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FLEXO Magazine : Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal
IIUvY and Tell A History of FTA Demo Projects I f a picture is wworth 1,000 words, then how much is an actual print sample worth? FTA/FFTA, FLEXO Magazine-and the general membership-understand that, while it's great to talk about the high-quality and recent advancements in flexographic print technology, it's a whole other animal to showcase it with actual printed product. That hasn't stopped the Association from making every effort to work with members to provide the indus- try with actual demonstrations of flexo's abilities. As far back as 1987, FTA has incorporated live runs and print samples into select projects it has undertaken. FLEXO has, on numerous occasions, mailed with flexographically printed cov- ers. In other instances, it has inserted or tacked on samples of labels and pouches. Similar efforts were done for editions of Flexography: Principles and Practices, and even FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances). By uniting with printers and suppliers alike, FTA has taken to heart the motto, ttShow, don't tell." FLEXO IS FORMED Serving more as a medium than as a project leader, FLEXO Magazine published 16 pages of its May 1987 issue on a Model Motterflex CF-1 at Greater Buffalo Press Co., Dunkirk, NY. At the time, DuPont Packaging Graphics (then officially dubbed E.!. DuPont de Nemours and Co. Inc.) organized a project that includ- ed producing one of the magazine's 16-page forms using state- of-the-art flexo technology. As noted by then-Editor Joel Shulman in that issue, ttNothing was created for this project that was not already available within the industry." The test proved that saleable print could be produced flexo- graphically on publication-grade paper. Paid ads were included in 100 FTA 50th Anniversary Journal the section, as were actual scale print targets. All photos were re- produced in color. The printed text showed the ability to lay down a dense, readable black. GOT IT COVERED Only five years later, Tony Federico, then-publisher of FLEXO, embarked on a new kind of mission-to champion the first- ever flexographically created magazine cover. Bruce Riddell of Spectrum Label, Hayward, CA, undertook the challenge, which involved many issues notably foreign to narrow-web flexo, such as mailing indicia, stripping in reader service numbers, and simi- lar publication-specific elements. Cover projects went on to become common occurrences at the magazine. Projects were produced in irregular intervals through- out the 1990s. The efforts eventually came to be centered around either incorporation into SourceBook or a debut at the FFTA Annual Forum, alongside the Excellence in Flexography Awards competition recap. Occasionally, the projects would involve more than just a cover, such as a faux lottery scratch-off that was in- serted into the May 1997 edition. Amidst urban legends of doom for the turn of the millennium, FLEXO, under the direction of present-day publisher Robert Moran, saw three consecutive demo covers, each spawned us- ing different press technologies-wide web Oanuary), narrow web (February) and mid web (March). The latter issue debuted at the 2000 FFTA Forum with the Excellence in Flexography Award winners. Excelsior Transparent Bag (Yonkers, NY), Superior Label Systems (Mason, OH) and Keller Crescent Co. (Maryland Heights, MO) respectively volunteered their pressrooms for the project. The covers also showcased foil and metallic ink technologies.
Flexo Sustainable Spring 2008