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FLEXO Magazine : June 2008
GRAPHIC DESIGN PROBLEMS Corrugated graphic design requires special considerations which many de- signers find foreign. Here are just a few suggestions that must be considered when designing for corrugated. 1. Bi9ger is better! While small photo- graphic images may work well in most lithographic printing, flexographic print on corrugated requires SS to 100lpi half- tones which have visible dots. Resolution isn't sharp and crisp and small images may seem fuzzy. Certainly, close-ups are better than stadium pictures and larger size pho- tographs are superior to "postage stamp" graphics (see Figure 3). 2. Busy is better! Due to a propensity for banding and fluting, corrugated design requires techniques to hide these flaws, or at least not accent them. Designers should avoid choosing large areas of 2S percent to 4S percent screens. These solid screened areas beg to band and to show fluting. Keep varying screens or choose patterns to break the solid screened areas (see Figure 4). 3. Hold that hi9hli9ht dot! Make sure that your designs do not contain images with vignettes that dissolve into "nothing- ness." Be aware of your printer's minimum printable dot and don't violate the mini- mum. Tone breaks are VERY noticeable and must be avoided. 4. Hold the black into the minimum highlight. Most designers are used to the black starting to print at about the quarter- tone to mid-tone area of the graphic. Most corrugated jobs look far better without FIGURE 4. I. ." . ., . . . . FIGURE 3. the nasty tone break this practice creates. Holding into the highlights has minimal effect on the color and looks far better without the break in image. Consult with your pre-press supplier on how to best handle this situation. S. Solid black needs undercolor! Due to the absorbent nature of corrugated sub- strate, it is sometimes necessary to print generous portions of cyan and or magenta under the black to avoid a weak, translu- cent black. However, this varies tremen- dously dependent upon linerboard, press speed and anilox volume. Strategies for this problem should be formulated after consultation with the prepress facility and the converter. 6. Watch those Traps! Unfortunately, corrugated design requires traps for ad- jacent colors-large traps (1/16 inch as a minimum). These large traps can be distracting and whenever possible should be avoided. Don't be afraid to design in white space to separate colors. Of course, there are times when you simply have to design with adjacent colors. In that case, use the smallest trap that ensures proper register. Of course, this trap requirement is press dependent and conversation with your converter will inform you of hisfher tolerances. 7. Desi9n out unwanted colors! There's nothing more appetizing than a nice juicy green steak! I don't think so. Many times a good designer can eliminate such un- wanted colors by selectively removing the unwanted color (cyan in the steak) and . . . . . . . . . II , ., t; 1111 . . . . Since 1920 iI!IIo;:. - . """ A: - . -