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Graphic Designer Guide

This guide gives designers some basic rules to follow when preparing artwork for Flexographic (flexo) printing. These guidelines help the designer, the customer and LINC work as partners, resulting in a quality end product and high customer satisfaction. Most graphic design software is geared to offset printing. Offset tolerances are tighter and also allow a greater degree of artistic freedom than the flexo process can tolerate. However, flexo can equal offset in most areas and today’s advances in flexo plates are producing quality that rivals offset if just a few things are taken into consideration. 

The Flexo Process

Flexographic printing plates are made with a raised image, while offset plates use a flat or planographic plate to carry the ink. As a result, ink dots are produced in halftones; process colour and screens are carried on the tips of the raised cones or pyramids on the flexo plate. This places a limit on the size of the dot that flexo can hold. Another flexo factor is the register tolerance of colour to colour. The raised softer plate, roll-to-roll (web) printing method and spongy self-adhesive paper constructions define these tolerance limits.

Electronic Art

  • Photoshop (as a link for scans, images, etc.)
  • Save all text as outlines or supply required fonts
  • Illustrator CC or higher
  • PDF should accompany artwork files
  • When possible, image should be line art / vector
  • File’s colour mode saved in CMYK

  • Photoshop (as a link for scans, images, etc.)
  • Save all text as outlines or supply required fonts
  • Illustrator CC or higher
  • PDF should accompany artwork files
  • When possible, image should be line art / vector
  • File’s colour mode saved in CMYK

  • 300 dpi minimum, 600+ dpi preferred for sharpest image

Color

When a color is opaque enough to overprint a background color, do not drop out the background. When in doubt about color opacities, please consult us. Be aware when using graduated screen backgrounds, dots in the 30-60% range have greater gain on press than outside that range. Please leave your files accessible for Label Innovation to do any necessary adjustments. Spot colour should be from Pantone-approved (PMS) charts.

Please use CMYK (not RGB). Color separation is not necessary, but their locations and PMS equivalent should be clearly marked. If PMS-equivalent colours are required, please send a colour sample.

Pantone Color Guide

Access the Pantone Color Guide here

Text

Do not use a process colour for text. Please avoid having text as a drop-out in a process colour background. If it is necessary, please make the text a large, open-style font, preferably bold.

  • Extend bleeds 1/8 beyond the die-cut edge of the label.
  • Please keep the printed image 1/8 away from the die-cut edge of the label.
  • A colour proof or PDF file must accompany all electronic files. Colour proofs are only an approximation of the final printed image. Please always supply complete information about your files (program, version, special fonts, imbedded file, etc.)
  • Please send a separate file for each placed or imported image (photos, barcodes, illustrations, etc.)
  • Please include all fonts (regular, bolditalic, etc.)
  • Please be sure all files can be altered by us for necessary flexographic changes

Sending Files

Email electronic files to your specific CSR or Sales Representative and be sure to include a PDF version of your file reference.

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This guide gives designers some basic rules to follow when preparing artwork for Flexographic (flexo) printing. These guidelines help the designer, the customer and LINC work as partners, resulting in a quality end product and high customer satisfaction. Most graphic design software is geared to offset printing. Offset tolerances are tighter and also allow a greater degree of artistic freedom than the flexo process can tolerate. However, flexo can equal offset in most areas and today’s advances in flexo plates are producing quality that rivals offset if just a few things are taken into consideration. 

The Flexo Process

Flexographic printing plates are made with a raised image, while offset plates use a flat or planographic plate to carry the ink. As a result, ink dots are produced in halftones; process colour and screens are carried on the tips of the raised cones or pyramids on the flexo plate. This places a limit on the size of the dot that flexo can hold. Another flexo factor is the register tolerance of colour to colour. The raised softer plate, roll-to-roll (web) printing method and spongy self-adhesive paper constructions define these tolerance limits.

Electronic Art

  • Photoshop (as a link for scans, images, etc.)
  • Save all text as outlines or supply required fonts
  • Illustrator CC or higher
  • PDF should accompany artwork files
  • When possible, image should be line art / vector
  • File’s colour mode saved in CMYK

  • Photoshop (as a link for scans, images, etc.)
  • Save all text as outlines or supply required fonts
  • Illustrator CC or higher
  • PDF should accompany artwork files
  • When possible, image should be line art / vector
  • File’s colour mode saved in CMYK

  • 300 dpi minimum, 600+ dpi preferred for sharpest image

Color

When a color is opaque enough to overprint a background color, do not drop out the background. When in doubt about color opacities, please consult us. Be aware when using graduated screen backgrounds, dots in the 30-60% range have greater gain on press than outside that range. Please leave your files accessible for Label Innovation to do any necessary adjustments. Spot colour should be from Pantone-approved (PMS) charts.

Please use CMYK (not RGB). Color separation is not necessary, but their locations and PMS equivalent should be clearly marked. If PMS-equivalent colours are required, please send a colour sample.

Pantone Color Guide

Access the Pantone Color Guide here

Text

Do not use a process colour for text. Please avoid having text as a drop-out in a process colour background. If it is necessary, please make the text a large, open-style font, preferably bold.

  • Extend bleeds 1/8 beyond the die-cut edge of the label.
  • Please keep the printed image 1/8 away from the die-cut edge of the label.
  • A colour proof or PDF file must accompany all electronic files. Colour proofs are only an approximation of the final printed image. Please always supply complete information about your files (program, version, special fonts, imbedded file, etc.)
  • Please send a separate file for each placed or imported image (photos, barcodes, illustrations, etc.)
  • Please include all fonts (regular, bolditalic, etc.)
  • Please be sure all files can be altered by us for necessary flexographic changes

Sending Files

Email electronic files to your specific CSR or Sales Representative and be sure to include a PDF version of your file reference.