Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST) 5.1 is an upgrade to an invaluable compendium of specifications, designed to provide all members of the flexographic supply chain with the technical information needed to produce high-quality and consistent print results, pressrun after pressrun.
What Is FIRST?
FIRST seeks to understand customers’ graphic requirements for reproduction and translate those aesthetic requirements into specifications for each phase of the flexographic printing process, including: customers, designers, prepress providers, raw material and equipment suppliers, and printers. The intention of FIRST is to provide all participants in the flexographic reproduction process with a common set of guidelines, tutorials and data that can be used as communication and production tools.
First is a set of specifications, not standards. When followed, these specifications facilitate producing a predictable, consistent result. The process and specifications supported in FIRST intend:
- To outline key flexographic procedures and guidelines to be used from the beginning of the process to the end, including the implementation, design, prepress and print processes
- To improve quality and consistency through improved communication and measurement procedures
- To reduce cycle time and minimize rework through improved process control methodology
- To control production costs through streamlined raw materials and process improvement methodology
- To enable consumer product companies (CPCs) to obtain optimal flexographic print quality, which equals or exceeds offset lithography and gravure printing
- To grow the overall flexographic printing industry through increased market share of an expanding market
FIRST 5.1 Benefits
- Greater process control
- Improved color management and consistency
- Less waste
- Reduced downtime
- Increased throughput and productivity
- Shorter makereadies
- Fewer reruns & rejects
- Reduced operating costs
FIRST 5.1 Features
- Conforms to international standards
- New section on “Optimizing the Process Color Gamut”
- Prepress best practices (vignettes, gradations, effects, screening)
- Design best practices (template lay-out, die-cut specs, proofs, color management, typography, inks, PDFs)
- Expanded Gamut
- Style Guide\Creative Brief
- QR Codes, DataMaritx Codes and Snap Tags
Want to suggest something for a future edition of FIRST, or make a comment on an existing portion of the latest edition? Visit the FIRST Comments page to voice your opinion.
FIRST Design Guide
The FIRST Design Guide is a complimentary explainer on how to produce flexo-ready print. The free resource is targeted at designers. Just fill out a form and it’s all yours.