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FLEXO Magazine : June 2008
; 9 B 01 FIGURE 5. Image courtesy Cordes Porcher. replacing it with black. You remove the potential for green to crop up by removing cyan from the image. This PhotoShop tech- nique of channel swapping is commonly used to eliminate graphic design disasters. For some jobs, a simple adjustment of GCR levels in PhotoShop may do the job. PRINT PROCESS PROBLEMS While some think that all design prob- lems can be traced to a lack of knowledge of the printing and converting process, there are certainly some strategies that can be designed into the job that will endure the designer to the printer. Here are a couple of my favorites. 1. Design with the end in mind, and work backwards! I know this may be a confusing statement, but it is very neces- sary. Essentially, it means that you must mentally visualize the finished product and work backwards through the process, visualizing each piece of equipment and each process that it must go through. By doing this, you force yourself to design for the intended process and it prevents you from spending long hours working on a package that can not be produced. 2. Use Targets! Many designers consider their work complete after they have ap- plied all the graphics to the job. However, with a thorough understanding of the print process, you realize that the printer needs numerous aids to properly complete his job. The application of various targets at strategic locations of the press sheet can make his job much easier and the final 01 B 9 " Z results much better. Registration targets aid in the align- ment of successive colors andfor images. The three uses of registration marks are to identify: · positionjlocation of the image on the substrate, · color-to-color registration, and · whether the image is square to the lead edge of the substrate. Proper register for an image is neces- sary to prevent unwanted colors and mis- alignments. The railroad track target (see Figure 5) helps solve register problems quickly by showing exactly the amount of misregister as a quan- tifiable movement. As a result, registration can be easily cor- rected on press. Slur fimpression "" 0\ .... N N .... 0\ "" targets ensure that :i :i the press operator gets the minimum necessary pressure to transfer ink from a printing plate to a substrate. The minimum impression or "kiss" impression between anilox-to- plate and plate-to-substrate is critical to successful flexographic printing. Slur is a blurred printed image, caused by im- pression settings or possibly mechanical problems of the press. By inserting slurf impression targets on the final design you can ensure that the pressman will get the best possible opportunity to print at opti- mal pressures The ability to print a wide tonal range from highlight to shadows is critical to quality print. Tone scales (see Figure 6) can be read using a reflection densitometer to Inch Conversion Table .032 1......... .063 .094 2......... .125 .156 3........... .188 .219 4......... .250 .281 5......... .313 FIGURE 6. Image courtesy Cordes Porcher. Uncorrected for Dot Gain c:::> c:::> LO c:::> c:::> c:::> c:::> c:::> c:::> c:::> c:::> c:::> ....... C>> C>> 00 r- co LO ....,.. cv:> ....... LO ....,.. cv:> C & & ... V>> & C -- .... IIiIO flintGroup