The Art is where it all starts. Whether you design or we design, this is where it begins. The printing process involves transferring ink from an ink tray to a plate and then from the plate to a substrate by direct contact. Art is transferred to the plates using special software tools. The first thing when getting or designing art is having it a vector based format. A computer program such as illustrator is suggested. As the art is being developed, design specifications must be adhered to based on the press and flexographic characteristics.

 

What are these design specifications?

First we will discuss Flexographic plates. With that in mind, we must first understand the printing press and its personality. The questions that must be answered are;

 

1) Type of printing  surface or reverse and how the plate is placed on the cylinder

2) Are we printing solids, screens and or process colors and how many colors can the    press print.

3) The type of substrate and the ink type. This determines the plate type and plate        personality.

4) Analox roll or no analox roll. The two specifications for an analox roll are BCM        and cell count. This determines the line screen and amount of ink transferred.

 

The press can only print a very limited color gamut.  As examples; silver, gold or ultra violet colors are very difficult to print. The press also has limits on printing fine screens. These limits vary between a minimum of between 3 and 10 percent and a maximum 95 and 98 percent before going to solids. Flexographic plates are raised impressions.  With each color is printing on one station, the number of stations defines the maximum colors that can be printing.  As the substrate passes from station to station it flutters. Trapping is a procedure that has colors overlaying each other which covers up the flutter. The color at the overlay changes be so the amount of trap should be the minimum necessary. The amount of trap is press specific. Cutbacks are applied to control the ink density.  Sometimes an ink is too intense and a cutback is used.

 

To summarize what the art design is faced with;

  • Limited colors
  • Limited Screens
  • Limited detail
  • Ink intensity

 

The process we use consists of ;

  • Getting information on the press personality and deciding the plate type
  • Generating a Illustrator file
  • Color separating and ripping the file into single bit tiff files.
  • Submitting the ripped file to the Computer Digital Imager for processing.

 

What can we accept for making plates?

1) A single bit 2540 dpi tiff file.

2) DXF, PDF, AI files or Imaged film negatives.

3) Old art that will be scanned in to files, then traced to generate vector art. Note;         When you send a Illustrator file to us it must be outlined so that we can capture t       he fonts.Tiff files can not be edited so they must be complete. Tiff, Jpeg and the          like can not be ripped accurately, also anything below 200 DPI all provide very             poor results.

The Art is where it all starts. Whether you design or we design, this is where it begins. The printing process involves transferring ink from an ink tray to a plate and then from the plate to a substrate by direct contact. Art is transferred to the plates using special software tools. The first thing when getting or designing art is having it a vector based format. A computer program such as illustrator is suggested. As the art is being developed, design specifications must be adhered to based on the press and flexographic characteristics.

What are these design specifications?
First we will discuss Flexographic plates. With that in mind, we must first understand the printing press and its personality. The questions that must be answered are;

1) Type of printing surface or reverse and how the plate is placed on the cylinder
2) Are we printing solids, screens and or process colors and how many colors can the press print.
3) The type of substrate and the ink type. This determines the plate type and plate personality.
4) Analox roll or no analox roll. The two specifications for an analox roll are BCM and cell count. This determines the line screen and amount of ink transferred.

The press can only print a very limited color gamut. As examples; silver, gold or ultra violet colors are very difficult to print. The press also has limits on printing fine screens. These limits vary between a minimum of between 3 and 10 percent and a maximum 95 and 98 percent before going to solids. Flexographic plates are raised impressions. With each color is printing on one station, the number of stations defines the maximum colors that can be printing. As the substrate passes from station to station it flutters. Trapping is a procedure that has colors overlaying each other which covers up the flutter. The color at the overlay changes be so the amount of trap should be the minimum necessary. The amount of trap is press specific. Cutbacks are applied to control the ink density. Sometimes an ink is too intense and a cutback is used.

To summarize what the art design is faced with;
1) Limited colors
2) Limited Screens
3) Limited detail
4) Ink intensity

The process we use consists of ;
1) Getting information on the press personality and deciding the plate type
2) Generating a Illustrator file
3) Color separating and ripping the file into single bit tiff files.
4) Submitting the ripped file to the Computer Digital Imager for processing.

What can we accept for making plates?
1) A single bit 2540 dpi tiff file.
2) DXF, PDF, AI files or Imaged film negatives.
3) Old art that will be scanned in to files, then traced to generate vector art. Note; When you send a Illustrator file to us it must be outlined so that we can capture t he fonts.Tiff files can not be edited so they must be complete. Tiff, Jpeg and the like can not be ripped accurately, also anything below 200 DPI all provide very poor results.