The last major GWG specification was released in 2015. Since then, separate efforts took place for specific market segments such as Sign & Display, Digital Print and Packaging, but there was no real consolidation into the base specification. This made it more difficult to use the specification and more difficult for the Ghent Workgroup to evolve it. The GWG 2022 specification changes that by introducing new innovations on a new, streamlined, specification format.

Cutting down on false positives

The major novelty in GWG 2022 is the possibility to improve preflight results by cutting down false positives – preflight errors that are reported but really shouldn’t be because they would never cause production problems. Over the last years, several vendors created technology designed to cut back on the number of false positives during preflight. The GWG 2022 specification makes it possible for such technology to be used and defines the rules. This means that a preflight using GWG 2022 compliant profiles focusses on those files that really would cause problems.

Processing Steps

In label and packaging workflows, a major new ISO standard (known as ISO 19593-1) was introduced that makes it possible to identify elements in a design needed for specific processing steps. The easiest example is perhaps that it provides a good way to identify cut and fold lines in a complex design. The GWG 2022 specification includes support for the Processing Steps standard and identifies which processing steps should and should not be present for different packaging products.

Streamlined specification format

Up to now, Ghent Workgroup specifications were released in a document that described all requirements and had tables for each variant to specify which requirements were used for each variant. As the specifications became more technical and more complex, this proved to be difficult to work with. GWG 2022 is released instead as a highly structured spreadsheet, which clearly defines definitions, requirements, and variants. The definitions and requirements have been rewritten in a more standardized and exact fashion and include unique IDs, version numbers and more to make it easier for software vendors to work with them.

The Ghent Workgroup released two supporting documents about this specification:

Of course, the GWG 2022 specification spreadsheet is also freely available and can be found here.