UK leads the way in new era of digital co-operation

New working practice guidelines are set to revolutionise the UK digital imaging
industry - and save firms substantial sums each year. The Institute of Quality
Assurance (IQA) Digital group has launched the world's first 'best practice'
guidelines for handling digital images and which will tackle the millions of
pounds in business lost by the industry each year through errors, legal action,
cancelled contracts and reprinting.

These multi-sector guidelines are the result of cooperation between some of the
world's foremost digital image specialists, including Fujifilm, Kodak, Adobe
and Epson. The primary goal of the guidelines is to ensure predictable output
of digital images, creating a smooth workflow and helping to eliminate costly
errors. The guidelines will ensure that organisations and individuals
throughout the field of digital imaging - from picture libraries to designers
to photographers and printers - communicate effectively across sectors.

Michael Upstone, chair of the IQA Digital group, says:

"In the decade or so since digital imaging became widespread, there has been no
attempt to get the many industries working with digital images to adopt the
same best practice. A serious lack of communication between sectors with vastly
different business practices has led to lost business on a massive scale. The
IQA digital guidelines correct this imbalance with simple, multi-sector best
practices that will help ensure everyone communicates effectively."

The guidelines are designed to be easily implemented and cost effective -
making them as relevant to small businesses as they are to major firms. Many of
the guidelines' recommendations involve simple, low-cost automated processes -
for example running monitor-profiling software to ensure a WYSIWYG (what you
see is what you get) set-up. The guidelines set out recommendations for each of
the four key stages of image production - capture, display/edit, proofing and
output/printing, encouraging users to build on the guidelines with training and
education and helping professionals to appreciate and work within the
limitations of industry processes.

The guideline document is designed to be informative and flexible without being
prescriptive, with a particular focus on making it available as simply and
cost-effectively as possible, as Michael Upstone explains:

"We have to recognise that people work in different ways and there needs to be
different solutions for different outcomes. That's why we've created guidelines
as opposed to strict quality standards at this stage."

The UK-developed guidelines have already attracted interest worldwide, with 40
countries now involved in the process of creating standard global best
practices. Industry trade bodies are set to incorporate the guidelines as a
core element in their training and education programmes.

Michael Upstone adds:

"These guidelines are great news for everyone who deals with images - they're a
benchmark which says 'we're communicating using this method and if you do the
same, we've got no problems.'"

The guidelines are available as a free-to-download PDF document from the IQA
digital group's website.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: Institute of Quality Assurance