Regular readers of Spindrift will have realised by now that we at Digital Dots are very active within the ISO standards work. Recently a very promising and, we think, strategically important initiative was taken in TC 130, the technical committee within ISO that develops international standards from the print and publishing community. Work has started on an international standard to define the intention of a print job, saved as metadata inside the PDF.
The work started off as requests among users of the existing ISO standard for Transactional and variable data printing, ISO 16612-2 PDF/VT, to be able to include media selections and simplex/duplex controls in a PDF file. While this may sound like a modest request, it’s actually new a way of automating the print workflow.
What about JDF?
Anyone who has followed the development of modern graphic arts development and efforts to increase efficiency and automation in the last ten years or more might be thinking, “wait a minute – automation – isn’t that already done through the use of JDF?” And yes, the use of JDF (Job Definition Format) is one of the strongest and most common ways to automate your print production workflow. But JDF is not an ISO standard but instead developed and managed by an industry consortium CIP4 (which stands for International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press, and Postpress Organization).