Ten top tips: Preparing your artwork for print

  Ten top tips: Preparing your artwork for print

  1. Use a professional designer

To make the best out of the end results, call our designers for advice on how to prepare your logo or any artwork files. If it is too complicated, seek the help of a professional designer.

Our design department can help create your artwork. This is included in the price of your printed cups! The small amount of time spent using our designer could save you time, money and offer better results.

  1. File formats

There are many file formats available to you such as EPS, TIF, PNG, PSD, AI, PDF, etc. But do you know which one is the best to use for printed paper cups? Generally the minimum requirement would be to export from whatever package you are using as a high resolution PDF file.

This will enable our designers to manipulate image vector files, and encapsulated fonts will be of huge help. Contact our design team on 01200 449900 or sales@printedcupcompany.com for further advice on artwork file formats.

  1. DPI or PPI

Many people are often misled with the term DPI in relation to resolution on computer input devices (such as digital cameras). Images should be referred to as DPCM (dots per cm) or PPI (pixels per Inch). DPCM refers to the Dots per CM on output devices such as printers.

  1. Resolution

Image resolution is a key factor to consider. Your image may look fine on screen, but the resolution of the image may not be adequate for high quality print. Web or screen resolution can generally range from anywhere from 72 – 220 PPI. For print, the image needs to be at least 300dpi, at the size you want to print at.

If the image looks blurry or pixelated when you zoom in, then it will probably be blurry when it is printed. As a rule of thumb: if a JPG file size is below 250k then this may not be sufficient for printing on paper cups; 251k -1Mb then the file may be suitable for printed paper cups and over 1Mb file will be perfect to use.

  1. Colour mode

All images are captured using RGB (red, green and blue) but our printers use CYMK (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Key (Black). Ideally you should convert the images to the colour mode of the output device, in our case CYMK. You can also see how the colour will be effected using that output process and will be able to adjust accordingly.

  1. True Black

Converting RGB to black – well not much can be done, but heavy blacks can look nasty in print, especially when there is a thin white font (avoid a point size of less than 8). If creating artwork from scratch the best colour value is C40, M30, Y30, and K100. This will ensure a nice deep black and maintain reversed out white lines.

  1. Add bleed

Bleed is the area around the artwork that will be cut off when the cup blank is cut out, and avoids white lines. On the artwork the visible area is within the pink lines that will be visible on the cup.

  1. Movement

It will pay when creating a design to take into consideration that design can move by +/-3mm vertically and horizontally. The way to design around this is not to put anything critical near the edges. We advise to put text / images 6 mm from the visible area.

This movement can also affect registration across the seam so bands that are designed to go right around the cup, can be misaligned in production.

  1. Calibrate your screens

You should never assume the colours you see on your screen will replicate accurately when it is printed. If you are after particular colour quote a pantone reference and, if ‘mission critical’, discuss with our designers who can advise on ways to get a better colour match.

  1. Spend the time to source the right images

If you have used images downloaded from a web site then there is a huge chance they will be very blurry when printed on paper cups. Time spent sourcing the right images, in the right format, and the right resolution, whilst keeping in mind our tips here, will do wonders for any paper cup you want to produce.

Hiring a designer can take a lot of the headache away to ensure best results, or our design department can offer a lot of support in creating a stunning design. Whatever the quality of the artwork you give us will have a direct impact on the quality of print on the finished item.

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Daniel Munn