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What is The Paperdam Group?

In April 2008 a conference with leading European paper manufacturers was hosted by IGT Testing Systems, as active participant in ISO standardization, to prepare for the ISO TC130 Meeting in Paris. A steering group of paper manufacturers was then formed, to give a proposal about paper categorization to the ISO Working Groups. This group is called "Paperdam" (Paper manufacturers meeting in Amsterdam.)

The Paperdam Group claims to be the experts when it comes to knowledge about paper performance and is open to any paper manufacturer who is active in the printing market.

Paper Categorization

The first steps in paper categorization were taken in 1996 when the original version of ISO 12647 (part 2 but not only) was published by ISO TC130 with the five paper types. Paper types were chosen mainly from sheet-fed offset and reflected the quality of papers in the early 90's. Even after the 2004 revision and the 2007 amendment very little has changed in paper categorization.

Optical data used in these standards cannot be compared to white paper specifications, they are a source for misunderstanding. Optical target values of these five paper types do not reflect the current papers in the market. There are a large number of new types of papers, especially in heat set web offset, with a wide range of paper shades and achievable colour gamuts.

The term “ISO compliant paper” is misleading.

During recent years, ISO 12647 certification has increased in popularity and is nowadays a requirement by many print buyers. Paper manufacturers have been requested to supply "ISO compliant paper”, referring strictly to paper shade as per ISO Paper Types. This is a misleading interpretation. ISO 12647 compliance (meaning reaching the right Colour Gamut) can be achieved with any white paper using the correct ICC profile and characterization data.

The Paperdam Group points out that, as stated in ISO 12647-2 and -4 point 4.3, the most important issue is that the proof substrate matches with the production paper. The proof substrate should be specified, including parameters that are common in paper industry. Recommendations of ICC profiles and Characterization data: In order to get easy prepress settings and high quality colour management, the Paperdam Group supports the publication of recommended ICC profiles and characterisation data for each of their paper grades.

Recommendations can be found on their product data sheets / homepages. Links for downloads of the ICC profiles and characterisation data sheets: and

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