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Graphics reflect 'fabulous' work

The snazzy, award-winning packaging for Fafard Seed starter potting soil is well-grounded in innovative techniques.

Pw 13418 Fafard

Introduced nationally in late spring ’03 at independent garden centers where it sells for $3.99, the stand-up pouch earned a Flexible Packaging Assn. Printing Gold award for Genpak LP.

The 48-ga PET/48-ga metallized PET/2-mil PE structure is supplied premade as 8-dry-quart 14’’x16’’ gusseted bags by Genpak to Agawam, MA-based Conrad Fafard operations in the United States and Canada. The gusset is 5’’ wide.

The graphics were reverse-printed flexographically in nine colors using digital plates on a Fischer & Krecke 10-station wide-web press Genpak installed in mid-2002. "This gearless press allows the package to be printed in perfect and consistent registration," says Genpak prepress manager Bill Reilly. The special fade-resistant inks are supplied by Sun Chemical. The zipper material is standard and from any of several sources, Reilly says. Fafard did its own graphics design.

"We wanted a nice presentation, and the metallic underlayer adds a bit of shine," says Fafard art director Charles Ratterree, who is also the company’s buyer of flexible materials. "Shelf presence in the lawn-and-garden category is very important." He also credits GMF Flexo Pre-press for its exemplary prepress work.

The design was separated and printed via Opaltone Seven Color Process™, which uses three colors more than traditional four-color printing. Additionally, two more colors, white and black, were used for Fafard. The single-pass, nine-color result, Reilly says, is that "we are able to get much more color depth and brightness."

"The people involved in this project did a fabulous job, and I couldn’t be prouder of the result," Ratterree says. "This product has exceeded our sales expectations." Fafard is set to launch five more products in the same package this spring.

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