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FLEXO Magazine : July 2010
Prepress Providers Roundtable FLEXO Asks: Can you offer simple advice on avoiding common oversights, as they relate to trapping, screens, color choices, type/font size, placement of targets, etc.? Pat O’Connor, Production Manager, Southern Graphic Systems, Philadelphia, PA: What we’ve found works best with our designers at Studio is to review all concepts before they are presented to our consumer product company customers. Every job is unique and presents its own unique set of challenges. As a general rule, however, we find that a close collaboration with the prepress staff and printer, during the planning and design process, is key in managing a smooth project. Greg Platt, President, GMF Flexo Prepress Inc., Missis- sauga, ON, Canada: Often there are oversights; here is a listing of some of the top ones we find: Trapping: Today, most systems trap very efficiently but it is an extra step in the workflow that needs to be quality checked, which can increase the cost of the project. Traps are often hard, if not impossible to avoid. During creation, try to avoid trapping, either by layout or by choosing colors that don’t require trapping, eg: green to yellow, red to yellow, etc. Screening: When considering screens, you need to know the print process. Litho and gravure are very good at high line screens with no visible drop-offs. New flexo plate technology is now capable of achieving gravure quality, however, special attention is required. • Printers need high line screen anilox rolls (i.e .: 1000-1200). • Prepress needs new plate materials that hold dots down to the individual pixel and ensure custom flexo screening tech- nologies are applied to minimize the drop-off appearance. Special attention to the minimum dot in the design will avoid the obvious questions regarding hard break lines on press, specifically drop shadows and areas that fade off to nothing. Following print specifications will ensure minimum font sizes and correct pressmarks are added, again reducing additional work at prepress. Speak to your prepress provider and ask for templates to design into. Mark Coffman, Sales Manager, Dixie Graphics, Snell- ville, GA: My simple advice is to communicate to each other. In the many years that I have been working in the role of prepress service provider, I have had the pleasure to work with several consumer product companies, designers and printers. Whenever one of my customers, whether it be a con- sumer products company or a printer tells me they have some new artwork coming, I have found that usually all I have to do is ask if I can communicate with the designer to make sure that everyone’s desires are met. By working with the designer at the initial stage of preparing the artwork for printing flexo, many common oversights can be avoided and possibly save the consumer products company and printer some cost. Ryan Dufour, GM, 360 Imaging Inc., Gardner, MA: The most simple advice is to not assume the designer under- stands the results they will get based solely on what they are submitting for prepress Designers should always be pre- pared for how color choices interact for type. A superior flexo provider may need to point out that, for example, a red and green color choice will create a very dark and obvious trap line in reality that was not in their vision for the design. Point- ing out this fact saves everyone time and money. Also, explaining the use of a key line to hold back colors so as to avoid registration problems when using knockout type is another simple example of a common problem. Chris McClain, Head of Press Fingerprint Team, PRP Flexo, Indianapolis, IN: Collaborate with your prepress provider in order to understand the individual printer require- ments prior to creation/processing/approval of the art. Bob Dauses, Business Development Manager, Mark/ Trece Inc., Greensboro, NC: FIRST 4.0 has done a really good job of creating a resource to address these common concerns. As a prepress provider we are always available for consultation also. Karen Leet, Graphics & MarCom Manager, CSW Inc., Ludlow, MA: CSW typically handles trapping, screen com- pensation, and marks placement--many of these tasks can be automated through various workflows which are not used by most design firms. One area where designers can help us (and help themselves) is in using type and copy sizes that are flexo-friendly, and allow enough room for elements to trap. Another major oversight involves raster art. Images should be linked (not embedded in the layout file) to layered (not flat- tened) Photoshop files at a high enough resolution for the line screen being used. n Technologies & Techniques • Speak to your prepress provider and ask for tem- plates to design into. • FIRST 4.0 is a resource to address common concerns. • Utilize flexo-friendly type and copy/font sizes. Alanna Poirier, graphic designer, studio sgs, and Mike DeAngelis, plant manager, sgs-Philadelphia, keep abreast of all ongoing projects and any issues that might arise. Photo courtesy sgs international. 30 FLeXO july 2010 www.flexography.org FLXO_July10_v2.indd 30 7/16/10 9:36 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010