Preparing Your Artwork For Print

There are many misconceptions that what you see on your screen will print as you expect.

1. Use a professional designer

To make the best out of the end results, call our design studio 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.

2. 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 design studio to manipulate image vector files, and encapsulated fonts will be of huge help. Contact our design team on 01200 449906 ordesign@thepapercupcompany.co.uk for further advice on artwork file formats.

3. DPI or PPI

Many people are often misled with the term DPI to relate 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.

4. Resolution

This is one of the biggest problems. Your image may look fine on screen, but the resolution of the image may not be. 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 memory size is below 250k then this may not be sufficient for printing on paper cups; 251-1Mb then the file may be suitable for printed paper cups; over 1Mb then there may be a good chance it will print out on a paper cup.

5. Colour mode

All images are captured using RGB (red green and blue) but our printers useCYMK (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black (K)) 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.

6. 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 color value is C40, M30, Y30, K100 This will ensure a nice deep black and maintain reversed out white lines.

7. 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, there is also a further area that will not be visible (the visible area) when the cup is formed, this will be under the rim.

8. Movement

It will pay when creating a design to take into consideration that design can move by +/-3mm vertically and horizontally, they way to design around this, is not to put anything critical near the edges, so run bleed off the edge, but put text / images 6 mm from edge. This movement can also affect registration across the seam, so bands that are designed to go right round cup, can be misaligned in production.

9. Calibrate your screens

You should never assume the colors you see on your screen will replicate accurately when it is printed. If you are after particular color, quote a pantone reference and if mission critical discuss with our design studio who can advise of way of getting a better color match.

10. 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.