How does DSN shorten your lead-times?

Artwork and reprographics are created from one source. Technical elements, regarding print, are incurred into the file already in the artwork phase. As such, printer specifications can be taken into account before printing has started, leading to shorter turnaround times.


Prepress is the conversion of a design file for a design / artwork into a print-ready file. In the reprographic phase, printing technical characteristics are added according to the profile of the printer. Based on the reprographic file, DSN will issue a GMG proof (standard colour proofing) that will predict and control the final print result.

Is there a difference between design and artwork?

The design phase includes colour coding, imagery, logo, fonts and initial positioning of all elements.

The artwork phase consists of the final placing of technical elements and insertion of bar codes, logos, regulatory compliance elements and marketing/legal texts.

How can my brand benefit from colour consistency?

Colour consistency means brand consistency across various materials and substrates. This alone can increase brand recognition, enhance consumer loyalty, strengthen shelf presence and reinforce the impact of colour branding on consumers.

Do you service the pharmaceutical sector?

DSN Artwork Prepress services various brands in the pharmaceutical sector, developing and managing packaging, designing POS and marketing communication materials. Our experience with legislative restrictions has allowed us to acquire the necessary expertise for ensuring compliance with design regulations as well as developing and managing legal text databases specific to this industry.

Lastly, with an ISO 9001:2015 certification we are a trusted partner for all pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Why should I use online proofing?

Online proofing is a web-based tool for improving and/or revising artwork. It enables any stakeholder involved in the packaging production process to make changes or modifications, big or small, from a remote location. It streamlines and facilitates the validation process and eliminates unnecessary email traffic and international shipments.

Why centralize brand assets?

Centralising brand assets gives the brand owner complete control over artwork and reprographic files. All the files are stored in one location, allowing the brand owners to move print business according to their needs and interests. This is a vast improvement over traditional asset management in which files are decentralised and spread across design agencies, printing houses, brokers and the brand owner, creating an uncontrollable situation.

Photography and pack shots (or packaging photography)

A ‘packshot’ is a photographic image of a product/package in its pure form with the right lighting and without any image manipulation.

How to cut costs in the packaging chain?

Centralising artwork and reprographic files can cut unnecessary costs from design agencies and printing houses. Providing the brand owner with full control over his assets leads to printer independency and a stronger negotiation position with his suppliers. Furthermore, a centralised approach and workflow management tools optimise the flow of the graphic production process within the company itself, eliminating unnecessary steps.

How can DSN improve quality in the chain?

In the artwork and reprographic phase, DSN Artwork Prepress will always propose the best print result based on the design intent. Colour management applied during these stages and specific knowledge of the printing conditions enables DSN Artwork Prepress to optimise the quality of the reprographic file. DSN measures KPIs during the production phase, improving workflow and print results overall.

What is a PMA?

A Print Management Agency is the link between a client, a design agency, a factory, a printer and any other supplier involved in the packaging production process. A PMA ensures that every element on a packaging, such as legal texts, bar codes, logos, images, nutritional values, etc., is placed on the correct technical drawing of the packaging itself. In general, a PMA handles every aspect of a packaging design/layout in order to make it print-ready. The services offered by a PMA can include: artwork, reprography, digital proofing, wet proofing, project management, printing tools, printer profiling (fingerprinting), cutter guides, automated data publishing, workflow optimisation and more. The benefits and added value that a PMA can offer are:

  • Artwork and repro originate from one source
  • Stakeholders validate one single-source artwork
  • Reduction in email traffic
  • Avoid errors and misinterpretations
  • Status overview – traceability – online project management
  • Deadline management
  • Printer independency
  • Cost control/predictability
  • Process optimisation

A PMA structures the entire packaging production process in order to save costs, reduce errors and help companies improve their carbon footprint. A reduction in errors also means a reduction in waste., A PMA is therefore not only beneficial for companies in terms of cost but also for the environment.

What is artwork?

By definition, artwork consists of illustrative work that is prepared for reproduction and may contain hand lettering, illustrations, photographs, logos and anything that is not typeset as text only. The final artwork usually includes instructions for colour registration and colour matching. Once an artwork is completed, it is ready for the reprographic phase of the packaging production process.

What is repro?

By definition, reprography stands for the reproduction and duplication of documents, written materials, illustrations, designs, etc., by any process making use of photographic methods including offset printing, flexo printing, gravure printing, microfilming or office duplicating. Once the repro and artwork phases are completed, the document is ready for printing.

How can a PMA save costs?

A PMA can help companies save costs through various channels. It can start with project management – providing a structured overview of task and deadline management. This enables a faster and more efficient time to market interval.

Through an extensive database of printer specifications, printer profiling can be applied in order to save costs on ink. Efficient colour management can reduce the amount of ink used on a packaging and can therefore reduce costs significantly.

Because a PMA makes companies printer-independent, costs can not only be reduced through better negotiation positions, but also in terms of logistics. Knowing which printer prints in what quality not only has an impact on logistics but also on transportation costs.

There are numerous ways that a PMA can reduce costs. However, the efficiency of such savings depends on the requirements of the given company and improves with the quality of the relationship between all parties involved.

What is profiling?

DSN Artwork Prepress has a vast database of over 900 printer specifications, making it possible to determine the quality and capabilities/limitations of each printer in the database. This enables us to predict the exact outcome of a printed pack before it is even printed. Without a PMA, sometimes the original packaging design provided by a design agency does not comply with the capabilities of a printer. Colours may not match and brand consistency may be lost. Through fingerprinting, these kinds of errors can be prevented from the very start.

What is Pack'Flow?

Pack Flow is a Java based, online workflow tool for optimising the packaging production workflow process. It enables all the stakeholders involved in the process to simultaneously access and change artwork files on this platform. Email traffic is drastically reduced and costly errors and misinterpretations can be avoided at an early stage. When changes need to be made to an artwork, most companies working without a PMA send files back and forth until the file is print-ready. A lot of information can be lost along the way and the process is often tedious and lengthy. Pack Flow provides a platform where every stakeholder has access to the latest artwork version, reducing costs and the chances of errors.

What is fingerprinting?

Fingerprinting is the process of establishing and profiling the exact print conditions of the printers’ individual presses. A color file is printed on the substrate used and its colors are measured. Based on this information, a complete press profile is created and finalized to perfection. The profile contains information on dot gain, ink intensity, color drawdown, screen and more specific details. This information is vital to understand the exact print conditions of the printer and how he will be able to print the clients’ design.