SWOP is an acronym for Specifications for Web Offset Publications and since the late 1970s, SWOP has become an invaluable resource to the publication printing industry. By creating a system of color specifications that can be used by everyone involved in publication production, web offset printers are able to ensure color fidelity on press. Without SWOP Specifications, publication printers would not be able to match the scores of proofs coming from different sources and equipment.
Who is SWOP?
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it became clear that web-offset printing would become the new printing standard for the publication printing industry. At the time, pressmen faced severe difficulties matching supplied proofs and film on press, making it difficult to satisfy the quality requirements of both advertisers and publishers. As the concerns grew, a group of industry leaders formed a committee and, in 1986, published the first SWOP Specifications booklet which included guidelines for web offset printing.
In 1988, SWOP was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization and continued to promote industry standardization through education and enhancements to their SWOP Specifications. In 1999, SWOP debuted their SWOP Certification Program and accompanying Certification Mark. The Certification Program allowed SWOP to approve off-press proofing systems for web offset printing. SWOP Certified systems undergo a rigorous certification program to ensure that all proofs will meet the requirements of SWOP Specifications.
In 2005, SWOP and IDEAlliance merged, providing new resources for furthering their endeavors for standardization, certification programs and industry education.
What are SWOP Specifications?
SWOP Specifications is a series of requirements governing web offset publication printing. SWOP Specifications covers everything from ink densities, paper types, electronic file preparation, off-press analog and digital proofing, software, monitor calibration and more. Using a workflow that conforms to SWOP Specifications ensures that everyone will be viewing and processing color proofs that web offset printers can actually run to.
What is SWOP Certification?
SWOP Certification refers to SWOP, Inc.‘s (now part of IDEAlliance) Certification Program and Certification Mark. Off-press proofing systems are sent through a rigorous series of tests ensuring that proofs created from the system meet SWOP Specifications. Off-press proofing systems that pass the test procedures are then considering SWOP Certified and are allowed to use the SWOP Certification Mark.
For a complete list of SWOP Certified Proofing Systems visit http://www.swop.org/certification/systemlist.asp
What are SWOP Verified Proofs?
SWOP only certifies the systems that proofs are created on and not the individual proofs themselves. As a further measure for accuracy, the color bars on a proof created by a SWOP Certified system can be measured with a densitometer and compared against SWOP specifications. If the resulting measurements pass SWOP specifications, then the proof is considered SWOP verified and a “Pass” label with information about the proofing system and the measurements is attached to the proof itself.
What are SWOP Standards?
SWOP standards typically refers to workflows or proofing systems that conform to SWOP Specifications. SWOP Proofs created on a Certified system but not individually measured may sometimes be referred to as a SWOP Standard Proof. Images that use SWOP color profiles may be referred to as SWOP Standard images and so forth.
What is a SWOP Color Profile?
Adobe applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat and InDesign include a default U.S. Web Coated SWOP color profile. This generic CMYK color profile ensures that image ink densities and dot gain meet the requirements of SWOP Specifications.