Altona Test Suite 2.0 + Update 2016 (English)

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Altona Test Suite 2.0

Update 2016

Application kit for checking data and output systems

More than 2000 print and media companies and system vendors worldwide use the Altona Test Suite 2.0 application kit to test the PDF/X compliance and the colour reproduction of their software and hardware components. They employ the files and reference prints in the entire PDF/X workflow – from prepress to production printing. The application kit developed under the lead of bvdm thus makes an important contribution to the international standardization of printing processes according to ISO 12647.

Altona Test Suite 2.0 contains ten reference print series in A3 format. The prints produced within the tolerances of ISO 12647-2 show typical output results under standard printing conditions of sheetfed and heatset web offset printing. A DVD includes the corresponding reference files and additional test suite files for coldset web offset and gravure printing as well as the characterization data and ICC profiles used for this purpose.

The files Technical 1 and 2 allow to determine whether output systems meet the PDF/X-3 and PDF/X-4 specifications by checking the output results against the corresponding reference prints. Various digital control means and other auxiliaries along with supplementary information complete the application kit. A comprehensive documentation explains the use of Altona Test Suite 2.0 in German and in English.

Take a look at our literature website

Altona Test Suite 2.0

Update 2016

Preview Altona Test Suite


Preview Update 2016


The included 2016 update adds data and reference prints for printing on optically brightened paper. The data was colour converted using the ICC profiles "PSO Coated v3" (FOGRA51) and "PSO Uncoated v3" (FOGRA52), the reference prints were generated in accordance with the target values of the ProzessStandard Offsetdruck Revision 2016. Anyone who already owns the Altona Test Suite 2.0 application kit can order the 2016 update individually.

The Altona Test Suite application kit is a joint project of Bundesverband Druck und Medien (bvdm), Berlin, European Color Initiative (ECI), Berlin, Forschungsinstitut für Medientechnologien (Fogra), Aschheim near Munich, and Ugra, St. Gallen. Print shops and manufacturers of materials and systems (paper, printing presses, software) were significantly involved in the development as project partners. Project management and editor: bvdm.

The reference data files

The application kit includes eight A3 basic test forms, provided as reference data or reference prints, respectively:

  • ATS 2.0 Measure
    Contains control means for checking output systems using colourmetric and densitometric measurements.

  • ATS 2.0 Visual
    PDF/X-4 file for visually checking PDF/X compatibility. It contains CMYK and spot colour data as well as various components with device-independent colours, e.g. CIELAB and RGB based on ICC. In conjunction with the reference prints, the test form facilitates checking and optimizing the colour accuracy of a proofing system.

  • ATS 2.0 roman16-1/2/3/4
    The four reference files (PDF/X-4) use all roman16 bvdm reference images. In conjunction with the reference prints, the colour accuracy of a proof printing system can be comprehensively checked visually and by measurement. The files cover the entire colour space with all important quality parameters, from primary, secondary and tertiary colours over skin and hair tones to vignettes, structure and detail reproduction.

  • ATS 2.0 Technical 1
    The test form file treats overprinting and font formats from a technical perspective. Technical 1 contains 864 carefully constructed fields for a thorough review of the overprint rendering functions (implemented in CtP-RIP).

  • ATS 2.0 Technical 2
    The file is designed to test the rendering of complex page layouts in a PDF/X-4 workflow. Technical 2 contains carefully selected images and image sections as well as specially programmed colour patches that can be used to check in detail whether transparencies and layers are properly rendered by the RIP of the proofing or CtP system.

Content Altona Test Suite 2.0 + Update 2016

  • 60 reference prints of the 6 reference test form files Measure, Visual and roman16-1/2/3/4 for 10 standard printing conditions of sheet-fed and heatset web offset printing, A3, folded in 6 light-proof protective sleeves

  • 4 reference prints of the files Technical 1 and 2 (2 × each), A3, folded in a light-proof protective cover

  • 96 reference files Measure, Visual and roman16-1/2/3/4 (10 each for sheet-fed and heatset web offset printing, 1 each for coldset web offset printing, 5 each for gravure printing)

  • 3 reference test form files Technical 1 (1 ×) und 2 (2 ×)

  • Characterization data and ICC profiles for all standard printing conditions of the application kit plus support information

  • ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip with technical documentation

  • Documentation in German and in English, 180 pages A4

  • Documentation Update 2016 in German and in English, 16 pages A4


Some reference prints of the 2016 update (cover 6, FOGRA51) may exceed the acceptance threshold of DeltaE = 5 in magenta solid colour due to an unexpected "dark reaction" that occurred months after production. Please do not use such copies for visual and measurement comparisons with self-produced prints. The price of the application kit has been reduced accordingly. Reference prints are generally not certified colour samples, especially if they have been stored for a long period of time, even in light- and dust-safe envelopes.

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Harry Belz
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