The Power of Specialized Proofing for Cold Printing

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Seeing is believing. And in print, it’s extremely important to see how your artwork and special effects will translate into actual labels and packaging, thanks to the power of custom print proofs. Printed proofs provide a more accurate representation of how your final design will look, before sending it off for mass production. Although carefully designed, the shape of the final package, store lighting, package contents and many real-life factors can quickly cause your product to fail, if not verified by an audit process. test and design. Additionally, packaging with special finishing effects has additional elements that can impact the presence of your final printed product. Cold foil, metallic inks, specialty coatings and other finishing options can catch the eye and set your packaging apart, but only if done right.

At K Laser Technology, we created the mockup service in our design lab to help designers and printers perfect designs, with foil and holographic elements, to achieve their packaging goals. With over 30 years of experience in manufacturing cold foil, we have witnessed how cold foil and holographic foil substrates can make or break your impression. In this blog, we’ll discuss the power of custom print proofs with special effects and important considerations to help you achieve your best holographic print design yet!

Artwork proofs are a digital or physical representation of how your final design will look when printed on press. Delivered in either a PDF format or a physically printed product, a printed proof will allow the designer to better understand how the artwork interacts with elements affecting the packaging experience, before it is mass produced.

“It’s best to request a new print design each time you create or change a print design, add special effects, work with a new printer, or use a new cold sheet or consumable. Each of these factors must be verified in order to produce the best possible solution for your product,” says Nerissa Ignacio, Creative Director of K Laser Technology.

Printed proofs can be mailed, reviewed in person, or sent as a photo for those requesting a virtual option. You can receive a print proof directly through your printer, a design consultancy agency, or FREE through our design lab’s K-Laser Technology mock-up service. Keep in mind that printers do not offer artwork services that include print embellishments such as cold foil and holograms. K Laser Technology can complete most print proofs, with foil and hologram special effects, within 2 business days to ensure your project stays on track. With in-house packaging and label designers, our team can not only create the artwork, but also review and modify the artwork to achieve the packaging experience you envisioned.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of proofing, let’s talk about the power they have to draw your attention to the brand-killing elements. Here are some of the common issues we’ve spotted on projects done in our design lab.

Wrong color or cold sheet pattern. What may be the perfect metallic accent in a flat AI file, could conflict with the design when printed in 3D format. A printed proof will show all of the conflicting elements between the product’s design, special effects and packaging, giving you the opportunity to try out different colors and patterns to find what works best for the product.

Improper placement of the cold sheet. Now that you’ve decided on the cold foil color or pattern, it’s ultimately all about strategic placement for maximum impact. For example, intricate foil designs can become overwhelming if placed next to or behind thick text or elaborate graphics. We may recommend that you add heavy cold designs next to solid colors so that they pop. Also, silver and gold foils can get lost if they are on light or light backgrounds and we can recommend adding more white space or additional elements to increase the WOW factor of the foil , depending on the print proof.

Conflicting overprint. For designers specifying printing ink on aluminum substrates, proofs will give you a better idea of ​​what the actual ink color will look like on the final product. Often the foil slightly or drastically changes the visual color that the eye sees, and you may need to modify the design or double print the ink using two color stations to achieve the saturated color that matches the mark.

Product content conflict. For packaging displaying internal product content, it’s important to see how your artwork will look with the product displayed inside. We’ve seen beautiful spirit labels completely drowned out by the caramel color of the whiskey or rum inside the glass. Additionally, folding cartons with display cases should consider the color of the internal contents and pair with a contrasting or complementary color or pattern to effectively display the product.

Printed proofs that include special effects can save you the massive time, cost, waste, and headache associated with full production runs that, in reality, are a complete design failure.

Although they are extremely powerful tools for the strategic design of artwork, we should note that printed proofs have certain limitations. At K Laser Technology, we always explain to our customers the following key considerations:

  • Printed proofs are not fully recorded press proofs. They are often printed using short run inkjet applications and may be slightly off.
  • When overprinted, a print proof may still not show the full color of the ink, again due to the digital printing technology used to create the proof.
  • Applied cold foil may appear slightly warped or wrinkled on the proof, due to the digital transfer technology used for short run off-press foil application.
  • The paper or substrate used to print the proof may be different from the final substrate used on the press. Although your mockup service provider should work with your print manufacturer to ensure the closest match.
  • Depending on your printing partner, a proof can take up to 5 business days to complete and ship. K Laser Technology’s mock-up service prides itself on having a reputation for sending print proofs within 2 business days of request.

Ultimately, a specialized print proof is not the final product and should only be used as a tool for designers to modify visible design conflicts in a 3D format. When working with K-laser technology, you can rest assured that our team will shed light on all the factors that affect your final design, so you can perfect your artwork for print. Although many printers do not offer print proofs that include specialty foils and holograms, K Laser Technology is one of the only providers of print proofs and design support services for projects using cold foils and holographic foils. With the industry’s largest selection of cold foil colors and holographic patterns, combined with experienced packaging designers, K Laser Technology can help your team from initial design, to proofing, to collaboration. printer-designer and beyond. Partner with a knowledgeable specialty print partner so you can focus on creating viral packaging solutions for your customers and brands.

Designers and printers are welcome to schedule a consultation at our design lab located in Sarasota, Florida. In the lab, creatives can better collaborate on special effects and see design inspiration in person. Contact our team today to request a free mockup service and let’s start designing your specialty packaging today!

About the Author: Nicole Rivera is Director of Administration and Marketing for K Laser.

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