It’s an exciting time! You’ve created a beautiful design in Adobe Illustrator, and now you’re ready to see how it looks on your actual flexible packaging. But then you enter a brave new world where colors are not what they seem, and things like die lines and bleed all of a sudden throw you off kilter.
The process of transfering your sleek new design concept on to the actual package is fraught with pitfalls and dead ends.
In this guide, we’ll teach you how to prepare your designs for prepress, and create flawless press proofs so you get it right the first time.
Understanding the Basics of Press Proofs
Printed press proofs are supplied on an unlaminated top layer on the material clients use. They arrive on a printed sheet, and can fully replicate the look and feel of the finished pouch.
Since this is not the final material structure (without the barrier film), many use press proofs to bring their packaging vision to life and make any last minute design changes before production. They serve as a snapshot of your design, printed using the exact materials, inks, and presses that will be used for your final packaging order.
With press proofs, you can visually and tangibly inspect every aspect of your package, from colors and graphics to the placement of key elements.
Decoding the Elements to Watch Out For
A press proof unveils many crucial details that might be easy to overlook in the digital realm. Here’s what you should pay attention to:
- The white plate: In the case of designs with clear or metallic laminates, the white plate represents the non-printed areas. It’s essential to understand how this interacts with the rest of your design.
- Seal areas: Take note of the seal areas, as their presence can impact your print. For example, avoid placing barcodes in these areas to prevent potential distortion.
- Side-to-side registration: Ensuring the left and right edges of your pouches match up correctly is crucial, especially in cases of crossover on the pouch lines.
- Feature representation: Elements like tear notches and zippers are indicated on the proof. Look for the blue lines for tear notches and black or dotted black lines for zips.
- Eyemarks and track position: If your packaging involves rollstock, pay attention to eyemarks and their track position. Clear track areas are often necessary for eyemarks to function correctly.
Key Points of Focus When Receiving Your Press Proofs
Now that we’ve covered the technical aspects, here are some critical areas where attention to detail is paramount:
Check against SKU: Ensure your design aligns with the SKU name for accurate product identification.
Measurements and material specifications: Verify design measurements are accurate and in line with the material specifications.
Rewind code: For rollstock packaging, don’t forget to review the rewind code to guarantee correct winding during production.
Content: It might sound obvious, but it’s worth reiterating – thoroughly review all text, images, and content for accuracy.
Why Press Proofs Are a Must-have
You’ve invested time and creativity into crafting a packaging design that perfectly encapsulates your brand and product. You want to ensure the final result matches your vision and meets your quality standards. That’s precisely where press proofs come into play.
A digital PDF proof may suffice for a reprint, but for complex, colorful, and precisely detailed flexible packaging, a printed press proof is your best friend. Here’s why:
A printed press proof provides a precise preview of your label using the actual inks and materials. This means you can be confident the colors you see on the proof will match what you receive in your final product.
With a printed press proof, you can touch and feel the material, ensuring it aligns with your expectations and requirements.
Size and Layout Assurance
If you’re uncertain about the size or layout of your packaging, a press proof lets you cut out a sample and apply it to your container for a real-world evaluation.
In essence, a press proof acts as your last line of defense, ensuring all elements of your packaging – from design to material – are correct before proceeding to production.
ePac is here to help you navigate this journey, as a flexible packaging manufacturer, we understand the importance of every element of your packaging design. Whether you’re a seasoned packaging pro or just starting your packaging journey, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
Embarking on the Packaging Journey
As we step into 2024, it’s clear the demand for convenient, high-quality, and eye-catching packaging has never been greater. Whether you’re a brand looking to make your mark in the market or a business owner taking your packaging to the next level, understanding the nuances of handling flexible packaging is essential.
If you are ready to get your packaging journey started with ePac contact us today, and let’s bring your packaging vision to life. Together, we’ll navigate the world of flexible packaging and create solutions that truly stand out.