During the commercial production of flexible packaging it is important to manage customer expectations with regard to the final print quality. As with any form of professional print production, there are no absolute guarantees that your print will 100% match your original design. The following guide provides a comprehensive overview of advice and suggestions on the creation and submission of artwork to help optimize your finished product. Overall the terminology maybe quite technical, therefore, we would always urge clients to employ the services of a professional and reputable graphic designer wherever possible.
We operate a Rotogravure print process which allows customers a maximum of 9 colours, including over lacquers, coatings etc
Artwork Submission Requirements
A. Artwork must be supplied in either Adobe illustrator or Adobe Photoshop files
B. Create all text in artwork in ‘ outlines ’
C. The resolution of photographic image files must be no less than 350 dpi
D. Never flatten the file as we require all layers
E. All Photoshop image files should be linked and attached. Never flatten the layers and do not change the directory
F. Create the images with CMYK colour mode ( RGB colour mode is not for printing)
G. If you are going to use a spot colour please reference the Pantone ( PMS #)
H. Designate all ‘Transparent’ areas in the artwork with a custom Pantone colour as well as designating the layer’s name as ‘ Transparent’. Please indicate specifically which pantone colour is designated for the ‘transparent’ area.
I. Reduce any barcodes to 85% as a minimum scale
If you would like to use Adobe Photoshop to create and enhance images
Create layers in any image and manage them in Photoshop.
A. Link the Photoshop images to the illustrator file
B. Please include all linked Photoshop files
C. Do not flatten Images ( Keep all Original Layers) & Save as a _.psd file
D. Delete all layers in the file that are not needed, do not just click on the ‘eye’ icon to make invisible
E. The resolution of photographic image files must be no less than 350 dpi
F. Create the images in CMYK colour mode
G. Create the spot colour channels with PMS References
H. Identify and show coverage of each colour, especially the ‘PMS colour’, ‘white colours’ &‘transparent’
Artwork file submission
Please upload all design files on www.wetransfer.com or www.yousendit.com to submit artwork to Pouch Makers Canada
NOTE: We will provide an electronic proof back of your artwork which is known as a die line. This will indicate all dimensions, gussets, zippers, tear notches, eurohole slots, sealing thickness and any other features that you have requested. This proof will also show the separation of colours that are needed and which a separate cylinder will have to be produced for.
• Print Area – We can print edge to edge, however, it is advisable to incorporate a 2mm border on the Front and Back and Left and Right gusset margins of your pouch in a consistent colour. The reason for this, is during commercial production there can be a slight drifting of the pouch film used for printing on the high speed machines which can lead to issues where design images get cut or mixed up if printing images side by side. It is also important to consider where folds occur in the packaging once products are filled inside, which can lead to some areas not being visible. For example in side gusset pouches approximately 35mm from the bottom of the pouch will form a base and will not be visible when filled, therefore it is not advisable to include text or imagery in this bottom section.
• Registration – There can be a 0.1mm to 0.2mm variance in print positioning. To avoid registration problems please ensure you do not use two or more colours to form too thin or small, text, dots, lines, dashes etc .
• Colours – Many colours that are standard for printing in this type of media may require CMYK, however, in flexible packaging , the same graphic may require more colours to be able to have achieve the desired effect. Therefore it is important to provide specific pantone colour references ( PMS number). Furthermore it is important to note that for reprints there is always the possibility that colours will not be exactly matched due the various production variances that can occur as detailed above.
• Substrates – Different material substrates can also effect the final colour presentation of a pouch. Depending upon what type of material is being used it can be noted that colours may not appear as vibrant or rich as they would on a digital printed proof. Typically in flexible packaging, the background colour will tend to be either clear or silver, which both can make the colour appear duller and also alter the actual tone of the colour. In order to compensate for this we would typically look to adjust the design through the addition of a ‘white flood coat ’ at the production stage.
• Layering – It is important to ensure artwork is submitted in layers. This is when each graphic, photo or text is defined in the artwork. This makes it much easier for the pre-press department to manipulate certain objects within the artwork , without disturbing the surrounding graphics
Informal Artwork Review
When providing artwork for informal review we do not require that to be in the requested formats. Typically a high res jpeg file or pdf will suffice. This is only to get familiar with the proposed job and help the quotation process. We do not evaluate or review for artwork readiness.
Formal Artwork Submission – Production Ready
This is when you are formally submitting your artwork as ready to go straight to production and receive a final proof in the form of a die line from Pouch Makers Canada for sign off. This does not include us reviewing or proofing for image or grammatical errors.
If your artwork is not in an acceptable format as requested then it will be rejected. We will note what is needed in order to get the artwork production ready. It is then upto you to make the necessary changes and re-submit the artwork. If you are still unable to comply with the necessary requirements and require some assistance then we would advise you to employ the services of our in house graphic design team.
Once the artwork is ready then a final die-line will be provided which will need to be signed by the customer before production can commence.
In House Graphic Design Team
Pouch Makers Canada can provide the services of our in house graphic design team. Our artists are available for the following services at a fee of $75 per hour.
• Adjust existing artwork to meet requirements for production readiness
• Create new artwork for product and branding
• Make changes to existing artwork
Please note artwork fees must be paid in advance prior to print readiness. It is also the duty of the customer to ensure all artwork is checked thoroughly for any errors prior to customer sign off.