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10 Best Art Work Tips For Custom Printed Stand Up Pouches

Stand up pouches have taken the packaging industry by storm. Manufacturers of products love them for the many new merchandising opportunities they offer, because they can either stand on a shelf or hang on a peg in a display. In addition, because standup pouches are typically made of plastic or plastic/aluminum laminates, they can be printed with any number of colors, designs, or logos. This makes them stand out even more at retail.

All that said, the "custom" part in "custom printed" can confuse customers, marketers, and even packaging experts. And nothing is worse than receiving a final product that looks nothing like what you thought you had ordered. If you're not a graphics expert, then use the following checklist when ordering custom printed stand up pouches to make sure that what you ordered is really what you want. 

1. There are two types of printing methods used for stand up pouches. The first is rotogravure printing, which functions like a traditional rotary printing press, with the image to be printed first being engraved onto a copper cylinder, then pressed onto the object. The press has one printing unit for each color, typically a blend of CMYK colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and key, which is printing terminology for black).

The second printing method is flexographic printing, where the stand up pouch is fed into a printing press from a roll. Then it is pulled through a series of print units, each printing a single CMYK color.

Each type of printing method has its own advantages, but rotogravure printing tends to produce a better image at a higher resolution (but is also more expensive). In recent years, technological advancements have helped flexographic printers produce pieces that are similar in quality to rotogravure pieces, at cheaper prices. Check with your supplier to see what they recommend for your particular printed stand up pouch.

2. Make sure you always submit multiple copies of your artwork for stand up pouches. A general rule of thumb is two hard color copies, one hard black-and-white copy and one digital copy, typically stored on a compact disk. Many companies will accept graphics files via e-mail, but because they tend to be extremely large, a CD is typically recommended. If your artwork is under 60MB, most e-mail systems should be able to handle it.

3. Along with copies of your artwork, make sure you submit a copy of your true color standards (PMS numbers or color samples), so the colors of your artwork can be matched identically.

4. Your stand up pouch artwork should be in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop file format. Most suppliers will also accept Macromedia Freehand or CorelDraw, although Adobe is the industry standard. Most printers prefer you store three versions of your artwork on the CD you provide them: two EPS copies (one converted into outline, one unconverted) and one PDF version.

5. Create outlines around all of the text in your printed stand up pouch design. Outlines turn text into small graphic designs, which means your fonts will not be distorted in the translation process. As a safety precaution, make sure you supply your printer with the fonts you used in your artwork. If they need to make changes, you'll want the fonts to match your design.

6. The resolution of any photographic images you use must not be less than 350 dpi. Lower resolution may result in your image looking pixilated and distorted, which can compromise your professional image.

7. Your printer should also have copies of the individual images you used in your design. Be sure to include these on the CD you submit.

8. Never flatten stand up pouch image layers. All layers of an image or design should remain separate, in case the printer needs to access one for revision or adjustment. Again, you should provide your printer with all the images you used, in their original layered form.

9. Don't forget to provide the UPC number to your supplier.  Most suppliers can convert these numbers to an actual bar code and place them onto your artwork.

10. Ask for a "print proof" of your stand up pouch artwork to sign off on from your supplier that includes all the PMS colors and information you've provided for your printed stand up pouches.

In closing, few packaging products can compete with printed stand up pouches when the artwork and the film structure come together perfectly. Consumers will remember your product and retailers will gladly showcase them. This checklist will help you communicate with your supplier and consistently make your stand up pouch packaging pop on the store shelves.

Topics: Help Center

David Marinac

Written by David Marinac

What LEGO’s Sustainable Packaging Teaches Us About Overseas Innovation

Since 1949, children across the globe have fawned over tiny, plastic, interlocking bricks.

LEGOs are a not only a classic toy but a staple in many households. Many kids beg their parents to take them to the majestic LEGOLAND, an amusement park where all their wishes and dreams could come true.

Why Nestlé, Unilever & PepsiCo are Banning Oxo-degradable Plastic Packaging

Originally marketed as an eco-friendly packaging material, new evidence regarding the potentially negative impact of oxo-degradable plastics has led a number of companies and governments to restrict their use.

More than 150 companies and global organizations, including Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo, have recently endorsed a total ban on the material in light of its potentially negative environmental impact.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which includes select plastic pouch bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution because it claims to degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead, fragment into tiny shards of plastic that actually contribute to plastic pollution.

Often, consumers think that because a material is biodegradable, it can be composted or even littered on the ground, because, it is thought, the material will break down into nothing over time. This actually ends up leading to an increase in pollution, since consumers don’t end up recycling or repurposing the material, and misconceptions about how the plastic will degrade leads them to end up putting it back into landfills.

What is important to note in this case is that although oxo-degradable plastics are biodegradable, being biodegradable does not necessarily mean that a material is eco-friendly. Although these plastics do break down over time, the tiny pieces they break down into are still plastics that contribute to pollution — they do not degrade into nothing or into another usable substance.

For companies looking to make the switch to sustainable packaging, it is important to consider that sustainable packaging does not necessarily mean biodegradable packaging, and vice versa.

Why New FDA Guidelines Could Bring Big Changes to Pet Food Packaging

Today’s consumers are demanding transparency and accountability from all types of products, and pet food is no exception.

Greater scrutiny over pet food ingredients, and an increasing demand for responsibility, sustainability and complete transparency from pet food manufacturers is driving change within the industry. As the consumer demand for “clean” pet food labeling evolves as a major topic within the world of pet packaging, FDA guidelines are shifting.

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