global Events
E-Mail <>

Manfred Werfel's picture
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2015-03-11 11:28
Comment from Yedioth

Dear Manfred,

I hope this mail finds you well. Please see below the answer of our quality manager Mrs. Efrat Alon regarding your email.


From: אפרת אלון 
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2015 2:56 PM
To: אסף אברהמי (Assaf Avrahami)
Cc: אלון בוברמן(ALON BUBERMAN)
Subject: FW: Do we need a specification for improved newsprint?


The differences between ordinary newsprint paper to improved is large, therefore additional  ICC color profile and additional definition in ISO 12647-3 for our experience are necessary for coldset newspaper plant who are using different papers and working according the ISO standardization.  

 In common newsprint paper the L*  value could even reach L*= 84, therefore we recommend using the second step L* = 89 (L=89, a=0, b=-4.5  - Paper that we are using for special printing in coldset, for our opinion the third step is less useful for ordinary newspaper coldset plant).

Markus Zink's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2015-06-01 15:14
2 profiles for Improved Newspaper suggested

I think there's a need for profiles for Improved Newsprint.

In my opinion 2 profiles would cover the range of improved papers:

  • One for AZO papers without optical brightening agents (OBA) with L* in [86;89]
  • One for HAZO papers with OBA and L* > 90

Currently we often are using a HAZO paper (UPM Fine 60 and 80 g/m²) for specials and ad-driven inserts.

For the delivered print material we can only suggest to use the ISOnewspaper26 profile. But the delivered proofs look very different to the print results.

Unfortunately, this paper has a high amount of fluorescence chemicals that results in problems during conventional color management. We've seen this in the ß-Profile, which was generated by Ulrike Cremer in 2010.

So there is a need to use the new M1 measurement condition, which uses an additional UV spectrum in the measurement device.

I measured a sample of a UPM fine 80 g/m² paper with different measuring conditions (see attached image). With the M1 condition, the b* value is very blueish, but it seems to be the way to take the fluorescence part into account for the profile. 

For  conventional proofing, we need a proof paper containing OBA to achieve the same impression as the production paper. This is already available from different suppliers.

But what is the behavior of such a M1 profile in  image processing and softproofing?

Does somebody has experiences with color management and paper containing OBAs?

Kind regards


Markus Zink

Leiter Qualitätssteuerung/Systeme/Organisation
Herstellung & Logistik
BILD und WELT-Gruppe

Axel Springer SE 
Axel-Springer-Straße 65
10888 Berlin

Tel.: +49 (0) 30 2591-76906
Fax: +49 (0) 30 2591-36906

Wilfrid Meffre's picture
Last seen: 8 years 6 months ago
Joined: 2015-06-03 17:54
ISO12647-3:2013 specifications

About paper tints: We think ISO 2013 standards specifications are full of holes. Using Black Backing reference values is nonsense because SB measurements are consistent while BB measurements strongly depend on paper opacity. Provided you use spectral data BB measurements can be computed from SB measurements using the measured paper opacity. And vice-versa.

Moreover we think using M1 rather than M0 brings no real advantage for paper tints measurements. The ICC profile changes depending on any paper tint changes can be computed accurately, even in case of very strong tint change, by using press characterization chart spectral measurements and appropriate computations.

Please see for technical details.

Best regards

Wilfrid Meffre

Moritz Schwarz's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2015-06-08 09:59
Need for additional profiles

If Heatset or UV is out of this discussion I agree with Efrat and Markus that we need two (2) additional ICC-profiles for coldset printers. The papers with slightly higher brightness (L* 83–85) compared to the standard newsprint are not so important. The aproach (86–89 and >90) described by Markus Zink sounds pragmatic because it will not lead to a jungle of different profiles and on the other side it will cover a good amount of the paper-variety that is out there. The profiles might not be perfect in all cases but if they cover 80% of the problem it will already be a big improvement for many printers who only use IFRA 26 or have no idea about Fogra 39 etc.

If you already have beta-versions of such profiles please post them so I can do testprints while executing consulting projects. My testprints would do would happen like this:

Print with ISO Status E densities (CMY 0,85 and K with 1,05) and increase them in steps of +0,05 +0,10 +0,15. Later I would calculate print contrast and color gamut.

Best regards,

Moritz Schwarz

Kirchner + Robrecht management consultants GmbH

Burgstraße 3

63755 Alzenau


tel: +49 (6023) 94353 15

mobil:  +49 (172) 935 67 82

Oswald Grütter's picture
Last seen: 8 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2015-06-09 11:49
Improved Newsprint
In 2009, 2 profiles for Improved Newsprint have already been created. But the application of these profiles was not encouraged. Therefore they were low used in practice. Although tests have shown that they work well, specifically for proofing.   The commercial printers are familiar with the problem of high optical brighteners for a long time. The coldset printes know this only slightly. The new measurement conditions M0 - M3
ISO 13655-2009 are little known. This is a disadvantage. Uncoated papers are the same as the Improved Newsprint in Coldset Printing.   When are Improved Newsprint profiles necessary, for Coldset Printers? 1. In the separation (prepress) there are no visible differences when printing on newsprint. >Not Necessary   2. For accurate hard copy proof with the paper white simulation of the job. >Necessary In practice, this is however only a little used. Most users only use the paper white from newsprint.   3. For accurate soft proof at the colour control stations. >Necessary For the printers, it would be necessary that they have a Softproof in wet condition.   Too many profiles undermine the standard of newspaper! In my experience, it is not possible to expect from all data producers that they are using the correct profile for data production. Practice shows that are daily data’s supplied, which were not separated for newsprint (mostly PSOcoated). These are then printed incorrectly in most print plants.   In correct operation, this should be converted via Device Link in ISOnewspaper26v4, therefore the dot gain would be also corrected. These are the biggest problems today. This should be addressed in advance.   New "Improved Newsprint" profiles: That's why I do not find it necessary to create new "Improved Newsprint" profiles. For the points 2 + 3 you could adjust the paper white of ISOnewspaper to the ordered paper. Tests have shown that it works best in practice. That would be simple and also easy to handle.  
  1. The WAN-IFRA should deliver a practicable recommendation (points 2 + 3), which describes the correct use of improved papers.
  2. Also for handling Device Link profiles.
  3. I also expect a useful support for InkSave applications. I see I often very bad settings.
9.6.2015 Oswald Grütter                   Zeughausstrasse 17            CH-9053 Teufen AR            Office                                    +41 (71) 330 06 67   Mobil                                     +41 (79) 424 79 00E-Mail                           
Manfred Werfel's picture
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2015-03-11 11:28
Profiles available for tests?

Dear Mr. Grütter,

Thanks for your information and statement. Would you make the profiles for improved newsprint available for tests by other users in repro studios and print plants? You could attach them to your next post so that participants can get their own experience.

With best regards

Manfred Werfel

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