What file formats can I send?
How is distortion calculated?
How do I send files?
My files are too big to email. What do I do?
How do I upload using wwWebflow?
What proofing options do you offer?
Do you still offer film output?
What is the maximum plate and film size you can manufacture?

What file formats can I send?

PDF is the normal way to exchange files between systems. We use ArtPro and Nexus which are both au fait with most PDF files. We also support Adobe's Illustrator and InDesign as they both produce good PDFs.

For production it is best to avoid making a PDF at the smallest possible size. Doing so will compress and down sample any images, change spot colours to process and will not embed fonts. Use no compression or lossless compression, embed a subset on all fonts and keep the colour space as original.

If you have native Artpro, Illustrator or InDesign files we will happily accept them provided they are accompanied by any placed images and text is converted to outlines.

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How to calculate distortion (dispro)

Every plate type has a constant (k) which represents the amount a plate will stretch around any cylinder, regardless of size of cylinder (called 'c' in these calculations). It is important that these figures are all in the same unit of measure (typically inches as most cylinders are measured in inches, but some people prefer mm).

There are two ways to calculate it, depending on what sort of number you want. Some systems work on numbers that are, for instance 96.4%, while others will want a number like 3.6%.

The calculation for a high percentage is:

(c-k) / c x 100 = distortion

The calculation for a low percentage is:

k / c x 100 = distortion

Remember: all numbers must use the same unit of measure!

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Sending us files

Many files are now emailed. If you have multiple files it is usually best to compress them together into a single .zip or .sit file before you attach them to your email.

If you have a hard copy for us to match to, we will need to see it before we can proceed (we can't match to something we haven't seen!). Please allow some time for sending colour standards through the post.

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Sending large files

If your file is too big to email you can upload using wwWebflow by clicking here. If you want to know how to use wwWebflow, all the information is in the next question down.

If the files are really big, say over 100mb after you have compressed them, it will probably be easier to send them on CD and post it to us. Often, by the time it gets here, there is no time to work on the files that day.

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Using wwWebflow

Launch wwWebflow in your browser by going to (clicking opens a new window). If you don't have a login name and password, 'guest' will work fine.

Find the upload tab (fourth tab along) and click it. You will now see some information boxes. Please fill in something here so we know who has sent us the files.

If you have many files compress them into a single .zip or .sit file, otherwise click to locate the files on your system and upload.

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Proofing options

We can provide proofs at any level of detail, from low resolution viewable pdf files to fully printed, cut and formed mock-ups.

For many of our print customers a low resolution pdf is all that is required to check the content of the print job. For low cost, hard copy colour we can produce a colour laser proof on brilliant white paper. The next step up is the digital cromalin for contract proofs that will predict your result on press. The next step is a fully printed proof on the correct substrate using actual ink and plates.

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Film output

We still have a fully maintained film setter that can run B1 (762 x 1200) matt film. We only use thick (7 thousandths of an inch) film to ease any handling issues with large films. We also have the Nexus RIP that allows us to generate films without the pixel shapes ruining the highlight dots on negatives.

Film is still necessary for many packaging processes, and we are happy to support almost any film requirements you may have.

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Maximum sizes

For a digitally imaged flexo plate, the maximum image size we can make on-site is 1170mm x 870mm, allowing for a small margin around the edge of the plate. We supply bigger plates if required.

Our maximum film output is 1170mm x 740mm, again allowing for a small margin.

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