Machine Made Custom Shopping Bag Artwork Guidelines

Tail print -vs- Preprint

Please read these guidelines to determine if art can be tail printed or preprinted

Tail print Guidelines

Tail End Printing (printing done in-line on bag converting machine) is the most cost effective way of printing shopping bags. While there are exceptions, the following types of print may be tail printed:

  • 1 to 4 colors on uncoated Kraft, White and Oatmeal with minimal ink coverage
  • No tight traps or registration. TRAPS= 6.6 pt. outline with colors trapping halfway under outline or a 3.3 pt. overlap of colors when outlines do not exist.
  • 65 Line screen or less at 40% dot size or less, no vignettes
  • Minimum:
    positive line weight 1.5 pt.
    reverse type 12 pt.
    (reverse type cannot have fine serifs)
    8 pt. pos. 12 pt. reverse
    Stay away border between color= 3.3 pt.
    (mortise of non-print area around letters and objects)

Preprint Guidelines

Although "tail printing" is an effective and cost efficient method for limited printing demands more sophisticated artwork requires preprinting (printing done independently off the bag manufacturing machine). This method is used to print high quality fine line-work, including very fine detail, process, halftones, duotones etc.
The following types of print must be preprinted:

  • Clay coated (paper) bags with varnish.
  • Any designs with fine screens (4 color process, halftones and duotones).
  • Jobs requiring tight registration, fine detail.
  • Designs that will be laminated, embossed, rotary hot stamped, or UV varnished.
  • Uncoated paper stock with 3 or more colors above 60% ink coverage that require varnish for ink rub protection.
  • Minimum:
    positive line weight 1 pt.
    reverse rule 2 pt.
    positive type 6 pt.
    reverse type 10 pt.
    reverse type cannot have fine serifs
    6 pt. pos. 10 pt. reverse
  • Trap requirements = 3.3 pt. stroke (.046") colors must trap halfway under outlines. (.023 to each side)
  • Stay away border between colors= 1.65 pt. (mortise of non-print area around letters and objects.)

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