Application Support

Lofton Label & Packaging can accept Mac or Windows PC file formats. However, Mac is our standard platform for prepress work and Adobe Illustrator is the preferred software for setting up art files. Other software is acceptable, however they will require conversion into Adobe illustrator. Depending on the extent of the work needed an artwork edit charge may be added to your sales order.

Design Considerations & Guidelines

  • Make sure the art files contain only what is needed to produce the label and nothing else (delete unused colors and layers, hidden or extra objects, etc.).
  • Set your document color mode to CMYK and not RGB. This goes for any placed images as well.
  • Always outline text to eliminate font issues. When this is not possible, please include all fonts.
    WARNING: Converting fonts to paths/outlines will make text non-editable by our art department.
  • Try to avoid setting type in Photoshop. Type will print sharper if you don’t.
  • All flexographic label art gradients must have a minimum 1% dot in all colors. 0% dot is acceptable for digital print.
  • If your artwork was built in layers keep them, do not flatten or merge them.
  • Include all placed images (even if embedded) in case editing is necessary. If the placed images have been flattened into one layer, also include the original layered files to make any color corrections easier to do.
  • Any white type knocking out of a 4 color process background should have a black or spot color outline around it to keep the type edges clean. For reversed or small type, a non-condensed san serif typeface is recommended.
  • All artwork that will be printed must have the correct Pantone color names (PANTONE ###C) applied in order to separate properly.
  • Delete unused colors from the swatches pallet. Indicate special match colors.
  • Let your customer service representative know if you need your labels to match any existing labels, capsules, pantones, etc. If no matching instructions are provided your labels will print per your artwork file builds.
  • Do not try to trap your files, it’s better if we trap to our own specifications.

Scans or Placed Images:

  • Include a copy of all placed images.
  • Link placed files.
  • Scans must be 300dpi cmyk. If you can not supply 300dpi please state this so we know not to request it.
  • Place/Link graphics (.eps or .tif) to the art file and provide the images separately in a “links” folder.
  • Images should be at 100% size in the file.
  • All embedded images (EPS, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PSD) must be high resolution. We recommend 300dpi. Anything less may result in poor quality. If JPEG compression is used, please set it to maximum* quality.
  • All images must be assigned CMYK not RGB. (Note: Digital cameras save images as RGB. These images will need to be converted to CMYK before embedding.)
    * A low resolution photo will always print poorly. We recommend the print industry standard resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) at 100% of the printed size. This baseline quality measurement also applies to any other graphics or logos used in your label design. But you should never use JPEGs, even at 300 dpi. The JPEG file format is a “lossy” format, meaning that in order to keep file size small for the intended use (web design) the detail and quality of the graphic or image is sacrificed. Image quality and detail decrease as data is removed from the file to make it less complex. This works well for on screen display such as web browsers and Powerpoint presentations, but JPEG files will print very poorly. Even at 300 dpi, JPEG files will never be as sharp as those intended for printing.

Type & Line Size:

  • Minimum Type Size (in comparison to Helvetica typeface)
    • positive: 4 pt regular (minimize horizontal scaling and condensed type)
    • reverse: 6 pt bold (avoid reversing serif type, horizontal scaling and condensed type)
  • Minimum Line or Stroke Size
    • positive: .5pt
    • reverse: 1.5pt

Fonts:

  • Send a copy of the fonts used unless type is outlined. Do not apply font attributes within an application. Ex: Bold, Italic, etc.

Barcodes:

  • UPC Barcode minimum size 80%, Bar Width Reduction -.0015”.
  • Color – The optimum combination is black on a white background. Do not print barcodes in red or any color that is predominantly red.
  • We can generate your barcode if you supply the numbers. Code styles: Alphanumeric, Numeric and Databar / RSS – please call csr to discuss

Vignette / Screen Range:

  • FLEXO: minimum 1% to avoid dot drop-off, maximum 75% to avoid dot fill-in.
  • DIGITAL: no minimum or maximum.

Supporting Colors & Varnish:

  • Use spot colors whenever possible instead of cmyk for cleaner print.
  • Indicate Pantone color instead of generic color names. Name then as PANTONE 120 C for example.
  • Opaque White – provide a separate file or layer for opaque white. Call ink color “White” and set as a spot color.
  • Pattern Varnish – provide a separate file or layer for pattern varnish. Call ink color “Varnish” and set as spot color.
  • Remove unused colors in color palette.

Flexible Packaging:

  • Provide layout, front and back positioning, seal areas, eye mark size and location.

Proofs:

  • Lofton will create a low-resolution pdf file for you to review electronically via email as well as a hard copy laser print for our internal approval process. Lofton will need to receive a customer signed off email or a signed off proof prior to printing. These proofs are meant for viewing copy, color breaks, sizing, unwind and positioning.
  • Spot colors – Lofton will use a customer supplied ink sample as a guide for printing.
  • Process color – Lofton will use a customer signed contract proof as a guide for printing.
    * Please take into account the substrate tint and its effect on ink color matching.

Print Standards:

  • If art has a border that is to bleed off, it must be .0625” minimum thickness to edge of die.
  • If the border does not bleed, it must be .0625” from edge of diecut.
  • If art is to bleed off, please allow at least .0625” bleed on design elements or linked images.
  • If art does not bleed off, please allow at least .0625” tolerance in from edge of die for any design elements.
  • Hold back all type, that does not bleed, away from diecut edges by a minimum of .0625” – .09375“
  • Print / Die registration +/- .03125” on standard constructions.
  • Type – minimum size 4 pt regular, or 6 pt reverse (avoid reversing serif type if possible).
  • Stroke – minimum size .5 regular, or 1.5 reverse.
  • Barcode minimum size 80%. BWR -.0015. We can generate your barcode if you supply the numbers.
  • TM, ® & © minimum .0625”
  • Screens –
    • FLEXO: minimum 1% to avoid dot drop-off, maximum 75% to avoid dot fill-in.
    • DIGITAL: no minimum or maximum.
  • Reverse or Knockout type –
    • FLEXO: out of process – put a 1pt. black stroke on a layer behind the type.
    • DIGITAL: do not set to overprint
  • Minimum Trap Size is .6pt or .008” – do not add trap, this will be done in our prepress process.
  • Missing or Hidden elements: Make sure to reveal, Show All or Unhide any elements that might be hidden.