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FLEXO Magazine : July 2009
DESIGN 1.0 DESIGN INTRODUCTION 1.1 Overview FIRST 4.0 is created to facilitate communication among all participants involved in the design, preparation and printing of flexographic materials. The designer is responsible for creating a graphic design that achieves the marketing objectives of the Consumer Product Company (CPC) and that can be successfully reproduced on press. The Design Section is intended to assist the designer in understanding the flexographic print considerations necessary to create reproducible designs. The better the designer understands the flexographic process, the easier it will be to create aesthetically pleasing designs while optimizing production efficiency and reducing the time-to-market. A primary objective of the Design Section is to provide guidance on how to create electronic files that will enhance quality and speed of manufacturing while minimizing cost. This must be accomplished while allowing the designer to maintain creative control of the project. This can be best accomplished when everyone in the supply chain has a clear understanding of the requirements of flexography and these requirements are addressed during the design phase of development. Because designers and production artists often have overlapping responsibilities, the information in this section applies to both parties. Depending on the methods and practices of the companies involved and the complexity and frequency of the work among them, FIRST recommends establishing ground rules and procedures for designing products before actual production begins. This is a necessary step when providing services to the flexographic industry because of the complexity of the graphics, print issues, and converting equipment considerations. A dialogue regarding design and production considerations should be initiated among the production team (designer, consumer product company, prepress provider, and printer). FIRST provides guidelines to facilitate the project flow through the design and manufacturing processes. 1.2 Responsibility As packaging graphics continue to increase in complexity and production timelines continue to compress, the clear assignment of responsibilities is necessary to ensure a quality printed product in a timely manner. The assignment of responsibilities requires planning and collaboration among all involved parties. Consumer Product Company (CPC): Ultimately, the customer defines expectations and therefore, must drive the collaboration process. The customer determines the effort expended to reach satisfaction. The CPC must facilitate communication between the supply chain parties: designer, prepress provider and printer. Designer / Production Design: The designer must work with both the prepress provider and the printer to understand the capability of the printing/converting process being utilized. Based upon the print capability, the designer must provide a design concept that will enable the printer to meet the expectations of the customer (CPC). The earlier in the design development process the prepress provider and printer are involved, the better able the team is to determine specific capabilities and ensure the final product meets the customer’s design objectives. Additionally, the designer is responsible for: Establishing a basic color scheme and color palette before final files are sent to production. Checking all copy for spelling and kerning. Treating common elements and logos consistently in the layout. Building all copy and vector-based elements in accordance with the specifications of the print provider. Prepress Provider: The prepress provider must work with the printer to understand the capability of the printing/converting process being utilized. The prepress provider supplies the designer with accurate and timely information regarding print capabilities at the beginning of the design phase to facilitate the creation of a printable design. Based upon the print capability, the prepress provider produces appropriate films/files/plates that will enable the printer to meet the expectations of the customer (CPC). They must document the controls
Sustainable Spring 2009