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FLEXO Magazine : June 2011
FTA TODAY Prepress Priorities Color, Consistency and Streamlined Processes Proofing, prototyping, high-resolution imaging, brand color management and critical collaboration set the stage for Forum 2011’s kickoff session. Targeted to prepress trade shops and their performance, session chair Hank Welter of Exopack and co-chair Larry Moore of EskoArt- work introduced the presenters Marc Welch of GMG Americas took the podium first and discussed new prototyping and proofing technologies for packaging. “‘Proofing’ and ‘prototyping’ don’t usually go in the same sentence, but we have come a long way,” he said. “ It’s now possible to make proofing-quality prototypes with color accuracy similar to contract proofing, on the actual package substrate.” Welch’s presentation was partly a tactile experience, as he shared samples of 3D printing that simulates foil stamp effects, embossing and textured printing. “ T he good news is that we can do all of these things,” he said, holding a sample aloft. “But the bad news is that we can do all of these things.” He noted that although it is possible to create prototypes with dimensional accuracy, challenges lie in gamut and must be addressed. Welch’s discussion of color created the perfect segue for Steve Smiley of Vertis, Inc. to speak about brand color management. Smiley focused on color exchange format (CxF), which is xml data for communicating spot colors. He discussed how developing CxF data to use in PDF-X files can help maintain color consistency throughout the supply chain, noting that designers will introduce CxF data and integrate brand colors at file creation. “ CxfF data provide all the information the ink manufacturer needs to match your brand color across substrates and print- ing processes. CxF data also define the expected tints and TVI curves required from the press. ” Next up, Rory Marsoun of EskoArtwork discussed how high- resolution imaging enables the use of new, more effective screening technologies that offer improved detail, highlights and solids. “High-resolution solid screening enables us to texturize the surface of the plate,” he said. “T his reduces or eliminates pinholing in solids, allows higher solid ink densities and provides better contrast in shadows. ” The benefits of high-resolution imaging extend to highlight screening, he added, citing a case study in which the printed minimum dot shrank from 9-12 percent down to 3-6 percent. Using high-resolution screening reduced image retouching and enabled a fade to zero with no hard breaks. According to Marsoun, high-resolution imaging offers more gray levels, sharper images and less ink build-up. Shannon Steele of Coca-Cola North America rounded out the session with a presentation from the perspective of a consumer product company. She stressed the importance of color in marketing. “ Trademark color is a critical part of brand recognition,” she said, noting how consumers re- member products by the color of the packaging first, before shapes, numbers and words. Steele emphasized collaboration between design manag- ers, print quality managers, project managers, color separa- tors, printers, ink suppliers and, finally, the bottler. A central- ized color management process ties it all together, she said. “ It is important to standardize evaluation. Ink conditions must be consistent among suppliers, and if they are not we take corrective action. ” n Welch Smiley Marsoun Steele 12 FLEXO June 2011 www.flexography.org
Sustainable Spring 2011