Artwork Preperation Checklist
How to prepare and submit artwork files for flexographic printing.
The following is a checklist of items that you should use in advance of submitting files for flexographic printing. Following these items will help avoid delays and will insure that your design will print optimally on our presses.
- Include all fonts files used in your document.
- Include all placed images separately as linked files.
- Include an Acrobat pdf version as a reference. A hard copy printout is also recommended.
- The final die cut size of the art should be drawn on the art. Art elements that go to the edge of the dieline should be extended 1/16” beyond this dieline. Keep text elements within 1/16” of the edge of the die line.
- Preferred file type is Adobe Illustrator. Files created in InDesign, Quark Express, Photoshop and Freehand are also acceptable but often require extra time and art charges. Avoid submitting files in PageMaker, Word or Excel.
- Specify spot colors using PMS numbers rather than “red” or “blue”.
- It is important to create text and thin art elements out of single colors. Otherwise, these elements will print fuzzy due to slight registration movement.
- Avoid designing areas of heavy ink coverage and delicate screens areas together in the same color. Often, the solution is to use two separate plates printing different areas in the same color to better control the colors.
- Avoid bitmapped, PICT and paint files and images taken from the web. The resolution of these images is usually too low to print well.
- Images should be 300dpi, saved in CMYK format and placed at 100% into your document. Line art should be scanned at 1200dpi.
- Provide original layered (not flattened) Photoshop files if possible.
- Do not imbed images into your file.
- Minimum dot percentage in images and gradations is 3%. Avoid images with light areas below 3%. At that point a hard line appears. Avoid gradations that fade to 0%.
- Minimum point size for positive text is 3 point for serif and 4 point for san serif. Make sure TM, Copyright, and Registration marks are bold enough to print clearly. Minimum line weight is .005” which applies to text elements as well.
- Minimum point size for reverse (white) text is 5 point for serif and 6 point for san serif.
- Avoid using reverse (white) text over images unless the text is surrounded by a black outline at least .01” thick. Otherwise registration limitations will produce fuzzy text.
- Convert all text to outlines unless fonts are provided. Remember that outlined text cannot be edited at a later time.