Everything you need to know about packaging


Mainly due to the complex nature of the packaging ecosystem, the introduction of PDF has been slower than in other sectors. New ISO standards and improvements in software are changing this quickly.

The Ghent Workgroup supported the use of PDF in packaging with its work on ISO 19593-1, the standard known as Processing Steps, and by the development of a specification specifically targeted at packaging.

Application Settings

Settings for the most commonly used applications in professional publishing workflows, to automatically and properly create and check PDF files. Simply download and install in your favorite application.


Packaging – The missing link

Learn about the developments in packaging, find out how you can take advantage of them and know how you can prepare for the future


Listen to our members

ISO 19593-1

The benefits for the packaging and label community – hear it from our members

Packaging Specification

Technical content! Due to the unique requirements of files designed for packaging, GWG created a document that details the use of the GWG specifications related to packaging.

Want to know more?

Start your journey by reading “Packaging & Labels, is the next big thing already here?”, written By David L Zwang, Chair of the Ghent Workgroup.

This short document describes in an easy to follow way what new developments have already happened in the packaging segment and what more you can expect in the coming years.


These webinars are part of the Ghent Workgroup educational webinar series.

PDF for Packaging

Packaging for Brand Owners

Processing Steps


You can also hear more about the Processing Steps standard and how it applies to packaging, from our Ghent Workgroup members. What are the benefits of ISO 19593-1 for the packaging and label community?

Looking for the technical information?

Packaging Specification

If you’re a software or hardware developer, or feel comfortable reading more technical documentation, you can also read the full packaging specification document.

Keep in mind that this was written to help developers implement the specification in preflight, editing and workflow applications.

Processing Steps

It is common practice in packaging to add additional objects and metadata in a PDF that will not be used for printing the final product. Examples are cut lines (also referred to as cut contours, or die lines), varnish, braille, legends…

GWG developed a proposal on how to standardize this content. After initial work by the GWG, the proposal was adopted by the ISO (International Standards Organization). The ISO published a modified version of the GWG proposal in July 2018. It can be consulted on the ISO web site as ISO 19593-1. As a result, the GWG proposal is no longer available for download as it has been superseded by the ISO standard. What can still be downloaded is a ZIP package with 3 sample files containing processing step data. These sample files are fully compliant with the ISO standard and can serve to illustrate the concepts discussed in the standard.

Click here to find out more about the processing steps.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to us in case of questions!