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FLEXO Magazine : July 2009
tions of the Design Section of FIRST 4.0, as well as graphic designers who were familiar with the fl exo and packaging industry, and even consumer products companies (CPCs). The trio authored all the actual revisions. “It was a collective goal to have the guide converted into a format that could be easily distributed,” said Price. “We didn’t expand on much. We found that a lot of the content was good as is.” In fact, in many cases information was condensed, reduced, cut or slightly reorganized to cater to a designer’s needs and priorities. As an example, Price mentioned, “Details about color management were rolled into the proofi ng area. The design guide was already written so that the part on contract proofi ng already mentioned color management systems, so to have a separate section on those systems for designers could take them off their goals or lead them down a different road for their designs.” Coffman added, “We took out a section about viewing artwork proofs and printed material. We took that out because it was not as important for a designer to know about viewing conditions as it is for a printer. We also took some information out about digital photography.” “When we talked about some of the people who work with designers, especially CPCs, they told us to keep it simple, include a lot of pictures and just put in the basics,” said Hilliard. “We didn’t want readers to be overwhelmed. At the same time, we had to have information that is important for someone who is creating a design for a package.” The new guide taps out at 35 pages (the original Design section of FIRST 4.0 spanned 40). It will be distributed with a standard cover letter explaining what FTA is, the purpose of this guide, and direct them to the Association for more information. “We want to increase awareness in how to design for fl exographic printing and the packaging industry as a whole. It’s not as much for the design fi rms that work with the large CPCs, because they’ve been doing this long enough. But there are an increasing number of companies bringing design functions in-house and hiring people just out of college with degrees in design. They have no concept of what the packaging fi eld is all about. We are hoping this will give them some knowledge about that,” said Hilliard. Price added, “There are a lot of quali- fi ed designers out there that get projects in packaging when it’s not really their core competency. It just seemed like a good idea to produce a small guide that you could present to these fi rms. It’s a free and portable document that will also generate interest in our organization. Having FTA referenced in this guide will hopefully bring more designers into the world of fl exography.” In their experience, Hilliard and Coffman have both found that many CPCs are more than willing to allow fl exo printers to work directly with the package designer. Unfortunately, all three men agreed that the majority of printers/ converters do not take the initiative. “I’ve seen designs for packaging that are 18 to 20 colors. As soon as I get something like that I ask if I can speak to the designer,” proclaimed Coffman, to which Hilliard noted, “When that happens, you are spending more time and more money trying to get a design printable.” And the sooner a printer/converter can www. f le xography. org insert themselves (or this document) into the loop, the less time and effort will be wasted. “We don’t want people to fall in love with designs that have unprintable elements,” asserted Price, who cited examples such as reverses out of process, screened type, etc. “Any time you work with a new customer, you can give them this and say, ‘Please give this to whoever will be producing the actual design.’ And let him/her know that, if there are any questions, to get with the printer to discuss,” said Hilliard. ■ FIRST 4.0 Get Your Copy Today! FTA Members: $99.00 (Non-members: $198.00) Place your order online at www.ftastore.com or call FTA at 631-737-6020. JULY 2009 FLEXO 15
Sustainable Spring 2009