President Bill Destler

“Imagine RIT as an innovation university. We see a new relationship where RIT is home to your research and development.”

RIT President Bill Destler 

Leveraging RIT’s comprehensive collection of full-scale contemporary printing equipment, laboratory instrumentation, and the expertise of RIT’s world renowned faculty and technical staff, the Printing Applications Laboratory provides industry with empirical approaches to control and improve the quality of their products and expand on the knowledge of printing industry professionals.

PAL provides digital media certification programs, product/process auditing, competitive benchmarking, and assistance with product development. PAL also assists the industry with a broad range of both open enrollment and customized corporate educational programs.


Industry News Highlights

RIT-PAL “Digital Printing Boot Camp” October 21-23, 2014

The Printing Applications Laboratory will re-introduce their popular “Digital Printing Boot Camp” public program on October 21-23 in the new PAL facilities on the RIT campus.

This intensive 3-day seminar will provide attendees with detailed information on toner and inkjet technologies, plus unique insights into Landa Nanographic printing and other liquid toner approaches. Specific models and companies will be discussed and reviewed. There will also be demonstrations of various digital devices and digital print media tests conducted by PAL digital printing technologists.

FrankRomano copyThe session will be led and presented by RIT Professor Emeritus Frank Romano, who wrote the first books on digital printing as well as the comprehensive “Inkjet!” book, published by PIA. Frank Romano’s career has spanned 55 years in the printing and publishing industries. Many know him as the editor of the International Paper “Pocket Pal” for over 30 years, or have read one of the thousands of articles he has written. He is the author of 54 books, including the 10,000-term Encyclopedia of Graphic Communications (with Richard Romano), the standard reference in the field. He lectures extensively around the world and was the principal researcher on the landmark EDSF study, “Printing in the Age of the Web and Beyond.” Romano’s online blog “Frankly Speaking” appears regularly at

An agenda and pricing information for the “Digital Printing Boot Camp” will be available shortly. Check back here soon!

PAL also offers Digital Boot Boot Camp programs customized for individual companies or professional organizations; content is tailored to meet individual needs for information and/or hands-on experience with equipment.

Prior PAL Boot camp sessions have been well-received. According to one attendee, Ross Van Burkleo, Digital Sales Manager for Neenah Paper, “The RIT Digital Boot Camp was the right mix of industry knowledge, technical data and hands on training with all the leading manufacturers’ equipment. The people that hosted us were outstanding to interact with and the course was very well organized. We even took a tour of the RIT campus to see what the next generation is going to create and inspire.”

To learn more about PAL’s custom Boot Camps, please email Barbara Giordano or call her at (585) 475-2687.

KODAK NEXPRESS SX Is First Pre-Approved Platform for PSA Certification

The KODAK NEXPRESS SX Digital Production Color Platform with HD Inks has passed the pre-approval phase for Printing Standards Audit (PSA) certification. Developed by RIT’s Printing Applications Laboratory, PSA is a rigorous, objective process for assessing a printer’s ability to operate a standards compliant workflow. By attaining PSA Certification, printers can objectively demonstrate that they have mastered the use of standards in the workflows they operate.

The Kodak platform becomes the first manufacturer-initiated pre-approved platform for individual customer PSA certification, speeding the process for print service providers who know their buyers will require PSA certification.

“Given the increased interest in inclusion of optical brightener agents in many substrates, it’s become more difficult to fully match color proofing to print output processes – their inclusion affects color management and matching,” said Jeffrey Wang, PAL Senior Imaging & Color Scientist. “PSA is the first process to incorporate and compensate for this globally, and having the KODAK NEXPRESS SX Platform pre-approved makes it an attractive option for print service providers.”

For more information on the KODAK NEXPRESS SX pre-approval, view or download the Kodak news release here. For more on the Printing Standards Audit, visit the PSA page here,

We’ve Moved!

Rochester Institute of Technology is proud to announce the new location to host the Printing Applications Laboratory (PAL) and Imaging Products Laboratory (IPL). It is in the same building as before, Building #78, on the RIT campus. This is a larger and newly renovated facility combines the experienced staff and extensive facilities of PAL and IPL.

 We, at RIT, constantly strive to provide our customers with cutting-edge technologies and programs and best-in -class services. Now customers can anticipate better quality and service through the joining of the two groups.

 In the past, IPL focused on assessing the quality and performance of re-manufactured imaging products for the Small Office and Home Office (SOHO) markets, while PAL was designed to fulfill the needs of commercial and industrial printing for materials testing, evaluation, and qualification. We believe that this new facility combines the best features of both groups to deliver maximum satisfaction to customers around the world.

 With the introduction of new programs like ISO 15339 based Printing Standards Audit (PSA) and Over Print Vanish for digital presses (OPV), it is beneficial to co-locate our resources. This new facility, 7,000 sq. ft., is temperature- and humidity-controlled, providing an ultra-stable testing environment that can accommodate many desired testing conditions.  A key feature of the new facility is a new, robust and effective floor plan designed to contribute to high quality and efficiency in all our operations.

 Our new facility hosts five full-color digital presses, custom ink mixing system, imaging products testing laboratory, printing materials and analytical laboratory, image quality evaluation laboratory, and a color laboratory equipped with the ISO 3664:2009 lighting and viewing fixtures.

 We look forward to being of continued service to you and hope you will enjoy the benefits of PAL at our new facility.


PAL staff

HP Indigo Labels & Packaging Over Print Varnish Performance Program

RIT’s HP Indigo Over Print Varnish Performance Program enables manufacturers, suppliers and HP Indigo digital press owners to have both waterbase and UV coatings evaluated with HP Indigo digital certified media. The OPV Performance procedure incorporates several tests in accordance with the stated protective uses for the coatingsOPVarticle.

As an initial screen test, the OPV will be applied to a certified printed media. The OPV will be evaluated for adhesion to the HP Indigo ink and visible orange peeling or mottling. After passing the initial screen test, the coating will be applied to specific test targets for evaluation of chemical and physical properties.

Once completed, a comprehensive report is then generated for each OPV/substrate combination and given to the supplier.

For more information on OPV, download the program announcement and data sheet/order form here.

New PAL Video on Color Matching for Optically Brightened Papers

The Printing Applications Laboratory has released a new 5-minute video on how printers can deal with preparing matching proofs for optically brightened stock by printing to numbers. The video explains why optically brightened papers appeal to consumers, but can make life difficult for printers because traditional printing aims are no longer valid and proofs (which are always made on unbrightened papers) no longer match the color of print — thus the contract proof can no longer accurately predict the color of the final print.

Fortunately, science and technology have come to the printing industry’s rescue.  Over the past three years, a new technology, Substrate Corrected Colorimetric Aims (also called SCCA technology), has been developed to solve these problems. To learn more about the benefits of SCCA, view the video on YouTube here.

Color Preference, Printed Color and PSA Certification Article Published

IDEAlliance has published an extensively illustrated three-part article prepared by RIT Gravure Research Professor Robert Chung about managing customers’ color expectations and managing technology change in the graphic arts industry and written for print buyers, including brand owners, designers and printers. Click here for Part 1; here for Part 2; and here for Part 3 of the article as published in recent issues of the IDEAlliance Bulletin. IDEAlliance is a global community of content and media creators, and their service providers, material suppliers, and technology partners.

Printing Process Identification and Image Analysis for for Forensic Document Examiners

April 29, 2014toMay 2, 2014

This highly specialized seminar – designed for new examiners as well as experienced analysts who want a technology update – explores the full range of image, ink and substrate variables that are key to determining the authenticity of currency, stamps, passports and other legal documents.

You Will Learn

  • Imaging characteristics of traditional and non-impact printing systems, including the newest digital technologies
  • The interrelationship of the imaging process, ink and substrate, and how to evaluate all three
  • Technical knowledge to help you differentiate between an authentic document and a fraudulent replica

Who Should Attend

  • Questioned document examiners
  • Forensic document examiners
  • Forensic scientists
  • Criminologists
  • Fraud investigators
  • Government employees who work in or with crime labs

Seminar Schedule

The latest (tentative) schedule is available here.


Mike Caffrey is is the Senior Business Development Manager at Appvion. He is responsible for all Security products and new growth opportunities, developing security solutions and specifications for all Federal and State agencies as well as private corporations throughout the North/South/Central America and Europe. His business expertise includes a strong background in security papermaking and integrating intelligent technologies into paper substrates. He has extensive experience writing specifications for high-value financial/revenue applications and identifying and developing custom solutions to prevent fraud and counterfeiting.

Professor Ken Hoffmann, Chair of NTID’s Arts & Imaging Studies Department, has been teaching at RIT since 1982. Ken has been involved in the graphic arts industry since 1972 when he was a grad student at Clemson University. After earning a Master’s in Industrial Education in 1974 from Clemson, Ken worked as a journeyman-level prepress craftsman in several printing companies in South Carolina and Pennsylvania while also teaching graphic arts in vocational high schools. At RIT, Ken formerly taught courses in crafts-based traditional prepress technology and now focuses on courses related to digital document production and preparing for employment.

Tom Jay is Vice President of SICPA Securink USA, a global provider of ink-based anti-counterfeiting and anti-forgery security solutions for bank notes and other valuable, high-risk documents. He manages the Document Security Ink division and is responsible for all security printing applications, including intaglio, lithography, flexography, gravure and screen printing processes.

Eric T. Kunsman is a photographer, book artist, and digital workflow specialist based out of Rochester, New York where he has returned to pursue his personal work. Eric is a Lecturer for the Arts & Imaging Studies Department at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and also teaches for the School of Photographic Arts & Sciences both of which are housed at RIT.  He has taught workshops, lectured on digital printing internationally. Eric holds his MFA in Book Arts/ Printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and holds an MS in Electronic Publishing/Graphic Arts Media, BS in Biomedical Photography, BFA in Fine Art photography all from the RIT. He currently owns Booksmart Studio, which is a fine art digital printing studio specializing in numerous techniques and services for photographers and book artists.

Owen Lang is Senior Applications Specialist at Foster & Freeman (2005-current). His roles and responsibilities at Foster & Freeman cover the installation and training for all of the company’s product range, including Questioned Documents (VSC6000), Trace Evidence (ffTA/GRIM3/MSP/Raman & ECCO), Crime Scene Analysis (Crime-Lites) and Fingerprints (DCS-4 & MVC). He holds BSc (Hons), and MFSSo degrees.

Majid Rabbani is a Kodak Research Fellow and head of the image compression and video processing technology areas in the Imaging Science division of Eastman Kodak Company.

Joseph Stephens is a Document Analyst with the United States Secret Service. He earned a Bachelor of Chemistry from Roanoke College and a Master of Science in Forensic Science (M.S.F.S) from The George Washington University. Mr. Stephens conducts ink, paper, and toner comparisons as well as document authentication examinations on an array of submitted documents using scientific instrumentation. He has given dozens of presentations, lectures, and workshops and has actively participated in the training of numerous forensic document examiner trainees. This will be his fifth time teaching at RIT.

Julia Wikoff is a Document Analyst with the United States Secret Service. She received her Bachelor of Chemistry and Master of Science in Forensic Science from Stevenson University. After interning with the United States Secret Service, she transitioned to a full-time position, which she has held for approximately three years. Ms. Wikoff conducts various types of examinations, including authentication and ink, paper, and toner analyses, on threat letters, drivers’ licenses, credit cards and other documents. This will be her first time teaching at RIT.

Program Fee:  $1,395

RIT does not make hotel reservations, but has made arrangements for seminar attendees to reserve rooms at a special rate at the nearby Radisson Hotel Rochester Airport, 175 Jefferson Road, Rochester, NY ‎14623; (585) 475-1910. To reserve a room at the special rate, use the code word “FORENSICS” when you register. Note that rooms will be held only until two weeks prior to the seminar date. After this time, rooms are reserved on a space-available basis. If you would like to book your room through the internet, please use the special promotional code ‘RITF’.


Online registration for this program is available. For additional information, please email Barbara Giordano or call her at (585) 475-2687.