Posted on

Art Requirements

Developing the best art possible for your printed bag project requires that your art file is properly formatted. Mylars and other barrier films require a cylinder or plate style of printing.

There are special requirements for the formatting of the art to ensure the best results. Your artist should follow these best practices when developing your bag art. As always if you any questions regarding your project just contact us and we’re happy to assist.

Basic File Requirements

  • A layered file built in Adobe Illustrator.
  • Vector line art for all text and graphics.

Minimum Sizes

  • Type: 4 point bold, 6 point bold if reversed / knocked out (white)
  • Line Weight: .50 point, 1 point (if reversed/knocked out (white).
  • Line Screen: 120-133 line screen based on 300dpi imagery. 5% minimum dot.
  • Bar Codes: Should be line art (not .jpg, .gif, or .png) and be between 100% and 120%. Do not crop.

Color Information

  • Assign Pan-tone colors if required.
  • Including images? Placed background gray-scale or PMS Duo-tone for images that can be assigned a Pan-tone color.
  • White Ink: Counts as a color plate on non-white materials. White ink is not 100% opaque.
  • Process Black: use only for CMYK work, half tones, and effects such as drop shadows.
  • Line Black: Will be required for text, lines, sold coverage, and barcodes.
  • Spot Colors: Generally required for colored Type, Lines, and Large Solid Coverage.
    • Note: may require 2 plates per color, one for solid coverage, and another another for Tint / Screens.
    • Must be designated with standard Pan-tone Matching System (PMS).

Graphics Handling

  • Do not create traps.
  • Type must be Outlined
  • Affects must be applied.
  • Graphics must be 300 dpi CMYK and linked.
  • Keep vector elements in illustrator. (do not use Photoshop for Typesetting or use Smart Objects that require Spot Color or Trapping)


  • No critical graphics including barcode in zipper, seal areas or around hang hole
  • ¼” bleed Required at top and bottom of bag is highly recommended.
  • Standard Plate Gaps: 1/16″ – 3/32” Un-printed plate gap will be on left and right edges of plate printed projects.
  • Natural Plate Gaps: Random 1/32″ to 1/16″ plate gap will appear once per cylinder revolution on the leading edge.
  • Production feature placement such as image placement and feature location have a tolerances and can travel  +/- 1/16” depending on bag size, material used and manufacturing process.


  • PDF Proofs are used for layout and contents. PDF proofs are not color accurate and will display differently on each monitor and will not be used for color matching.
  • PAPER proofs simulates spot colors and their design interactions, only a current Pantone Color Fan should be used for spot ink color evaluations.
  • FINAL COLOR can be affected by the material color and printing / lamination / varnishing process.