“The entries received are being evaluated, and the judging process will start in the second half of June,” said Prabhu Natrajan, Research Engineer at WAN-IFRA.

Measuring quality and performance

The evaluation is carried out by a panel of experts who assess the visual print quality from the reader’s perspective. The assessment covers general printing quality, including printed colour accuracy, image sharpness, contrast, and colour registration.

The contest evaluates printed newspaper/magazine products based on a set of ISO standards (ISO 12647-3 and ISO 2846-2). These standards are measured on the cuboid printed during the contest period and cover various technical aspects and process capability parameters such as news shade, dot gain, colour conformity, colour space, and grey balances.

To be included in the ICQC 2024-2026 membership, participants must reach a minimum number of points within each test run. Moreover, each criterion must meet the required minimum number of points for each day of the week-long (5 days) print run that was planned in May 2024.

To qualify for the membership, all criteria in the table, both horizontally and vertically for technical aspects, must be met. Additionally, a minimum score of 500 must be attained for the GPQ criteria, which evaluates the visual print quality of submitted publications. Post the evaluation by a panel of jurors, the ICQC 2024-2026 membership be awarded.

The membership results and reports will be published on 31 July 2024, and the Star Club members list will be published on 10 August 2024.

“The judging process will be based on the defined criteria for print defects. Additionally, the contest aims to foster healthy competition among participants, inspire and motivate the workforce, and promote awareness and understanding of technical standards,” said Ingi Olafsson, Director–World Printers Forum, WAN-IFRA.

Diverse print excellence: Breakdown of the categories

The contest has five different categories:

Category 1: For cold set offset on newsprint
Category 2: For heat-set offset or UV-curing offset on newsprint (semi-commercial)
Category 3: For heat-set offset or UV-curing offset on SC or LWC paper (semi-commercial)
Category 4: Printing under standard or non-standard conditions, such as prints on tinted paper through offset, flexography or digital printing
Category 5: Magazines, printed in sheet-fed offset, heat-set offset, gravure or digital inkjet

About ICQC contest

The International Color Quality Club contest is organised by World Printers Forum with the objective of improving print quality according to international ISO standards, which enable the promotion of healthy competition among workforces.

The contest evaluates a print test element (WAN-IFRA “Cuboid” – Test patch) and visually assesses print quality defects by a jury of international newspaper experts.

Winners will gain 1 star for successful club membership, and the stars accumulated over the years will qualify participants for the Star Club (5+ stars) and Millennium Club (10+) and be honoured at the World Printers Summit 2024.

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