When you’re searching for a printing partner, you may come across the label “G7 Qualification.” It certainly sounds impressive, but what does it mean? Some vendors are qualified, while others aren’t. Should you go with those in the first category, or can any company do an acceptable job?

We at NGS recommend the first option.

Simply stated, G7 is a process – a color calibration method – that allows printers to gain repeatability across the gamut of printing devices and different substrates. G7 can’t account for differences in ink or substrate colors, but it does help ensure a similarity of appearance across a wide variety of print methods, substrates and inks. Hitting the G7 targets can offer benefits well beyond the marketing possibilities. It provides for faster set-ups, less waste and improved proof matching as well as a common visual appearance. And, again, repeatability is achieved across the full range of devices.

Why does it matter?

Before G7, using different machines and printing process could result in two completely different graphics, even if the same image file was used for both of them. For example, one perfectly functioning press might have left your finished piece with a green tint, while another may have resulted in a red one. Graphics could be lighter, darker, faded or otherwise appear incorrect. There was no target.

The only way to fix the problem was to create custom CMYK files for every job, which was both expensive and time-consuming. Imagine creating a graphic with certain CMYK specifications and sending it to a print vendor. One year later, you want another run of the same image, but your vender upgraded their equipment. You’d have to update the CMYK files to match their new equipment, lengthening your production time and possibly increasing costs.  With G7 methodology, you point all machines to the same target. Although qualification can’t account for every variation in color because of substrate and ink differences, you will get a very good common visual appearance.  Additionally, you don’t have to recalibrate the CMYK settings for every order.

What is master qualification?

Printing vendors that are G7 qualified have calibrated all of their equipment to meet the specified gray balance requirements. The qualification lasts for one year and must be renewed upon expiration. This ensures the equipment remains calibrated up to standards.

NGS Printing was one the first vendor to achieve G7 Master Qualification for both digital and screen printing. No matter what print method you choose, wide format or screen printing, we color correct over all our platforms and ensure the final product is a beautiful, eye-catching image that is sure to attract your customers’ attention .