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Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

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  • Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

    I work in the US marketing office for a Chinese manufacturer. We design retail cartons here and then send the files to China to be printed. Sad to say; we have no contact with the printer; and usually do not see any proofs until the product is on the shelves in the stores. It's hard to know if we are setting up our files correctly or if the printer has to go into the files and manipulate them.

    What is the best way to handle the die lines? I usually make the die line 100% cyan or 100% magenta and save the color as a spot color in Illustrator. If there is a process background color I make it a layer in my Illustrator file but then save the back ground as one file and the die line as another and then place as 2 different layers in InDesign.

    My supervisor leaves the background and the die line in one file and then places in one layer in InDesign. Who is right or does it not matter?

    Some of our packages require a Photoshop background. We are embedding an eps image in Illustrator and then placing the .ai in Indesign. I thought nested files were a no-no; is that still the case?

    Thanks in advance for your advice

  • #2
    Re: Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

    AFAIK, the eps format which we also use can present with dieline conversion to process especially when transparency is used and with older versions of Illustrator and even when it is on a separate layer! I have little idea why or when just that it can screw up the job and will screw up the job (likely during the flattening process).
    We drive the dieline out of a different file and merge it back into proofs only if the client demands it. Otherwise we remove the dieline from the job once imposed and then we use a mylar tracing to check the job to the dieline.
    Based on this experience, it is my recommendation that you use your approach and not that of your supervisors. The dieline MUST always be a non-job spot colour set to overprint in any case. But even then it will sometimes embed into the live work if available to the eps save and spoil it. I'm not saying the other way does not work, it often does but your way always works because you are forcing it to. Then risk is then zero!
    John W

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    • #3
      Re: Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

      Thanks, John for your response. When you say the die line should be a non-job color; is straight Cyan or Magenta saved as a spot color alright?

      Also; what do you think about our practice of embedding a Photoshop tiff or eps background in Illustrator and then placing in InDesign?

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      • #4
        Re: Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

        We prefer our die lines on a separate layer as well.
        And make it a spot color and call it "die" so it can be readily identified and set to overprint and not become part of the printed colors.

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        • #5
          Re: Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

          If no transparency is used, we do not embed just preserve links. But if transparency is used we always have to embed for the thing to flatten properly when saving as eps. We run the eps files out of Quark not Indy, doesn't matter. The eps means encapsulated Postscript so Quark cannot look inside only to the eps's perimeter so the nesting you are worried about inside is fine, (so stop worrying).
          I would suggest you make a new spot color called Die and refrain from starting with cyan or magenta becase that way you will not make a mistake and forget. Taking the risk of Op error out is always IMO a smart thing to do.

          Hope that helps you.
          John W

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          • #6
            Re: Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

            Thanks to both of you guys for your comments.

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            • #7
              Re: Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

              As has been said, make the dieline a DIE or DIELINE spot color. Also, and this I stress as much as the last point, make it overprint. I also use a second layer for the dieline and always have. Easier to turn on and off at will. And, depending on the job, I may do as you do and place the art and die in InDesign, and then can easily turn off the die whether in Illustrator or InDesign.

              Don

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              • #8
                Re: Setting up InDesign files containing die lines

                Just keep it simple. Make the dieline a spot color named "_dieline" While ripping the underscore will put the color last in line and can be mapped easily.

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