Hewlett-Packard and Adobe got together at Birmingham’s giant IPEX 2002 print and publishing show (April 9-17) to promote a new open standard for accurate remote proofing.

The proposed Remote-Proofing Format (RPF) would allow designers, clients, pre-press houses and printers to gain accurate colour proofs of work even if they were based thousands of miles away – without the need for couriers. All each person would need is a compatible, calibrated printer to output the data from the RPF file, which is made-up of a PDF plus local print settings.

HP is testing the solution with its Designjet 10ps, 20ps and 50ps inkjet colour proofers, but is keen to see the format embraced by other inkjet manufacturers, such as Epson and Canon. HP claims that the solution will work with the 50ps in mid-June, and with the 10ps and 20ps in September.

Network publishing Adobe – interested in the initiative because of its print any time, anywhere and any place strategy of network publishing - will ensure that RPF files can be opened in its Acrobat PDF creator. Its DesignTeam server product is also linked. DesignTeam offers centralized file sharing and version control for efficient collaboration among widespread teams; online reviews for streamlined approvals; and secure delivery of files to third parties for fast turnarounds.

Adobe doesn’t have a stand at IPEX 2002, but is showing off its products and technologies on partner stands, such as those of Apple, HP, IBM and Xerox.

“Rather than present these applications in isolation, we decided to deliver a stronger message bu showingan integrated workflow with the support of print partners who specialize in the management and output of digital content,” said John Cunningham, Adobe’s European market development manager of cross-media solutions.

Better colour with Best Best Color is implementing its own version of RPF, but hopes to make it fully compatible with HP and Adobe’s solution. The Best Remoteproof system features an extra level of colour calibration, which requires extra hardware in the form of a Best Eye spectrophotometer for colour-checking the proofs at output. While the C version will be available at the end of April, a Mac version won’t be ready until the end of the third-quarter of 2002.

“This is the first step in discussions to create an open standard,” Xavier Olivella, HP’s business development manager (Western Europe) for large-format products, told Macworld at IPEX 2002.