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FLEXO Magazine : July 2012
operator could accidentally move a cut or crease so, when in production, they do not fit correctly. There are 3D plug-ins that will even allow operators to design in both 2D (flats) and 3D modes, so he/she can see what the package will look like as he/she is adding graphic elements. Or, these same applications can be used as a qual- ity assurance tool to inspect the flat plan as a 3D image. So, what can be caught? Well, bags for example, have fin seals on the back of the package. If someone is not careful with the direction and type of fin, critical copy can easily be covered up. We have seen many examples, of course, when a structure does not work correctly. A 3D program makes it very easy for operators to catch it before even the costly proofing or prototype phase. Copy can be printed upside down. Some flaps are used for glue. It is helpful if they are designed without ink, so that they adhere better. These programs are good for another reason. They offer the ability to create a 3D virtual package that can be sent as a PDF file or a movie to the brand owner, so the CPC can see if there are any issues with the package before you invest in a prototype, or proceed to print. Our industry lives in a PDF world. Unfortunately, all PDF's are not created equally. Some art directors --- those accustomed to working with ads or brochures more than packaging --- will send artwork from Adobe® InDesign® or other applications well suited for page-based reproduction, rather than Adobe® Illustrator®. Unfortunately, PDF files created for the commercial print world are not always well suited for packaging. PDF files from these non-Illustrator® applications, at times, will deliver type reflow that is inconsistent when brought into Adobe® Illustrator®. Obviously, it is important to catch it --- not only to represent the designer 's intent, but also to prevent omission of important legal text. There can also be inconsis- tency with effects, such as glows and transparency. Most packaging prepress applications are able to open the native Adobe® Illustrator® files to catch or clean issues, such as text overprints, transparencies, and others. However, if the native file is not available, a prepress department will frequently have to do some additional work from the PDF file. Prepress departments will have to export the PDF file, import it in Illustrator ®, and extensively rework the file. The Illustrator ® format will help to deal with prepress file con- struction that is not available (nor intended) from InDesign ® or Quark Xpress ®. Unfortunately, when this is done, you can lose layering and other special effects. If the original file was layered, you have to repair them. If effects, like glows, exist, you may have to fix them. SEPARATE CONTENT & LAYOUT While this is probably a decision that should be made well before you receive a file, it is something worth considering. www.flexography.org JULY 2012 FLEXO 53 Your Source For Flexo Solutions . . . Always keeping the end in mind! • Digital Photopolymer with Dot Support Technology • Responsive and Friendly Customer Service • Press Support and Fingerprinting Services • Spot Coating Plates • Remote Proofing Available • Proofing Ink • Flexfloat Sleeves Providing quality service to the flexographic industry for over 50 years We offer complete design capabilities, while specializing in color management 201.939.3600 • 212.929.8910 • (f) 201.842.6145 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.flexiplate.com