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Berthold Oberhollenzer

Prepress technology

transparent 11x15@fogra.org

+49 89. 431 82 - 338


PSD Certification

Certification according to the PSD requirements

The Process Standard Digital (PSD) was developed by Fogra. It is the description of an industrially orientated and standardized procedure for the creation of digital print products. Using the PSD certificate service providers can show their quality approach and the overall understanding of the output processes. Successful implementation of the PSD provides printers with the benefits of improved cost, quality and time performance, with better sustainability and reduced waste.

General Prerequisites

  • Hardware: Handheld colour measuring device including a means for drift detection (exemplary evaluation)
  • Software: PDF- and EPS-based colour transforms, data preflight using PDF/X-Ready profiles, Ugra/Fogra Media Wedge CMYK V.3

Identification of 3 "combinations"

Each company to be certified muss identify three combinations, i.e. setup of substrate, printer, print mode and driving, for the one day audit. Those three combinations should comprise typical setups for the print shop and shall comprise different printers unless there is only one machine used. In that case the combinations might differ in another component such as the substrate or screening. Please use the provided spreadsheet to specify the three combinations. It also contains examples.

In order to be able to create a physical reference by means of a contract proof or a validation print the three combinations must be representative for typical production printing while at least one of the three combinations must be in conformance with either ISO 12647-7 (contract proof) or ISO 12647-8 (Validation Print).  However if there is an additional "proofing combination" available this restriction does not apply.

Preliminary tests (informative):

The subjects tested in these certifications are mandatory parts of the PSD certification. We recommend to conduct these certifications in order to analyse potential gaps and ways to improve them ahead of time. The individual aspects and its compliance with PSD will be tested in any case during the audit (just without corresponding certificatates). 

On-Site checks

1. Output process control:

  1. Quality management: Usage of methods for periodical process control [at least for the three combinations] - based on the Ugra/Fogra Media Wedge V3.
  2. Monitoring: Usage of quality assurance means to report and analyze the drift [at least for the three combinations] - Specs
  3. Calibration (against a reference): Means for correcting and corrective action in order to repeatably achieve the ground state [at least for the three combinations]

2. Colour Fidelity:

  1. Print output according to draft ISO/TS 15311-2 or -3 against a reference printing condition [for the three combinations]
  2. The chosen combinations and quality levels will be listed on the Fogra webpage.

3. Workflow

  1. Light-audit: Scrutiny of (at least) one viewing condition where colour critical appraisal is possible (ISO 3664)
  2. Preflight: Finding 7 out of 10 errors in a PDF file that will be sent to you two weeks before the audit
  3. PDF/X creation: Compliant PDF/X-Creation
  4. PDF/X output: Consistent  PDF/X-processing and -output
  5. Altona Test Suite: Understanding the gist of the important elements and raise awareness for potential limitations of the used workflows [to be checked for the three combinations]
  6. Profile-handling: Configuring and conducting a PDF colour transformation of a RGB-based office PDF toward a selectable reference printing condition (e.g. FOGRA39)
  7. Know how: Print and separation related analysis of one of the three combinations [by means of the preferred tone value sum, separation strategy, variability, achievable gamut etc]

How to get the PSD-certificate - An overview

Download the questionnaire.


Please check the fogra price list.


After 2 years the certification experies and you can apply for a recertication to be valid for another 2 year period. The auditor (Fogra or a qualified partner - DPE) will inform you right in time.  The re-certification audit is planed to last approximately half a day.

The procedure for the re-certification is as follows:

  • Contact Fogra or a DPE and agree on an appointment for a re-certification audit (to be done at the premise of the print service provider to be certified)
  • 2 weeks prior the re-certification audit you will get a list (pool) of practical tasks/tests.
  • You select 4 out of them - based on your own preferance
  • At the audit the auditor makes sure that you pass at least 3 out of the 4 tests
  • Fogra evaluates the results and provides the certificates and extends the website entries