Precision Details Matter

Everything in the label business requires a very high level of attention to detail. Precision details matter.  Even the smallest defect in a product or process can cause an entire job to be rejected.  We always check and double check all the details on our work.  We also rely on our customers and designer partners to provide correct artwork and check their proofs carefully.  Sometimes, even with all these QC procedures in place, we still miss things and have to go back to the drawing board.

In this case, the ORDER of the colors was not fully contemplated in the design process.  As good as computer design software is, it still can’t simulate every situation on press.

Foil Always Down Last (mostly)

In our company, hot stamping foil and embossing are nearly always the last operation in the label production process.  It is possible to add other embellishments to a label after foil, but in general, the foil goes down last.  This means, the foil layer can’t be spread to print under the adjacent colors.  This is a part of the trapping process, which is explained in more detail here.  The important thing for us to catch internally, and for our designer partners to keep in mind, is that foil is always down last.  The image above shows an outline of the digital printing, and the foil set to underprint the digital print, which is not possible.  The result, in this case, was an unwanted part of the foil showing an ugly effect over the primary digital printing.  It took quite a bit of work to figure out the problem, but after a few hours of troubleshooting, we found it. 

brass plate rose city label

The Solution was a New Plate

In this particular situation, the answer was to buy a new printing plate.  This is a lesson learned for everyone in the process – especially us.  This is the kind of thing we work very hard to catch in prepress, but it is a small, obscure detail that is easy to miss.  After a few hours of frustration, and some hand wringing about missed schedules, we were able to come up with a solution.  This job will be back on press with a new plate in about a week, and the end result will be very satisfying for us, the designer, and the end client.  Go team!

Call Us Today – We can help

Since 1928, we have worked hard to solve complicated printing problems to create beautiful labels.  Our collective expertise, along with excellent designer partners, has allowed us produce some beautiful, award winning labels for our customers.  Our ultimate goal is to help the producers – wine, beer, food, and other consumer product companies – connect with their end users.  Beautiful labels help with that.