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EskoArtwork announces breakthrough product for Shrink Sleeve Design

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium) - EskoArtwork introduces Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves, a brand-new application that will be released as a component of Studio in the second quarter of 2010. EskoArtwork will be demonstrating a pre-release solution at Labelexpo Europe on stand 5B30 in Hall 5 and stand 9F100 in Hall 9.

"EskoArtwork customers have been able to prepare shrink sleeve designs for production using EskoArtwork ArtPro and PackEdge advanced warping tools," says Kris Van Bael, EskoArtwork Product Manager 3D and Visualization. "These tools were designed for symmetrical shapes and allow designers and converters to deal with the shrink sleeve pre-distortion. However, design with asymmetrical shapes and multipacks is growing increasingly popular. To address these issues, we have started from the ground up in developing a module that takes the guesswork out of design and  pre-production of sleeves. The result is higher quality and consistency for shrink label production."

The design of shrink sleeve packaging presents a number of challenges. Artwork designers struggle to express ideas for a curved surface on a flat canvas. The result can be ambiguous artwork that leaves prepress professionals guessing about the designer's intent. The inevitable result is numerous iterations between the designer and the converter, causing long lead times and increased costs.

Breakthrough innovation for shrink sleeve design
To shorten lead times and make the design and production processes more efficient, designers and prepress professionals can now quickly test, analyze and communicate with 3D visuals, without the need to do physical test runs. Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves not only accommodates asymmetrical shapes and multipacks, but it works in 3D from start to finish as follows:
    •    Virtual Shrink Tunnel. The process starts in Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves, which could be described as a virtual shrink tunnel. The converter creates, scans or imports the container shape into the software, enters the shrink film characteristics, and the software digitally shrinks the sleeve around the container.
    •    Direct Design. The digital shrink sleeve file can then be used in Studio or Visualizer to design directly on the shape and create 3D PDFs, pack shots, or QuickTime movies. In the 3D visuals, the artwork will shrink and distort in the same way as it would in the shrink tunnel.
    •    Pre-Distortion Tools. With a separate pre-distortion tool for Adobe Illustrator, the operator can see how much each artwork element suffers from the distortion and, if needed, compensate using intuitive pre-distortion tools. Since the pre-distortion is accomplished in Illustrator, the design files can be sent back to the design agency. When the pre-distorting design is printed and applied to the primary package, the result will be much more representative for what the designer and Brand Owner had in mind. Overall, the Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves provides new design capabilities in the creative phase, and avoids errors and job rework caused by unexpected material behavior in the production phase.

"This is a very exciting and unique application that will revolutionize the design of shrink sleeves," adds Van Bael. "It fits into existing design and prepress workflows and can save hours of operator time and weeks of lead time in the design process. Ultimately, we hope converters will engage designers with these tools to streamline the process even more, allowing them to create artwork directly on the shape in such a way that the designer can anticipate and compensate for the destructive distortions caused by the manufacturing process. There is nothing else like this available in the industry."

At the EskoArtwork stands (5B30 in Hall 5 & 9F100 in Hall 9) at Labelexpo Europe, September 23-26, visitors can learn more about the Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves and updates to Studio and Visualizer.




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