3DAP (Digital Data Delivery for Australian Publications) is an industry group  formed to ensure that advertising material prepared by different sources for use in publication printing can be faithfully reproduced together on the same press sheet. It is also important for the same material inserted in multiple publications to be consistent.

The most recent version of the standard issued by 3DAP is 3DAPv3 (released in January 2012). The update provided further benefits to the pre-press, publishing and printing industry and more accurately reflects the requirements of these industries in today’s market.

With the update Papertype 1 standard was not changed, but an improved Papertype 3 standard was introduced that is more in keeping with LWC papers being used today. The committee also incorporated a new standard for Papertype 4, compatible with the majority of uncoated stocks used in the contemporary magazine publishing.

For more details contact your proofing vendor and arrange the installation of the most current 3DAPv3 standards. New separation profiles for Papertype 3 and Papertype 4 are also available. Click here to download from the website.

The 3DAP committee are currently at version 3 (v3) of their proof guidelines.

3DAPv3 has adopted the Australian version of the international printing standard ISO 12647-2, and also incorporates the ISO 12647-7 tolerances for proofing quality control.  3DAPv3 enables greater control in the printing processes by making available on this website recommended separation profiles to suit the final printing requirements.

The change from previous versions has been driven by Australia’s printers adopting the AS 12647-2 ISO printing standard. One of the many benefits is a common colour space for both web and sheet-fed print applications which will narrow the divide between the two printing methods depending on paper type.

The 3DAP standards provide many benefits to the pre-press, publishing, and printing industries, giving a more predictable proofing and printing environment. The standards encompass three different ISO paper types which will cover the majority of magazine printing requirements.  

ISO paper stocks have been separated into five different paper types which are defined by the shade or brightness of the stock and its printing characteristics (expected dot gain). 3DAP has adopted three of these paper types – 1, 3 and 4 - which are most commonly used in commercial / magazine printing in Australia.

Paper Type 1 is typically a higher brightness coated stock and may be used for most magazine stocks printed sheet-fed, as well as the higher brightness web offset stocks.

Paper Type 3 is typically a mid to high brightness coated stock, generally with a lower mass per area weight (gsm).

Paper Type 4 is typically a higher brightness uncoated stock.

It is important to discuss the relevant paper types with your Publisher prior to the production of advertising material. This will ensure you utilise the correct separation profiles and produce the correct proofs for the printing process.

The 3DAP committee has representatives from all the major publishers in Australia on the committee, as well as the web offset print groups. It is the industry committee endorsed by the MPA.

With the help of the proofing device vendors who seek 3DAP approval, the delivery of calibrated proofing from disparate devices is possible.  The vendor’s task is to administer a QC system that will ensure a standardized proof can be produced correctly by their customers.  The result is consistent proofs delivered to advertisers, publishers and printers that represent an achievable result on press

Important Points:

• It should be noted that proofs output on 3DAP accredited proofing solutions may not view identically and can vary from proof to proof even if the measurements on the 3DAP control wedge are within the deltaE tolerances. Accredited vendor solutions can incorporate a variety of output devices, colour management softwares, inks and proofing papers and this combined with a “within deltaE tolerance measuring criteria” can create a visual difference even if the deltaE numbers are within 3DAP tolerances. This problem is not unique to 3DAP and can be managed by the proof supplier if the devices are maintained as accurately as possible.

• Proof originators: Speak to your proof vendor about the v3 set up procedures to comply with v3 guidelines, v3 does not mean that new equipment must be purchased to render a v3 proof.

• Proof vendors: Please contact 3DAP at dbowman@sb-media.com.au for further information on compliance procedure.

3DAP v3 Control Strip

In order to verify that a proof is actually a 3DAP v3 proof, each proof must have the following 3DAP endorsed Control Strip displayed beside the advertising material. Use of the strip obligates the user to follow the QC procedures supplied by proof vendors to the user after approval of their individual device.

3DAP v3 Control Strip:

This wedge is only available to users of 3DAP approved proofing systems and must show:

• The proofing vendor's name /logo
• The RIP
• The proofing device used
• The proof originator's company name /logo

The control strip must be placed beside the advertising page prior to proofing as an element- ensuring that the correct simulation profile is applied to the control strip.

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