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FLEXO Magazine : July 2012
However, there are always little tips or ideas that we may have forgotten, or can benefit from. Here’s a quick to-do list of items to help engineer a file from the designer’s hands to the press. If nothing else, we can marvel at how much science there is in the print process. PREFLIGHT PARAMETERS The first thing required from a prepress department is to assure that a file is appropriate to print. Preflight applications will automatically review a file and either return it to the de- signer with file error alerts, note the flaws but send it on to the prepress department for repair, or pass it and let it proceed through the production process. Before we can even begin, we need to define parameters upon which the preflight program will work. It is not all too rare, for instance, to receive a file designated for a seven- or eight-color press, with 25 colors from the designer. The con- struction of such a file will have to be condensed to a realistic number of colors with a wide enough gamut that can accu- rately separate and reproduce the designer’s special colors. A common error is receiving a file with a missing font. While it would be best if a RIP just rejects the file, typically a RIP will either bitmap the text or replace it with a default text, which is, of course, unacceptable. While this wastes time and requires rework, imagine if the missing text is small mouse-type that is difficult to spot. The packaging could proceed far down the road before it is caught. A preflighting application will identify a missing font before the file is accepted into the workflow. Line weights are often ignored by art directors, but can cause significant headaches if not caught. If a line is too small, it can be wavy, appear broken — or disappear — when printed, or even break off from the plate. A reverse line could plug up in the background. These need to be caught and the line weights increased to an acceptable width for the plate and press. Fortunately, software is available to resolve the process of distorting artwork pretty painlessly. www.flexography.org july 2012 FLEXO 51