Before you start designing...
First of all, please think about the handling of the box. How does the potential customer get to see the packaging for the first time? Standing up or lying down? From which side should the box be opened? The main or front side of a folding box is the wide side that is not directly adjacent to the glue flap. If you were to choose the side directly next to the glue flap, the view when looking at the main side would be disturbed by the lateral cardboard edge, which is glued to the glue flap. This part of the folding box is therefore the back. Also make sure that the printing on the lid and bottom flap is correctly positioned when closed. The best way to do all this is to use the dummy that you usually receive from us. The die-cutting contour may be rotated, but not mirrored. Do not make any changes to the punching contour. If dimensions need to be changed, please contact us. Text, characters and logos that turn black should only consist of the black portion and not proportionally of the 4 basic colours. The same applies in particular to any EAN barcodes that may be placed. Problem-free readability at scanner checkouts is far greater if the line combination consists of one flat colour instead of several screened colours, because the edge sharpness is no longer given by the screen dots. If black areas are to be "glossed", it is quite sufficient if max. 40% cyan is underlaid. An application of all 4 colours exceeds the maximum colour application and is not feasible during printing and has to be reduced by us in a time-consuming way.
TIFF, EPS and JPEG are preferred file formats. When saving JPEG data, always select the highest possible quality level, as a lower level may save on the amount of data, but data information is irretrievably lost. As a general rule, all image data used should have a minimum resolution of 300 ppi and be separated in CMYK. If there is text in the image file (pixel data), the resolution can and should be higher (approx. 600 ppi) for better edge sharpness of the type. A compromise between quality and processable file size may have to be found here.
The preferred data format is PDF, which is correctly designed in terms of stand, bleed, colour distribution and for output on high-end imagesetters. It should be noted that not all programmes generate PDF data in such a way that output on high-end imagesetters and printers is possible. The most common programme for generating PDFs is Adobe Acrobat Distiller. For this purpose, a setting for the Distiller tailored to our system can be downloaded from www.Ebro Color.de. When generating Postscript, be sure to use an output resolution of 2400 dpi. Use the profiles ISO coated v2 or Fogra 39. If you create the PDF directly from the layout programme without being able to save our Distiller settings, always select the highest quality level of the PDF.
We can also accept documents from InDesign and Illustrator as open files. As a rule, we are always up to date with the latest version. It is absolutely necessary, however, that all image and graphic files used are included in the open data and that all fonts are converted into paths. The inclusion of fonts should be avoided, as this is not legally secure and often causes problems during installation.
However, if fonts are converted into paths, text corrections are no longer possible afterwards. Therefore, be sure to save the original file separately.
Save the original file separately.
For the transfer of documents from other typesetting and graphics programmes, we recommend the file formats PDF or EPS. Powerpoint, Paint, Word and similar programs are not suitable for creating high-end print data for packaging printing. If you have no other option here, please contact us in advance and we will clarify the further procedure.
EPS files can be exported from all common graphics programs (Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, Corel Draw,...). It is important that all text is converted to paths / curves before exporting, and that the correct colour mode (CMYK), the desired colour distributions and the attributes for overprinting elements are selected.
All colours and images must be clearly defined as Pantone colours when printed in CMYK scale, or if spot colours are used.
We cannot integrate profiles supplied with image data because our colour management system prevents this due to the calibrations on platesetters and printing presses. The image profiles are recalculated for our output devices.
When you create layout data, please set the document colour mode to CMYK from the beginning, never to RGB. Otherwise, an RGB colour mode has to be converted by us, which has a consequence of colour tone shift. A text defined as black in RBG will be split into all 4 primary colours by changing the mode to CMYK, which is not desirable.
Complex integrated punch outlines often require time-consuming and therefore costly removal.
Due to the inclusion of more and more different types of cardboard in our product range as well as the increase in printing systems (offset, offset anicolour technology, UV offset printing, digital printing, UV digital printing), slightly deviating results occur despite the most precise calibration of the machines. Please take this into account when selecting your colours. Please do not hesitate to contact us before printing.
Hot foil stamping, high or deep embossing and partial UV varnish
If the packaging is to have one or more of the finishes mentioned, please place them in another solid at the correct position on the file. The chosen colour does not matter here, it only has to be 100%, exactly defined by the name and overprinted. If there are several articles with the same finishing, you can create a multi-page PDF. However, it is very important that the finishing is absolutely identical on all articles.
Window punching or changes to the punching contours
If you want to add punch-outs or move windows that have already been drawn in, please let us know. Please do not make any changes to the punching contours yourself, this could easily be overlooked during production without our knowledge. In such cases, please contact us and we will be happy to modify the design we have on file and also check the feasibility of the project.
All image and colour areas that are laid out right up to the edge of the paper format also require a 2 mm bleed. For die-cuts (e.g. for folding boxes), all flaps must also be taken into account. Only adhesive flaps should remain colourless apart from the bleed. We will provide you with the cutting contour of your blank. This cutting contour must not be defined in CYMK mode, but must be created as a special colour. Please also make sure that the cutting outline is set to overprint. If you are not quite sure about this, please send us one file with the punching contour and another without.
PDF files can usually be emailed without any problems, although the amount of data here should not exceed approx. 10 MB.
Larger files can be sent to us via wetransfer (www.wetransfer.com is absolutely free of charge), or use our upload server. You can request the access data for this from us.
If you are not the creator of the print data yourself - but possibly have it created by a graphics agency - make sure that the data sent to us for printing are high-end data and have not only been given to you for viewing. Although we can see from a PDF by means of pre-flight that, for example, image data in a lower resolution was used, we cannot judge whether this is due to a reduction in the amount of data (which is quite sufficient for a viewing PDF), or whether the image data is simply not available in a higher, qualitatively better form. In order to be able to save time and money here, please explicitly enquire with your data service provider whether this data is intended to be passed on to us. Please do not send us any view data for preliminary examination, as due to the mostly incorrect colour distribution and low resolution no statement can be made about the usability of the data.
This is why we ask graphic designers and advertising agencies: If you send your customers view PDFs, please be sure to tell them NOT to forward them to us, but instead provide them with the high-end data!
Guidance on the correct placement and creation for folding boxes
The side assignment and handling of a folding box is determined by your gluing.
In the following example of a folding box with offset tuck-in flaps, the lid, back, front, etc. are marked.
The orange area indicates the necessary bleed if coloured areas, photos, etc. are to extend to the punched edge. The bleed there is 2 mm, at the glue tab 3 mm.
Of course, the trim does not have to follow the punching contour exactly,
it can and should, for example, fill the entire rectangular format of the punching in the case of coloured areas. This is indicated by the light orange area.
Guidance on the correct placement of pillow boxes
The side allocation and handling of a folding box is determined by your gluing.
In the following example, the front, back and side flaps are marked.
The orange area indicates the necessary bleed if coloured areas, photos, etc. are to extend to the edge of the die-cut.
The bleed there is 2 mm at the glue flap 3 mm.
The bleed does not, of course, have to be guided exactly along the die-cutting contour, it can and should, for example, fill the entire rectangular format of the die-cut for coloured areas. This is indicated by the light orange area.