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Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio by Glenn Honiball

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The Spec Sheet

The first thing you should do is get a hold of the specification sheet from whoever will be printing the final job. This specification sheet will list the print parameters for the particular file you be working on.

Spec sheet from a carton printer

Figure 9-2. Spec sheet from a carton printer

A spec sheet typically looks like Figure 9-2.

Figure 9-2 is a typical spec sheet from a printer that prints on various kinds packaging material. Here's the information we should be concerned with:

  • The printer has indicated a curve; we will investigate this later on.

  • They can print a variety of colors; this would mean that a number of special colors could be used. It is very typical to use special colors in packaging work because companies that sell goods on store shelves want to attract your attention to their boxes and bags!

  • The print process is flexo, or flexographic, which is a type of press that can print on various packaging material, folding cartons, plastics, and bags.

  • Substrates indicate the material to print on, such as a bread bag. You probably won't care what material the image is going on, but you will want to know what the specifications are for the image so that it prints properly.

If we skip through the rest of the specifications in this example, you will want to be aware of the following things:

  • What the press does to the image; this is very important.

  • The dot gain curve. We'll cover the dot gain curve ...

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