General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography

In 1966 a graphics arts task force was formed by the Graphic Communications Association (GCA) to develop a document containing general guidelines and recommendations that could be used as a reference source across the industry for quality color printing. With the support from representatives of IPA and GATF, the GRACoL® Committee developed the printing guidelines that have since become de facto standards on many pressrooms.

The mission of GRACoL® is to improve communications and education in the graphic arts by maintaining the accuracy and the relevance of the GRACoL® document in reporting the influence and impact of new technologies in the workflow of commercial offset lithography.

GRACoL® helps print buyers, designers, and specifiers work more effectively with print suppliers. This book has become the standard of reference and educational medium on the modern lithographic process. It is a tool-kit of standards, tips, and answers to common problems. By following the GRACoL® guidelines and recommendations, you will benefit in the following ways:

Reduce costs, decrease turn-around times, and avoid re-makes.

  • Develop internal guidelines for reliable process controls.
  • Acquire print predictability: know what you'll get on press -before you get there.
  • Demonstrate printing quality through achievable print guidelines and target goals.
  • Build upon the education in fundamentals of printing and developing technologies.
  • Clarification of what is reasonable to ask of print suppliers.

GRACoL® helps promote better communication between print buyers and print suppliers and helps avoid disappointment in expectations. Improved processes maintain printing as a competitive force in the communications marketplace.

We, as a committee, advocate that the GRACoL® guidelines facilitate best practices for the reduction of waste and positive environmental impact by the commercial printing industry, and appreciate the continued support of all endorsing organizations.

The GRACoL® committee is indebted for the generous contributions of time, experience, and expertise made by the industry leadership with the endorsement of their respective companies. We acknowledge that you make this document possible. Thank you.

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