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FLEXO Magazine : July 2009
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Transparency in gradients makes it very easy to create fades in artwork without having to learn about opacity masks. gradients makes it very easy to create fades in artwork without having to learn about opacity masks. Q: Q: What Illustrator plug-ins are applicable and useful for designers in the fl exographic printing and converting industry? Macy: There are a lot of great Illustrator plug-ins. A couple of companies that are worth noting include EskoArtwork, that offers some great tools for packaging automation and 3D visualization, and Astute Graphics, that builds a plug-in called Phantasm CS for color adjustment, vector half-toning and extensive color separations control. Extra channels in Illustrator, such as the XG colorspace commonly used in fl exographic printing, can be a limitation to the effectiveness of the products. Are there options available to successfully channel mix and view separations outside CMYK colorspace in Illustrator? Macy: In Illustrator CS4, it is possible to create multiple fi lls and strokes on any object and control tint percentage and overprint for each of them. This allows designers to use any combination of spot and process colors on any element in their design. To make these combinations easily reusable, just save them in a graphic style. Q: What Illustrator features address color management for packaging applications? Macy: Illustrator CS4 includes a new separations preview feature that allows users to do a quick check on whether they have defi ned all of their artwork properly and to look for problems in overprints. For more complete control, prepress www. f le xography. org JULY 2009 FLEXO 23 technicians could also use Acrobat 9 Pro or some of the third party Illustrator plug-ins. Q: What is Adobe’s opinion of the various PDF standards and subsets (PDF/X, PDF/A)? What are the unique purposes of each? Rosenthol: Adobe is a strong supporter of all of the various PDF subset standards from the ISO (PDF/X, PDF/A, PDF/E, PDF/VT, and PDF/UA), and has been involved as a member of each working group since their respective inceptions. Adobe representatives also currently serve as ISO project leaders for PDF/A, PDF/E and PDF/VT. Adobe has a web page about the various PDF standards at http://www.adobe.com/products/ acrobat/standards.html. The page contains basic information about each of the standards and includes pointers on where to go for more information. ■
Sustainable Spring 2009