Artwork & Design Guidelines

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.
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Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

Supplier Requirement: Provide a statement of compliance to current REACH regulations. If there are items provided that are out of compliance please list the item number, the substance, and the concentration (w/total w)%. REACH is a regulation of the European Union that addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment by requiring companies to communicate information on chemicals up and down the supply chain. All companies manufacturing or importing chemical substances in the European Union in quantities of one metric ton or more per year are required to register these substances with a European Chemicals Agency to ensure that manufacturers, importers, and customers are aware of information on the health and safety of the products supplied. Under REACH, no item may exceed 0.1% by weight threshold of any chemical substances listed on REACH’s SVHC (substances of very high concern) (this list is accessible at the link below). Products exported to the EU must be in full compliance with REACH. However, items defined as “articles” (objects that during production are given a special shape, surface or design that determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition) in REACH are exempt from registration.

SVHC List: SVHC LIST

For more information on REACH, visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/about.htm

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Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive

Supplier Requirement Please provide a declaration stating compliance to current RoHS directive standards. If necessary list the nonconforming item numbers, the chemical, and its concentrations.

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive aims to restrict certain hazardous substances commonly used in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment, which links it with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) 2002/96/EC. The hazardous substances under RoHS, which any RoHS-compliant component is tested for, are lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (Cr^8+), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP). The maximum permitted concentrations of these substances in products subject to RoHS compliance are 0.1% or 1000 parts-per notation (ppm) by weight, besides cadmium, which is 0.01% or 100 ppm. Businesses that sell applicable or electronic products, equipment, sub-assemblies, cables, components or spare parts directly to RoHS-directed countries, or sells to resellers, distributors or integrators that in turn sell products to these countries, are impacted if they utilize any of these (10) restricted substances.

For more information on RoHS, visit https://www.rohsguide.com/

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California Proposition 65

Supplier Requirement: Please provide a declaration stating compliance to current Proposition 65 standards. If necessary list the nonconforming item numbers the chemical, and its concentrations.

Proposition 65, officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is administered by California/EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to protect California’s drinking water sources from becoming contaminated with toxic chemical substances known to cause cancer and birth defects. An official list of such substances is made publicly available showing regulated substances’ known risk factors, a unique CAS chemical classification number, the date they were listed, and, if so, whether they have been delisted. The first requirement of Proposition 65 prohibits businesses from knowingly discharging listed substances into drinking water sources, or onto land where the substances can pass into drinking water sources. The second requirement prohibits businesses from knowingly exposing individuals to listed substances without providing a clear and reasonable warning. Ultimately, the law requires companies to notify California about significant amounts of chemicals in products they manufacture; not to control what businesses are putting in their products, but to allow Californians to make informed choices about the products they buy and use.

For more information on California Proposition 65, visit https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65

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North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Supplier Requirement: Please provide either a NAFTA Certificate of Origin or a Manufacturer’s Affidavit that declares the HTS designation and the Country of Origin.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States that aims to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade and investment (i.e. non-tariff trade barriers) and to protect the intellectual property rights on traded products. Under NAFTA, producers may export their goods to customers in Canada or Mexico duty-free as long as the goods are comprised of mostly U.S. components. To certify that goods qualify for preferential tariff treatment accorded by NAFTA, a Certificate of Origin must be completed legibly and in full by the exporter and must be in possession of the importer at the time the declaration is made. This document may also be completed voluntarily by the producer for use by the exporter. Exporters who are not producers often request that their producers or distributors provide them with a Certificate of Origin as proof that the final good, or an input used in the manufacture of the final good, meets the rules of origin for exportation to Canada or Mexico. NAFTA does not obligate a producer who is not an exporter to provide the final exporter with a Certificate of Origin. However, if the non-exporting producer does complete the Certificate of Origin, they are subject to the same obligations regarding record.

For more information on NAFTA compliance, visit https://www.cbp.gov/trade/nafta

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3TG-Conflict Minerals

Supplier Requirement: Please complete the most recent Conflict minerals Reporting Template found at: http://www.responsiblemineralsinitiative.org/conflict-minerals-reporting-template/?

The term “Conflict Minerals” refers to minerals and other derivatives mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in adjoining countries where revenues from mining may directly, or indirectly, finance armed groups engaged in civil war, resulting in serious abuses of human rights. To hold companies accountable for buying raw materials from these areas that aid corrupt militias, and to mitigate the chance that the minerals purchased by companies are funding military conflict, the U.S. Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Law was passed in 2010. The law requires U.S. publicly traded companies to evaluate their product lines to determine whether they contain any “conflict minerals”, and if they do, to disclose any of the minerals necessary to the functionality or production of products they manufacture or contract to the manufacture. The minerals covered by this law (collectively referred to as “3TG”) are tantalum (Ta), tin (Sn), tungsten (W) and gold (Au). Companies using such minerals must also disclose their supply chain inquiries to verify whether these minerals originated in the DRC or adjoining countries.

For more information on 3TG Conflict Minerals, visit http://www.responsiblemineralsinitiative.org/about/faq/general-questions/what-are-conflict-minerals/

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CONEG-Toxics in Packaging Legislation

Supplier Requirement: Please certify that materials provided to Lofton Label Inc. comply with the Coalition of Northeastern Governors Toxics in Packaging Legislation.

The Toxics in Packaging Legislation was established by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) to reduce the amount of lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and mercury in packaging and to keep packaging components from entering landfills, waste incinerators, recycling streams and ultimately the environment. The law requires manufacturers to certify that none of the regulated metals were intentionally added to any products during the manufacturing process, and that the sum of the incidental concentration levels present in any product does not exceed 100 ppm by weight (CONEG model limit). The law also requires certificates of compliance to be completed by manufacturers and furnished to state agencies (and to the public upon request), but does allow for certain exemptions that must be approved by individual states. This law is desirable because manufacturers that comply with regulation meet the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products, while minimizing the hazardous impact of products upon the environment and society.

For more information on CONEG Toxics in Packaging Legislation, visit https://www.bureauveritas.com/services+sheet/toxics-in-packaging_14479?presentationtemplate=bv_master_v2/Services_sheet_full_story_presentation_v2

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Statement identifying any instances of BPA

Supplier Requirement: Please provide a declaration indicating that products provided to Lofton are BPA-free.

Bisphenol A (BPA), a building block of several important polymers and polymer additives used in the production of polycarbonates, is widely used in manufacturing polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins used in nearly every industry. BPA is suspected to have adverse health effects as a reproductive, developmental and systemic toxicant that is weakly estrogenic, giving it a potential to impact children’s health. There has also been environmental concern over the risk posed by BPA leaching into landfills and bodies of water, consequently affecting the food chain. Due to the various risks associated with BPA, registrants of BPA must demonstrate the safety of BPA and BPA-based materials for human health and the environment. Downstream users must inform registrants about the way they use BPA, to allow registrants to prepare a realistic exposure scenario for each specific use of BPA. Regulations concerning BPA continue to evolve as governments at every level attempt to address public concern and take varying scientific assessments into account.

For more information on BPA and statements identifying any instances of BPA, visit https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-imagining-chemicals-under-tsca/risk-management-bisphenol-bpa

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Statement identifying any instances of Natural Rubber Latex

Supplier Requirement: Please provide a declaration letter identifying that no natural rubber latex or synthetic rubber latex is found in any of the items provided to Lofton.

According to FDA regulation, labeling statements that include the latex content of the product packaging as well as the product itself are required on products containing latex, since repeated or prolonged exposure to natural rubber latex can result in the development of allergies or sensitivity to natural rubber latex, generally in the form of skin-site reactions. If latex is present in production, the extent to which natural rubber latex is used in the manufacture of the product must be defined. In light of the concerns surrounding latex, some manufacturers have taken to labeling products as “latex-free” or indicating that the product “does not contain natural rubber latex”. However, this labeling suggests that products are completely without natural rubber latex, which is problematic because (1) there is always a chance that products were contaminated with latex allergens during the manufacturing process, and (2) the FDA is unaware of any test method capable of detecting and confirming the complete absence of latex proteins capable of causing allergic reactions. The statement “not made with natural rubber latex” should be used only if neither natural rubber latex nor synthetic natural rubber latex derivatives were used to manufacture a product. Qualifications are necessary if the product, its packaging or its container use natural rubber latex or its derivatives. In such cases, the manufacturer should state which component is not made of natural rubber latex. Products currently labeled with “latex-free” statements should update their labeling to adopt FDA’s recommendations.

For more information on Natural Rubber and Latex and statements identifying any instances of Natural Rubber and Latex, visit https://www.raps.org/regulatory-focus™/news-articles/2014/12/does-this-product-contain-latex-fda-adopts-new-labeling-recommendations