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FLEXO Magazine : April 2008
What is I!: TEST? "-\.r \".... e ' TEST is a joint effort between the FFTA and complying educational institutions to expand technical skills required by a continually advancing flexographic process, bringing state-of-the-art profes- sional development solutions to the flexographic industry. . TEST Technical Tidbit: Each month TEST will feature a technical tidbit from one of our partners. If you have a question you would like to be put to TEST send it to: test@ flexography.org Our question goes to our friends at Clemson University I am a graphic designer working on several kinds of packaging. I would like to inquire about a certain issue I have on a substrate that a printer uses for a stand up pouch. There was an issue of the capability of the substrate to produce a clean red color on a process of a pure oatmeal cereal photo with a strawberry on it. The substrate is a 48 gauge NC12 film I am not familiar with this material. I would appreciate it very much if you can provide me with some information on the process in order to avoid later problems as I am designing a pancake mix bag at the moment. New packaging materials constantly require printers and converters to optimize printing systems for a variety of end-use properties, one being color reproduction. Many times, substrates and their required ink systems and converting operations yield quite different color reproduction capabilities. I would start by confirming the optimum ink, ink volume or anilox, and plate package are being used to reproduce process color photography on the described substrate. Once these settings are confirmed, a press characterization is recommended to understand specific color reproduction abilities, and more importantly for you, an ICC color profile for communicating the exact specifica- tions to separate and predict color for that system. Once this color profile is available to you, you can then use Photoshop or an automated workflow to accurately separate your images for optimum color reproduction. Then, you will find it most useful to render color accurate proofs to properly set your, and your clients, expectations of final print results. In order for your and your client color expectations to translate to final print performance, two things must happen. First, you have to ensure your proofing system colorimetrically matches the provided press characterization, and second, that the entire system used to produce the press char- acterization remains under control through a documented process control system. For instance, if your printer uses a different ink technology or plate type, anilox volume, or an additional curve has been applied in the plate-making system, the color profile used to create your color separation and color proof is voided for color accuracy. About our TEST Partner: The Clemson University Department of Graphic Communications has 345 stu- dents seeking the BS degree in Graphic Communications. The Master of Science degree is also offered. The curriculum offers all aspects of printing technology with opportunity to develop in-depth skills. The department maintains a full schedule of training, testing, and symposia/seminars on current topics relative to printing professionals through PrintCon. The opportunity for a broad agenda of packaging and printing interaction is possible with the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics. Clemson faculty and students have a long his- tory of collaboration and partnering with the FFTA. II. .. TEST .... Founding Sponsors Ron&Katherine Harper HARPE