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FLEXO Magazine : July 2009
DESIGN Die Origin Dies are designed using a graphics program or CAD system. Files generated from these systems can be translated into a format compatible with CAD. Incorporation of dies, bleeds, or pressmarks (internal and external) should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Early communication about who will build a die line and how it will be used is essential. Printing Form Layout Considerations The printing form layout communicates how individual die cut units are arranged on a sheet or web. This may influence control target placement and create additional design considerations. If certain knives are common, or shared, between individual units, the design may be affected at the perimeter of the unit. This information can only be obtained through contact with the printer. Designers must work with the customer (CPC) and the printer to receive this vital information. Print-to-print and print-to-cut production tolerances should also be verified with the printer or the customer (CPC). These tolerances may vary depending on several factors including press width and press type (i.e., central impression, stack, in-line). Important elements should be placed away from cuts and scores. Die position tolerance is typically smaller for thin board stock and larger for thicker stock. Consult the printer for job specific print-to-print and print-to-cut production tolerances. Electronic Format It is important for the designer to work with an accurate physical representation of the unit’s form to avoid downstream adjustments to the design. Sometimes the die is modified to match graphic elements (windows, cutouts, or coupons). Most translation programs provide a link from the more common package design programs to CAD formats (i.e., DXF, DDES2, IGES). The structural designer should indicate what formats can be produced. Measurement of Die Drawings Indicate measurements on the electronic die line file including the dimensions and marks for the live print area. 2.2.2 Print Substrate A sample of the substrate should accompany the project as soon as it is available. The whiteness, color and texture of the substrate should be considered. Printing on foil or colored paper, or printing white behind the graphics, will influence the printed color gamut. Often, the colors on the printed product will deviate from the approved contract proof if the proof is not made to reflect the substrate and/or printed white ink. White ink can appear darker (dirtier) and typically less opaque than white paper or film. In addition, various packaging substrates exhibit different color properties when printed; for example, some paper substrates will inconsistently absorb ink producing a ‘muddier’ image. 2.3 File Naming Conventions Alternate versions of an electronic file should have separate and distinct names from the original version. File naming conventions for live, high-resolution images should be in accordance with the criteria of the collaborating parties. For example, workflow may dictate file names, SKUs, job numbers, or UPC references. When naming a file, special characters such as “!” , “@” , “#” , “$” , “%” , “/” , “\” , and “*” should never be used. Suffixes identify and distinguish formats and variations of working files. Examples of this are as follows: asparagus.tif asparagus.eps asparagus.psd or abcdefgh.raw abcdefgh.rgb abcdefgh.cmy
Sustainable Spring 2009