Print buyers are asking printers to have their printing processes certified in order to become preferred suppliers. Comprehensive process certification is something new to printers in the US. A successful certification program requires that the certification body is independent and is technically capable, as well as a market that demands the certification.

A number of printing industry influencers approached RIT in December 2008 and asked RIT to offer a process certification program to the U.S. printing industry. In 2009, a committee was formed of faculty and staff from the School of Print Media and the Printing Applications Laboratory to investigate this proposal. The committee submitted a research project proposal to the Printing Industry Center in November 2009 with the goal of conducting a printing standards survey in order to capture the view of printing companies regarding the role of printing standards applicable to workflow from data reception to printing.

A questionnaire was designed to assess the role of standards that impact five areas of workflow: file creation and data reception, contract proof, CTP/press calibration, process control, and workflow efficiency. An Internet-based survey tool was used to implement the survey worldwide. A total of 117 companies (including 90 printers) from North America, Europe, Asia, and Mexico participated in the survey.

Survey results revealed that, the majority of printers use printing standards at many points within their daily production workflows. Printing standards are therefore important to the printing industry. Nevertheless, the results showed issues with today's printing standards which, if addressed, could increase their value to the industry.

For standards to be valuable, they must be relevant to producing the goods demanded by the printer's customers. The survey showed that printers encounter serious problems when they attempt to use standards with papers containing high levels of optical brighteners. In today's world of increasingly global supply chains, truly global standards facilitate efficiency by allowing all members of the supply chain to embrace common goals. Once again, the survey found significant opportunities for improvement in this regard.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Printing industry--Standards--United States--Evaluation; Printing--Production standards--Evaluation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Print Media (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Media Sciences (CIAS)


Robert Chung

Advisor/Committee Member

Franz Sigg


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at Z244.6.U5 J46 2014


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes