That State Before Printing
What exactly is prepress? Prepress is the term used in the printing industry for the processes and procedures that occur between the procurement of original artwork and placing the art on the printing press. The following items are considered part of prepress: typesetting, copyediting, page layout, trapping (also referred to as spreading and choking), separation (specifying images or text to be put on plates applying individual printing mediums [inks, varnishes, etc.] to a common print) and platemaking (photomechanical exposure and processing of light-sensitive emulsion on a printing plate). As you can imagine, prepress takes time. To help us get your labels to you faster there are a few things you can do to aid us.
If your files are too big to email to us you can upload them to our FTP server rather than sending them on CD. Our FTP service is www.ibackup.com. The user name for our customers is fernqvist2 and the password for our customers is labels2. Once you have uploaded your art files please email or call (800-426-8215) us so we know to look for them.
If you are creating your artwork in Adobe Illustrator (which we prefer over artwork created by other software) please make sure to outline your fonts. To do this, firstSelect All then choose Outline Fonts from the type menu. It would also be helpful of you to send a non-outlined version of the file as well in case you later want us to make any changes to the text.
CMYK vs Pantone
All digital labels are done in CMYK. However, if you are ordering flexographic labels we have the option of printing in either CMYK or Pantone inks. CMYK will allow us to create full color jobs with only 4 inks. However, if your job uses only 1-3 colors there is a cost advantage to using Pantone colors. There is also an advantage to using a Pantone ink in addition to CMYK when you have a large solid area of a specific color or a color that’s hard to mix out of CMYK such as oranges or purples (imagine mixing paints back in grade school — some colors always come out muddy no matter what you try). We cannot print your job until you tell us which Pantone inks to use. You can pick up a swatch book (we use the Solid Coated type) at an art supply store or at your request we can recommend some colors for you and send swatches with your proof.
Hotstamp & Emboss
Minimum stroke size- .3pt. Minimum font size- 7pt. Set up areas to be embossed and/or hotstamped, as a seperate layer in Illustrator or as a defined Spot Color in the Swatches palette.
If your label has art all the way to the edge (colored backgrounds or borders) we need you to add bleed. Bleed should be at least 1/16th of an inch beyond the edge of the label so that when we cut it out there are no inkless gaps at the edges.
It’s important that you send us a file that we can work with the first time. Adobe Illustrator .ai or .eps is ideal, Adobe Photoshop .pdf or Adobe InDesign .indd files will also usually work. As long as you do not want us to make any changes to the artwork (text, color, etc), you have allowed enough space for bleed, the file is high enough resolution (300 dpi at the actual size of the printed label), and your job is CMYK we may be able to work with a .jpg file but a .jpg should be a last resort.
One of the advantages of digital labels is that words can be printed very small. However, if you are ordering flexographic labels you lose that advantage. For flexographic labels, please make sure that your fonts are at least 7pt and that any fine lines are at least 0.5pts wide. If you require smaller text or finer lines consider having your labels printed on our HP Indigo digital press.
The last thing we need to know before we can manufacture your labels is your print position — which way do you want the labels to come off the roll. Here’s a chart to help you indicate to us which direction you would like.