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FLEXO Magazine : July 2011
Changes to the art because of overprint issues and trapping requirements can dramatically affect the look and feel of the final printed piece, as well as result in costly changes that could even delay the project. Timing is critical, so delays can result in thousands, if not millions of dollars lost in retail sales. If the consumer products company (CPC) is not happy with the overall speed of the pro- cess and/or quality of the final results, then no one is happy. Your job is to make them happy. LARGE LETTERS When working with larger type, a good understanding of flexography can be beneficial. Building text with gradations, multiple outlines and keep-aways can be problematic. Dot gains and break-offs need to be considered to keep typogra- phy legible. Starting gradations with 5 percent of any/all colors will deliver the cleanest and clearest results on your package. This number varies between press and substrate, so check with your prepress provider or printer for specific recom- mendations. If you do not have access to a prepress provider or printer during the design process, 5 percent is a widely accepted minimum guideline. Text outlines and keep-aways can be an effective graphic addition, bolstering clarity of the read or stylistic enhance- ments. That said, the weight of these lines could be an issue on press. Minimum positive line/rule widths of .013 in. and reverse line/rule widths of .02 in. will help eliminate poten- tial problems and manage your client’s expectations. Once again, make sure you ask your flexo printer for recommenda- tions or refer to FIRST for guidelines based on substrate. Another recommendation in regard to typography and design, although not specifically flexo related, is to limit the overall number of fonts used in your design. A good rule of thumb is using three fonts or less. This cleans up the over- all look, eliminates clutter and improves the impact of your design at retail. Many designers believe that flexography limits their creativ- ity and restricts their ability to deliver a quality design solu- Table 1 Minimum Type Size: General Guidelines Minimum type size is print system dependent; determine minimum type size with press fingerprint (ref. 19.2). Segment Substrate Positive Reverse Printer Specific Positive Reverse Serif (ex:Times Roman) Sans Serif (ex: Helvetica) Serif Sans Serif Serif Sans Serif Serif Sans Serif Wide Web Preprint Linerboard All 8 pt. 6pt. 10pt. 8pt. Combined Corrugated White Top 8 pt. 6pt. 10pt. 8pt. Coated Paper 6 pt. 4pt. 8pt. 6pt. Folding Carton All 6 pt. 4pt. 8pt. 6pt. Multiwall Bag Coated Paper 8 pt. 6pt. 12pt. 10pt. Uncoated Paper 10 pt. 8pt. 18pt. 12pt. Film Products Polyester 8 pt. 6pt. 12pt. 10pt. Polypropylene, Polyethylene, & Metallized 8 pt. 6pt. 10pt. 8pt. Newsprint Uncoated Paper 10 pt. 7pt. 11pt. 10pt. Narrow Web Paper Products All 6 pt. 4pt. 8pt. 6pt. Film Products All 6 pt. 4pt. 8pt. 6pt. Envelope All 6 pt. 4pt. 8pt. 6pt. Source: FIRST www.flexography.org July 2011 FLEXO 49