SOP for Graphics Requirements for corrugation packaging

So you have made the decision to add graphics to your corrugated packaging? The steps below will help you or your Graphic Designer in creating your artwork for flexo printing.

  • Use the latest versions of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat for our design. Vector formats (.ai or .eps) files are preferred.
  • If you have images, please include all original source image files from Photoshop or other programs, including original layered Photoshop files. These will be necessary if modifications are needed or there are problems with the file. Photoshop files should be saved at 100% size at minimum 150 pixels per inch resolution. Image mode should be CMYK. Keep default icc profile if not sure what to select.
  • Clean up files before sending. Eliminate all unused graphic elements and colours. Wherever possible, delete objects instead of hiding them in a mask or unused layer. Avoid multiple masks.
  • Flexo printing on corrugated requires custom trapping and file adjustments. For this reason we recommend all files to be made as Illustrator files. Do not use transparency or other special effects within Illustrator. Identify all colours used in the file. Keep all layers in the file and do not flatten. Files should be sent at 100% of final size.
  • All fonts should be converted to outlines. Various font formats could generate inconsistencies. You can also send the font links ( output package ) just in case if you want the prepress to do any last minute corrections.
  • Try to avoid using typefaces with fine lines and serifs. These tend to fill in when printed. If used, they may require manipulation to facilitate printing. These will be evaluated when a proof is received. The following minimum requirements apply:
    • Minimum type size: 8pt positive, 10pt reverse ( also check with printer )
    • Minimum size for ©®™: 3mm positive, 4mm reverse
    • Line thickness: 1pt positive, 3pt reverse
  • FlExo prints line screens from 32LPI – 38LPI. Again check with the printer for their exact LPI. All screen tints, graduated screens and scanned images are subject to dot gain in flexo printing. It is advised to create your artwork with the screen values and scans as required fro the finished image, which will then me adjusted to account for specific press gain. The minimum printable dot is 7% and the maximum is 70%. Screen values over 70% tend to fill in to solid.
  • If an approved dieline has been supplied , please ensure that the artwork is created on the PRINT SIDE of the dieline. Most dielines are created showing the INSIDE VIEW. Simply flip the dieline over to work on the print side view.
    Designers need not apply any trapping to the job. This will be done according to press specifications by Prepress.
  • If bar codes are required, please place a clearly marked, fake “FOR POSITION ONLY” code on the layout. Include the number sequence for each code somewhere in the file. Printer requires the bar code to run with the web (bars pointing in the direction of the lead edge on the dieline). Resizing may be necessary to meet the minimum size needed to print. Printer will generate a digital master code according to press specifications and place this in the file. It is important to know the bar code size reduction factor. Do a proof reading of the bar code with barcode reader.
  • Artwork on all regular slotted cartons (RSC’s) must be kept 10mm from all scores.
  • Additional registration and print production marks may need to be added to the artwork. These will be hidden on minor flaps as much as possible. Printers will apply these as necessary.
  • All disk files must be accompanied by a colour hard copy of the file on the disk (this can be a reduced proof). Email and internet transfers should include a PDF proof.
  • If PDF files are being submitted as artwork, do not use any security. All fonts must be outlined. As mentioned above also send the font link as well.
  • File formats that are NOT usable: low resolution jpegs, MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint files.
  • We can also receive files from FTP, email , drop box .


Happy Learnings

K.Panthala Selvan

Published by Panthala Selvan

Authorised partner for Techkon Spectrodensitometers, cip3 solutions, colour management, packaging development etc

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