ISO 3664: New Lighting Standard

Well, I can’t believe how long it has been since I posted to the blog. Shame on me! A lot happened at the recent IPA color conference in Phoenix, but one of the most interesting developments happened outside of the official events. Great! Real world events race ahead of planned presentations!

The new standard for lighting, ISO 3664, specifies increased UV content. What does this mean? That extra UV energy is invisible by itself, but it excites the optical brighteners in many commercial printing papers, making them look brighter and bluer. Problem is, during the past few years, zero optical brightener has become a strong tend in proofing papers. The result is that proofing papers, with zero OBA’s, and printing papers, with sometimes very large amounts of OBA’s, look completely different when viewed under the new UV-rich lighting.

The problem is not really new, but the new standard has made it more noticeable in the light booth. That’s a good thing, because we want our light booth to reflect real life, but in a controlled way. Proofing paper manufacturers may be reconsidering the zero OBA focus, and we will cover that in a future blog.

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