Žiljak Vilko


The existing methods in the printing business are eroding faster and faster, but potentials for the printing business’s reconstruction are enormous. Today we are experiencing total integration of the most diverse graphic systems. Digital printing and the Internet are titles that are offering new investigation topics to scientists. The future of the printing business depends on computer science development, development of telecommunications, implementing new applications and implementing new training methods. Life in the area of graphic engineering will be more complicated than it is now. Ahead of us are marvelous steps to be taken in the general integration of computer science, expert systems and the printing business.

Computer acceleration may be briefly presented by the following dimension: speed, memory, discs, the Internet. The progress is such that the development trend and evaluation of the future may be shown only with the help of logarithmic tables. If science, discoveries and patents (on which the said variables are based on) have been acting in such a fixed exponential manner for the past twenty years or so, one must believe that the same parameter growth will remain in the time to come. The variables are followed through dimensions: in how many months will we be surrounded by a duplicated value of each single variable? If the computer memory is observed, the duplication takes place in 21 months; if the computer speed is observed, the duplication takes place in 31 months, and 16 months for the discs, and only 13 months for Web-Internet application. If we propose the following equation:

log (Y) = 0,29 X + 7,86

where for X = 0 variable Y yields the Web-host computers number in the world in the year of 2000. The relation is the approximation of data (Network Wizard “Internet domain survey” from 1981 (X=-19) till 2002 (X = 2). This gives us the result that the Web system increases by ten times in three and a half years. If we were to include the possible alterations and application of the Internet in the printing business, we would surely have to work hastily in reorganizing graphics systems. If three and a half years are a minimum for training a graphics engineer, then we are facing the task to introduce significant changes into the manner of studying graphics technologies.

1. Long-term Evaluation Basis

Printers are faced with some new trends in the graphics craft: shortening of the time needed to finish a job from the first idea to job completion. Designs are becoming more complicated and more demanding. Automation is implemented whereas the necessary training and adaptation to new working conditions is not taking place. The new machines have several functions that are not in the same nomenclature area of occupation and task. Modular automation requires multifold qualification and repetition of acquired knowledge. Sales officers are turning into “multi sellers”, entering the world of e-business where the term specialization means - in a new way. Today, in the year 2002, there are still no databases on the printing business here, not even on the Chamber of Commerce level, so that business advances in this business are reduced to information given by individuals, information that is not updated nor valuable as an advice source for good decision making. For optimal graphics production management, technological as well as marketing data on limits are lacking. Many hopes are placed into including the Web-internet in the graphics business system.

Contemplation on expert systems in the printing business first began on maintenance and servicing levels. The technique where each equipment part is automated is the integration of old and new parts. There are almost no identical “machine parks”, so there are no set installation procedures, set maintenance procedures nor set procedures for operating a printing plant. There are not available “know-it-all” experts. The printing plant managing body is becoming aware of the fact that a successful production rise may be achieved only by remote control. A well trained crew that interactively receives information on the next steps to be taken and optimum production managing is a must for successful production. Gone are the times of servicing personnel travelling from one printing plant to another. Information is travelling through the Internet. The first positive results are in altering machines with a new alarm diagnostic software, bit-mapping standards and implementing PDF entries as self-efficiency in respect to prepress sources.

We are making efforts to organize expert seminars and additional training on using expert database knowledge in the graphics area activities. There is a number of requirements the trainees must fulfill: they must be skilled in web-environment work, possess a knowledge of English and new graphic and computer technologies; their choice must be team work. We are beginning by organizing the updating of the situation in printing works: production equipment, printing job type, development plans, additional training planning, reproduction material sources, equipment suppliers, market covering.

Printing engineering is in a phase of continuing studies. The questions most often posed to experts in the printing business are: Are there any data bases on the printing business situation in our country? Where are the addresses of our experts? What is the knowledge on the printing business in general, and what in respect to specialized areas, and at whose disposal is it? What are our production capacities? What are the loads on printing works and their free capacities? Is there systematized Web information on printing works? Another series of questions are for the publishers – the main graphics products buyers.

Regretfully, the situation is in a state of disorder. If we observe the development of graphics and the Internet it is clear that they will spread and develop faster than we could follow-up. The potential for renewal is such that it cannot be stopped and this gives ground to optimism.

Expert teams for international consultation have been organized by Pira (, the publisher of the most prestigious graphics information for the following:

Management Consultancy, Strategy and Business Planning, International Business Strategy, Technical Consultancy, Trouble Shooting, Quality, Packaging Development, Process Efficiency and Development, Product Application and Development, Environmental Strategies, Life Cycle Analysis, Supply Chain Optimization, Legislative Compliance, Innovation, Research Services, Packaging Consultancy, Strategic Consultancy...

For the time being the consultations are off-line, free of charge and replies are received within 24 hours. There are lists of recommended questions and directions how to pose questions. It is characteristic for Pira that it has an updated library of extremely expensive editions with very topical and attractive subjects linked with the printing business. The price of books ( may be as high as 4,000 EU. A magazine is released by Pira in the PDF format only, deliverable by e-mail and the yearly subscription amounts to 1500 EU ( The magazine is not only informative but is interactive, forcing questionnaires interesting to those in the graphics business.

3. The Need for Systematic Solutions

The time has come when there is a need to settle the situation in respect to all directions of activity the graphics production is taking. Production has changed significantly in the past ten years. Text layout, picture layout, trial print as well as the layout of graphic pages has been shifted to authors, writers, publishers. Part of the printing produced by digital techniques also came from the printing works. The learning of these skills has spread to all levels of general education. What has remained exclusively in the printing works? The production of a great number of different products: products with a large number of copies, those using non-process colors, those using ultra-violet, electronic, infra-red colors, those requiring complex book-binding, bending;, those with additional processing as, for instance, holography and protection techniques; those printed on ultra thin or ultra thick material; those designed individually, typical for the wrapping material program. Automation is introduced in printing works wherever there is a great quantity of human manual work, raw material transfer and warehouse management. Visual control of print quality is carried out in full by optical automation.

We support the new ideas in the printing business with the goal to create motivation in respect to the necessity to extend knowledge. Many new methods, techniques and technologies are popping up, so we have a situation where people are too busy, over-engaged. Such a wide scope of activity gives more ground for specializing the printing works, the workers and the manner of production. JDF (Job Definition Format) has become a widely accepted set of industrial rules for workflow, beginning from prepress and covering postpress as well.

Production till now has been a variety of different solutions for unit processes. The new computer science era enables “digital uniting” of all processes taking place in a printing sequence.

International Consortion for the Integration of Process in Prepress, Press and Postpress, shortly named CIP4, is trying to define how to unite knowledge, skills and experience and have job definition be like a format setting behavior rules for all participants in printing production. All innovations are systematically prepared and there is an attachment on the success of the CIP4 movement at: CIP4 (International association following the CIP3 idea from 1995; Integration in Prepress, Press and Postpress) may be interpreted as the basis for developing production standard specification and the development of managing standards in the printing business. This movement came as a consequence of general information science application and the need to integrate the graphics industry on the managing level, capacity exploiting, knowledge increase for each participant in the graphics-computer science field of work.

CIP4 is concentrated on linking unit jobs into an integral stream in producing the printing product. Workflow has thus become the most interesting point of research in the printing business. Operations cover activities from the moment of order to product delivery. Furthermore, JDF has the aim to integrate what is called today the printing business environment: media, design, graphic production “per order”, digital printing kiosks, individual procedures for solutions needed for specialized production. Full automation of production control is introduced so as to increase productivity, gain flexibility and see printing business problems more clearly.

If we were to try comparing these new movements in the printing business with manual and local production managing still taking place today, the situations would seem impossible and thinking about them extremely complicated. Quite contrary to this, if the whole CIP4 movement leans on and implements computer science procedures (where computer networks are included, the Internet, the Web system, e-dealings, data base on production standards), then the managing of printing workflow becomes a natural, simple, understandable and effective system. It is necessary to learn about all the segments of computer production control. Computer-integrated manufacturing CIM, must be brought in closer relation to the production procedures of today.

Besides the titles referring to graphics production, expert support should unite vendors, suppliers, machine servicing and maintenance, counselors on production management and end users into one single communication system. Trouble shooting is defined through production because the equipment in printing works is diverse, the hardware is different and the standard for production software is not well defined as yet.

The idea of Job Definition Format – Job Description Format JDF is at it’ very beginning in respect to the success of application and things are not going smoothly as to graphics production standard definition ( overview/index.html). Twelve years ago the Internet standard was determined known as the HTML graphics language, altering behavior in general visualization communication, as well as behavior in the printing business. The continuation is in XML coding, on which the industrial standard data file will be based on.

More was expected from the CIP4 top graphics association, the ones becoming the very movement systematic thought codex, at least this was so four years ago when they were still the bearers of brave innovations. To unite such a vast number of competitors seems more than being Utopian. There are extensive and difficult discussions namely because there are efforts to settle disputes in respect to contrarieties that are abundant in the printing business area.

There is effort to adapt to the request of every single customer with the help of JDF logic. We are speaking about a Format determining the production process, information flow integration, commands, control in a wider sense of the word. JDF’s central task is to make ground for a good-quality capability of making the graphics product from the very beginning up to it’s delivery. Specifying is included, such as; creative task specification, graphic preparation, workflow towards press, press, postpress operations and the very delivery. It is necessary to create with XML the books of standards.

Expert seminars and meetings are offering discussions with different approach in respect to the implementation of the Management Information System – MIS, in order to have systematic observation of printing problems be introduced into all production plants. Algorithms are sought for bridging the communication node between production and management of information and business systems.

4. Prominent JDF Characteristics

- Carrying out, planning and control of the printing process, from the initial idea to the delivery. This includes design elaboration, prepress, press, postpress up to the product acceptance evaluation

- To overcome all trouble shooting points in the production sequence, including time sheets and computer controlled production system.

- Coming to agreement with the client on his ideas about the production sequence and the actual printing press capacities, with special stress on multi-layer preparation and non-scientific relationship in respect to design solution personality. The color management dependency on its printing works resources; trial print, digital trials, large scale printing.

- Finding flexible and adaptable solutions for leaving those printing works that do not have the adequately adjusted equipment and doing work in dislocated places or partially, depending on the optimization of the final performance.

- JDF is a system for creating data; a well developed structure for branching and connecting data. It is not something one can buy like a control or applied program

- JDF is compatible with PPF (Print Production Format) and with Adobe PJTF (Portable Job Ticket Format).

- JDF is an XML record and therefore it is extremely flexible, free of hierarchy and adaptable to all future requirements and developments. It is adaptable to all users with simple superstructure and extensions (

- JDF, as a preceding industrial standard simplifies information exchange between various types of application and methods in the graphics industry. In this sense JDF is founded on the existing technology, but goes farther away from the existing partial solutions, as for instance CIP3’s Print Production Format (PPF) and the Adobe PJTF system

Virtual Production

There is experience in Croatia with modeling and projecting virtual production. The whole workflow is simulated so as not to get into risky situations. The project feasibility estimate is iterative experimenting with altering of various combinations, changing not only parameters, but the designed models as well. There is effort made to study new business situations important to all; from people to the works creating the tasks and having at their disposal production capacities. In such a manner greater knowledge may be acquired in order to set the following projects in a significantly more flexible manner, with more fruitful results. Such information enhancement gives JDF a greater role in the future, in order for automation to be implemented faster and safer into overall control of graphics production. Printing works are faced with demands for better production results, quality enhancement, use of new specialized colors and materials and price reduction. A virtual printing plant experiments with alternative processes.

JDF is very flexible because knowledge is not systemized and the future requirements are becoming greater. From time to time new work groups are founded with the task to define future JDF versions. Also, response from new CIP4 association members who see how significant shifts in the printing business can be made, is welcome. It is good that XML was recognized as a set of good tools and a language for general communication, and that it was set as the basis for business development and JDF development.

5. XML Technology in the Printing Business

There is a need to observe in a much wider context the cycle comprising of press, postpress, publishing, graphic preparation, as well as image archives and printed matter contents. The use of all the very differently based printing capacities, organizations and designing sources is united by the XML technology. As there are new routines and whole new languages appearing in the XML environment daily, standardization is expected, with the goal to have printing taking place anywhere, everywhere, anytime.

The printing business idea must go through a new phase of successful development in a symbiosis with computer science technology. Printing is putting on a “global mask” because experts of various business profile are taking part in it. Due to all their very specific needs, there must be new solutions, new applications, new integration, new patents. Such mass participation in printing practice requires major innovations in respect to setting standards, communication, new material discovery, new digital printing technique discovery, managing of the printing process by backing it upon expert knowledge of various types of business.

The choice of using the XML language (eXtensible Markup Language-1988) that was created following the CIP3/CIP4 movement, - (world wide web consortium) as a set of communication tools opens a freer perception of the future development. XML’s non-hierarchical principle enables constant addition of new learning, knowledge, and production standard resetting along with them. Communication based on the Internet principles opens space for interconnection of various platforms and use of designs created in dislocated places. Knowledge level improvement is based on overall Internet use and direct communication is abandoned completely. Information is offered through an electronic agent. The HTML and XHTML languages preceded the development of XML and all are of newer date. All recent graphic program tools support these languages because in a short period of time they have demonstrated their superiority in the relation between the Internet and control of all graphic production segments.Automation and standardization in the printing business.

Printers have become nervous in respect to investment steps they should be taking. In the first place they consider purchasing new electronic components to just install them onto the existing installations. They understand the inevitable necessity to alter the offset plate production technology, and are purchasing CTP equipment in great strides. After having doubts about digital printing for ten years, printers are beginning to understand that they must have such equipment because then they can meet specific requirements: individualization, trial editions, implementation of new prints, as for instance printing big size material, printing on non-standard material.

Printing works are considering new investments too slowly. Their caution may be gathered from the modestly set criteria. Firstly, printing works would like to improve their machines by including automation and gadgets needed for special printing. Secondly, because their neighbors have successfully purchased CTP, they would like to do the same. Thirdly, due to a successful era of computerized preparation with application of many colors, printing works are equipping themselves with a very wide scope of multiprint printing facilities. Contrary to these modest undertakings, the bolder criteria would be: Investing into new equipment will be successful only if it has a well defined relationship with XML (JDF) technology.

The XML language is begun by defining the vocabulary and cookbook for a certain branch of business. In JDF, the XML printing pattern that has been developed during the past five years, neither the vocabulary nor the cookbook have been defined by far. The databases on processes, materials, methods, equipment and other chapters falling into printing business classification have not arrived to the point of being completed yet. Up to date approximately eighty processes have been defined, such as imposition, RIPing, approval and around two hundred logical and physical actions. By making a printing business language on basis of access organized in such a way leads to standardization. Optimization requires definition of the borders within which we move and adapting the data to the conditions necessary for their fluctuating between systems. A vocabulary is formed as a common basis for JDF development, a workflow language and their integration.

The future of the printing business includes and insists on the use of XML technology, digital printing, individuality of the printed product, integration of the complete production process from prepress, press, postpress and delivery processes. XML technology is put at the top of the discussion because it’s ideas will unite the alterations, development and define the future of the printing business too. Information science technology allows individuals to create their own product using digital printing. Digital printing as a new media is a very strong motivating means for large scale graphic product design.

Fundamental principles of the conventional printing business with strict printing technology classifications, vocation nomenclatures, incompatible techniques are falling apart due to the invasion of digital technologies that are causing the opening of multi-printing application, multifold integration in all graphic product production phases. Information on planning future alterations in the printing business are available through the Internet, and they are the initiators of ideas on development directions and patents with the goal being the expansion of printing methods and technologies. Polemics on the printing business future are making the world disintegrate conventional printing by introducing knowledge acquired on basis of other fundamental research and placing it at the printing industry center.

6. Activities in Spreading Graphic Engineering Knowledge

The best discussions on the graphic industry development may be heard during seminars that are either separate conferences or are part of graphic industry fairs. Let’s mention the just completed ones, where new discussions were held: (this paper was completed by the middle of 2002)

- Zurich, Switzerland (March 20, 2002) International Cooperation in Developing Integration in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4)

- Seminars during IPEX in Birmingham, England (April 11, 2002) (NEC – National Exhibition Center. Visions were given by: Anschutz (Heidelberg), Doug Belkofer (PrintCafe), Gugler (Roland), Dave deBronkart (PODI) and John Sweeney (GMI)

- The main seminar subjects are oriented towards discussions on the question: “What is the relationship between JDF and CIP4 and how can concrete printing production be enhanced while having the existing equipment, personnel and knowledge? Reports were prepared by: Stephen Jaeggi (PrePress counselor) and Margaret Motamed (CIP4 Marketing, EFI)

- Prominent polemics were held on alterations in JDF (JDF 1.0, JDF 1.1...) from the technical aspect and updating other language standards. Discussions were led by Rainer Prosi (CIP4, Heidelberg) and Steve Hiebert (HP).

Central discussions are led on the appropriate task setting for work groups that are to define visions of JDF positive contribution. CIP4 is searching for a new gray mass; pioneers of graphic engineering who are to develop expert knowledge and are to be carriers of the vision on future technologies. An international work atmosphere should be created in respect to defining the future printing works design. The development that really meets requirements of a successful graphic production.

There is fear of digital printing among the more elderly fellow-workers because the results of this struggle between old and new technology are not known yet.

Contemporary work groups are offering various discussions and there are several concepts on how to give reports. The addition and research of the following titles is offered:

- printing works hardware (includes prepress, press and postpress)

- computer hardware

- standard development inside CIP4

- printing equipment use optimization

- newspaper printing, e-newspapers, PDF newspapers

- digital printing

- publishing of reviews and adds

- materials, with stress on new color development

- final, postpress operations, packaging and labeling

- organizing user interests

- printing with variable data

- printing – Web/rotation

- color management of six-color separation

- non-editing of graphic records for any independent media display

- expert, specific graphic production

Work groups are defined as international expert groups, but they include user experience and contemporary needs. The work groups are gathering around the general CIP4 idea with the goal to exchange knowledge on new achievements so as to create their conclusions in the optimal manner. Users have their expert system, their specific knowledge and requirements. The market is not altering as rapidly as are communication methods and information science in the printing business. CIP4 is not only making efforts to give a vision of the printing business future, but to connect the past and the future with continuing transitions. Our participation in such discussions is to help engineers and graphic production monitors be informed about the oncoming changes and to be ready to make firm decisions about new investments and the new prepress, press and postpress process systems. We are making efforts for our presence in spreading information about new achievements to be efficient not only in international gatherings, but at those in Croatia as well. Let us stress the Zagreb (2000) and Brijuni (2002) gathering on packaging materials, the discussions of which may partially be found on the Web. Those are the things that are pressuring teachers to make their work, books and articles be available free on the Web, accessible to students and experts in the area of graphic engineering. (,

Every participant in the printing business is expected to participate in CIP4 news internationalism with their specific fields of knowledge and therefore – with their expert suggestions. With the intention of future JDF expanding, including users in CIP4 work groups helps to spread data on details, thus profoundly intensifying the PDF concept.

Our associating into the CIP4 movement opens the possibilities to have available to us all the most recent set and discussed knowledge and information. We have insight into contemporary applications as well as their criticism and suggestion for improvement ( . Furthermore, by associating there is significant possibility of influencing the printing business development and its speeding-up. Possibilities are opening to be able to define virtual printing with the goal of simulating and measuring the response to each single idea. This would be significant in evading bad decisions that are the cause not only of losing money, but of losing time in the development of graphics production plants.

Although stress is put here on the open-mindedness of the CIP4 movement concept, attention is also paid at all times to certain specific types of production that do not integrate various technologies.

Work process automation of any graphics production is a necessity and so by general CIP4 postulations knowledge may be applied in order to make positive advancements within the expert application micro structure.

Seminar Organization on the subject of CIP4

The CIP4 consortium has engaged almost all centers and development centers, especially in Europe, for the education on all graphic industry subjects. The most aggressive companies are: Fujifilm Electronic Imaging (, Agfa (, Printcafe Software, Inc. (, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG ( Best GmbH (, Wohlenberg (, Graphics Microsystems (, Fraunhofer IGD (, Eltromat Polygraph (, Koenig & Bauer AG The following topical subjects are being offered at this very moment: Prepress work process improvement; Trial prints and color management standardization in printing remote control; Control and management of book binding; Managing the documentation computer system in printing production, Prepress systematic workflow;
Automatic network color control for large editions of printed material; e-network automation in newspaper printing; Software translators for PPF; Color in printing and postpress.

This shows how the Consortium is involved in organizing knowledge transfer. (The price of the seminars, covering the listed subjects, last from two to three weeks and cost about 500 EU per day).

7. Digital printing

Computer and information technology extends the printing business area and enables new ideas to flourish in respect to completely new jobs, where the old printing business system did not allow their application. The development of individualized printing (IP) will alter the printing of many products, such as: catalogues, brochures, specialized literature, printing of scientific literature; especially in countries with a smaller number of inhabitants. In IP there will have to be a great deal of work done on layout automation. Libraries of successful layouts are being collected with efforts made at standardization, and this is contrary to individualization. Libraries with layout rules are being formed “all by themselves”; they are multiplied, modified, and automatic solutions are searched for so that the usability of machine and human resources could be greater. Web search offers ready solutions according to the “most successful” algorithms, the ones in demand, those that are in. The same way as in clothes fashion, there is a trend that develops in individual printing solutions.

The discussion on individualized printing (IP) reminds us first of all of the hit product: in document making IP allowed application of digital pictures that were impossible to “unglue and replace”. Individualized printing together with Xeikon was, for example, the phenomenon that had announced a new chapter in graphic art. Regretfully, printers are not ready to take over such jobs without leaning onto the assistance of computer programmers, and those are the ones still making a big deal out of it. New printing firms that are completely oriented towards digital printing are much more skilful, although just some are capable of organizing complex projects, as for instance, mass chance games or B2B catalogues.

Variable Data Printing (VDP) is a term that can be found often in this segment. Although conventional printing firms have VDP just so as not to render individualization services outside their printing works, they are still ready to take part in research projects that have the goal of answering the following:

Which are the markets requiring VDP and which applications are profitable?

What technology is more or less efficient for the given task?

Who are the optimal printer and ink producers?

Where does conventional printing end and where does digital printing with individualization begin?

What is the readability level of software instructions and it’s simplicity in application?

Individualized printing is being identified as printing “on demand” and printing “in one copy” that is organized through “digital kiosks”. The latter example is in connection with the Internet where the major part of printing is being done by drawing the printed matter from data bases: e-newspapers, e-books, e-magazines. There will be a growing rise in individual, unit printing coming, for instance, from department store catalogues, expensive goods producers, and all of this is taking place in order to have computerized follow-up of potential customers. The founding of special agencies may be expected, producing individualized newspapers with their delivery to the end user. Such customers will subscribe to material of their personal interest, such as, for instance, “art criticism published in all daily newspapers that day” because they are not interested in anything else. Other individuals could subscribe to sport surveys, stock exchange reports, Middle East politics, and many other topics with the extension of coverage length to be programmed for each individual separately. The time has come when the client’s and seller’s personalities are recognized through well organized related data bases. The XML movement has appeared just in time making it possible for the end user to be virtually brought by means of electronics to the very printing machine. The end user is a dynamic transaction which all those taking part in a successful chain of sales, offers and the very production must think about and take care of. Many individualization points will be solved through the Internet only. As the XML technology has been implemented in the printing business on all levels, from instrument data in the printing process to the most sensitive market areas, printers must not let this chance pass by not conquering new markets of individualized printing. XML technology is becoming the essential prime-mover of printing, being adapted on a large scale by the modern environment. Information science technology allows individuals to create their own product through digital printing, and allows them to have their own design creation.

Digital printing and the new media are a strong motivating means for large scale new graphic product design in the printing business. The printing business is entering a new area in the future to come, and is not, as some thought, at the decline with information spreading methods, but is expanding, with the most diverse types of application.

The best example of how digital printing has not threatened in the least the existing technologies, is the novelty in packaging material print. Digital printing has only improved and filled in some voids. On the other hand, digital printing is the center of activities of successful automation and the greatest initiator developing those activities that are carried out by the CIP4 consortium. Digital printing includes modern computer presence, so it was not difficult to organize theoretically the development of what is called JDF.

8. Supplement to the New Technologies in Printing

New patents have been registered in the inkjet and xerographic technologies. These innovations have been implemented in almost all graphic production segments. The digital processes have been accepted and insisted upon because of the following:

- firstly; due to implementing new possibilities characteristic for computer systems

- secondly; graphic product better or identical result production, if compared with existing conventional solutions,

- thirdly; enrichment of the final products with integrated hybrid procedures including design solutions with old tested techniques and postpress carried in new digital technologies,

- fourthly; the manifold use of digital machines and the exploitation of the same equipment for printing on paper, cardboard and textile, for example

A broader way of looking at things is understood under digital technology in printing:

- firstly; direct printing with inkjet techniques, dry and liquid toners, printing at the production process beginning, printing in intermediate phases, postpress or marking at the end of the production process, complete printing with only digital machine use, directing data on pictures from the computer to the print without the intervention of reproduction photography experts,

- secondly; programmable printing with the goal being product individualization, such as numbering, complex variability with pictures, signature, information printing with algorithms and data from the database,

- thirdly; implementing programmable production control means with targeting special computers and programs from Computer to Plate production to printing quality control,

- fourthly; production process computer control that comprises graphics completeness of the printing production: prepress, press, postpress, tendering, ordering, delivery, payment and customer definition plan for the next business deal.

The criticism still remaining is that digital printing is right for small editions of printed matter (Books on Demand, Digital Production Strategies and Cost Models – ISBN 1858024676, J.Birken & D. Butler). On the other hand, there are advantages such as big formats that are not found in conventional printing, new systems for coloring (C. Williams: Printing Ink Technology ISBN 1858024323) and new patents in the printing business (over 3500 have been taken over successfully last year: Scitex-inkjet, IBM, Xerox, Indigo, Xeikon, Oce, Heidelberg). The listed producers are still aggressively seeking help in development of new technologies. They announce new machines to be shown on fairs: The Impact of Market and Technology Changes on Publishers and Printers, 2002. ISBN 1858023785 Xerox Corp. is finishing a new technology for wide application called blue laser diode for laser printers with new resolution speed and format characteristics, as the listed are the weak points of laser printing in comparison to ink-jet printers.

Reliability is a separate chapter when it comes to making decisions in respect to digital technologies applicability, and this is something that follows any patents that still need to establish themselves. Whereas this development phase for prepress ended as far back as ten years ago and conventional methods were completely driven out by digital techniques, we are at the very beginning of establishing the new digital technologies applicability in other segments of the printing process.

Industrial use requires strict control and a reliable lasting print. Research has offered patents with water colors developing a graphic inkjet color standard. Piezo technology has found a wide field of application ( graphics on paper, cardboard, textiles, documents, furniture wood, flexible and inflexible materials, printing on sheets and materials on rolls with endless memory records. New equipment offer growing printing speed, labeling this boldly as industrial application. Most of all speed improvement depends on the ink jet technology so that the center of research is directed to this end. If we look back, plotters have been offering doubling of speed every 17 months, and this exceeds computer science development. Plotter width (most often 63 inches), printing head number, a growing optical density, a new greater choice of spot colors are increasing in the same way as printing speed is. It may sound bold when we say that the CMYK color separation is going through decline and that we are turning more and more to six color and multicolor RGB separation, a new printers’ scale. All this is due to new program instruments – GCR, UCA and UCR methods that have been only theoretically discussed in graphics engineering up to the period of pixel graphics computer science development.

Many companies are competing in the world that have developed from reproduction photography scanners, digital printing and conventional printing production. During conferences on new procedures of digital printing application for producing packaging material demonstration of new products is announced aiming to show their advantages in respect to conventional printing. There were useful discussions on large format digital printing development during the recent Digital Print World Conference, 2002 held in London. The lecturers showed new technologies and presented new patents in several various ways, the results of which are expected in three years. The main participants were MAN Roland with it’s own system and development of several OEM solutions as well as Dainippon Screen with their “TruePress”, the biggest format in commercial application as yet.

The most aggressive company promoting big formats and speeds is quite rightfully considered to be Aprion (part of Scitex) ( There are one hundred experts with a very wide field of knowledge employed in Aprion’s experimental plants in Natany (Israel). There is information coming from various laboratories in the world on pilot experimental solutions for new technologies that are expected to be in application in two to three years after going through well tested procedures. In any case the criticisms present at digital printing’s beginnings are trying to be eliminated as they were the reason for less euphoria in application of digital solutions in last century’s mid-nineties. It is expected that both scientists and end users will discuss new patents that have stagnated in the world: (conferences in Japan, USA, Israel in 2001/2002) on color application with the accent on color spilling, penetration and bit-map element sharp edges, furthermore: on new solutions for ink-jet heads and criticism of the existing technologies and directions of development for print stability improvement.

Stochastic Design, or the Step Forward in Compliance with New Market Requirements

The prognosis for this technology’s application is that in eight years 20% of all printing will be only digital (my opinion is that this is too modest). The issue here is not taking over of the existing market, but of extending printing to those places where it could not be developed, as for instance the printing of small editions. If we observe those fields that integrate conventional and digital printing from a wider aspect, we might say that digital reality is the rough reality for which we must prepare well.

Conventional printing did not have a tendency to follow modern trends, unique design, adaptability to media needs. Digital techniques have changed all this. The proposal is stochastic design where each product has it’s own individual design. Whether it is the design of a box, label, fashion textile, posters that are basically printed conventionally, - individualization by means of picture and drawing requires stochastic programming. The first step is using fractals that are strictly determined on one side and stochastic in their internal structure. In their individual application fractals have large scale production characteristics. This is why they can be successfully applied now when digital printing speed has risen and become significant (the characteristic of which is variable printing). Each segment that must be programmed inflexibly (graphic product form and size, company and product logo are obligatory designed data, for instance) remains the same during the whole edition production, and the special points are discussed in respect to controlled fractals. Digital technique has it’s full application here where it controls printing with new technologies; dry and liquid toners, on one hand, and enables the development of endless designer solutions with the help of computer graphics mathematical methods, on the other hand.

Program and graphic languages, such as PostScript, for instance, are the ideal link in dealing with both subjects: printing and the content visual creating.

Programming a graphic product’s contents may be planned together with the other printed elements; conventional printing, for instance, - because the reproduction photographic prepress is in the hands of computer technique. Stochastic graphics are equally programmable in pixel as well as vector graphics. Market designers concentrate more on visualization logic than on making individual design solutions. Systematic planning of stochastic attacks on the buyer will be the main task for the printing works, designer and marketing agency teams. The printing industry is becoming similar to the fashion industry; and this requires fast reaction in respect to market requirements and better adaptability to the season’s editions. Digital printing speed will play an important role when the requirement comes for printing additional quantities of a well-received product. Graphical engineering has the task to unite the individuality, i.e. artistic world with the printing technology’s new patents.

The uniqueness of designing with computer graphics is most impressive when joined with fractal graphics knowledge. We are speaking about such individualization where each sample has been created by the initial stochastic procedure seed and algorithm. Big digitally printed formats are becoming the media for creating an endless number of new solutions that are coming out into the market only due to the fact that they are special and unique. Prints on textile, paper or wood will have a growing number of special solutions with a uniqueness guarantee. This will please the consumer craving for greater variety.

Great speed digital printing has made way for the forming of new habits in product placement. Uniformity and big editions of identical products are abandoned. The printing business is beginning to solve the need to use complex colors and holography, implement product individualization, specialty, imaginativeness, stochastic behavior in design. Computers are used in all the fields of use they offer: as printing machines and as media for creative managing of printing the visual matter part.The product film is printed on the graphic product, making way for freedom and creative behavior of the designer, buyer and producer. Discussions on graphic design are very intensive during education because students wish to be liberated from out-of-date crude definitions that position graphic design in a two-dimensional paper media. Luckily, the fast development of computer implementation makes it possible to prove assertions on basis of many mutational examples how graphic design has spread to the 3D presentation in time-animation displays. Video graphics (that used to be far from the printing works due to a different memory system) are shattering the old definitions. The time has come when the situation for static printing may be the one chosen following the 3D movement, and this makes way for new design tools. New methods such as compression and rendering have made ground for the designers bold behavior and they are designing their product in real time for printing and video too. The on-coming high computer speeds allow making assertions that 3D and 2D animation are merging into a unique graphic system that will result as a dynamic publication. The information is offered through the Internet to be seen, saved, to have high editions, to be printed, edited, animated, provided with soundtracks. We may expect that in near future e-books will be in the 3D edition with a soundtrack and they will be listened to by looking at another person reading them and it will not be necessary to read watching the computer monitor.

Digital printing in its implementation requires printing house flexibility and fast response to market demand. It is not news that digital printing equipment accepts computers, tools and programs of most diverse makers, and that the same memory record renders on media unthinkable till of now: paper, cardboard, wood, textile, video, film and television. It was unthinkable of discussing graphic prepress standardization for those solutions that were to be realized in diverse media. Only 2% of today’s prepress ends in a PDF format; this format being a strict way in application of serious printing form, where we skip from the raw RGB color system into conventional, as well as digital printing. Color separation for the press is assigned to computer controlled printing machines leading to new definitions in printing color use and bit-mapping, and the decline of the CMYK four-color printing.

9. Literature

Together with web addresses has been given during the lecture. The subjects and queries of graphics engineering are going through their most intensive development. There is question whether it is purposeful to print school-books on graphics matter because their rapid out-of date status shows we should not waste precious time on learning about historical facts. “Anything printed by using printing techniques is already out of date”. As we are dealing with new activities and processes in the printing business, it is not recommended to have printed matter published in magazines or scientific papers because in most cases one can find them, updated, through the Internet. However, I would like to recommend herewith the newly published “Handbook of Print Media”, Springer, ISBN 3-540-67326-1, 1207p, 1276 illustrations, 92 tables, 2001, New York. The book is an e-book. I would strongly recommend new books (published in 2002) entitled Future of European Printing and Future of Active Packaging on which there is full detail given on The mentioned web sites can lead and link to many specific inquiries.