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FLEXO Magazine : June 2008
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES D:: III :z: a. cC D:: ø o >< III .... ... D:: III Z Z - ø III III It is important to use a spectrophotometer or colorimeter regularly to make sure your moni- tor's color is where it needs to be. Creating a custom profile for your monitor is the first step to accurate color. Designing For Process Color By Zachery Blackburn and Gareth Burns s o you're designing a process color label that will be printed flexographically. Your design skills are exceptional, but you are new to the flexographic process and its many variables. In process printing, colors are created by using com- binations of cyan, magenta, yellow and black transparent inks. Throughout this article we will give you some helpful tips for your consideration while developing your design concept. ENDS DEFINE THE MEANS Having a good understanding of your label's end use is im- perative before you start your developmental stages: what type of substrate, surface material, ink type, and coatings will be used, as well as the final product size (the template or die size). There are variables and tolerances that your printer has that you will need to know while designing. Forming a relationship with your pre- press vendor and printer will help maintain consistency through- out the whole production process. Remember, it is better for your client to have a design that prints well than to have a design that your printer cannot repro- duce. Your printer will appreciate a properly prepared art file, which will save you time and money. You should also check with local federal and state packaging regulations for information you might have to include on your label. - BACK IN BLACK When designing type for process color there are considerations to follow for type to print correctly. First and foremost, use as few colors as possible when creating colored type. You should never have to create a colored type with more than three colors. Nutritional information, body type and bar codes should be cre- ated using only IOO-percent process black. Small type built with multiple process colors may lose legibility when a printer has to register the printing plates. Try to find out the minimum type size your printer is capable of reproducing. For example, you do not want to use a 3-point font only to find out that your printer or plate vendor can only hold a 4-point minimum font size. It is usually recommended to create outlines of your text before you send your digital file to the printer or prepress vendor. This keeps the printer from having to find or ask for the font you used. It never hurts to include the font when you submit your file, but creating outlines may save the printer a little time. If you were striving for deep blacks in your artwork, it would be beneficial to utilize what is called a "rich black." Rich black is a combination of CMYK to achieve a black with more density. A recommended combination is 40-percent cyan, 3D-percent ma- genta, 3D-percent yellow, and IOO-percent black. Process black by itself lacks density due to the nature of the inks. It is made to be JUNE 2008 www.f I exog ra p hy.o rg FLEXO