About printing processes

2.1 How many colours can I print on my bags?

The world is your oyster, we can replicate almost anything. However, the restrictions are mainly dependant on the quantity of bags that you would like to order. If you view the minimum quantities table that will help you get a feel for what is available.

Most of the bags that we supply are printed using flexographic printing presses, and so for full colour we use process printing. We can also supply digitally printed labels and stickers if you only require a small number of printed bags.

2.2 Is it possible to print white onto a coloured bag?

White is not a colour that can be ‘printed’ on paper or plastic as such without a certain amount of expertise. Often you would have to print the white twice, and as such would count as a second or third colour. If we start with a white material or base paper or film, we can often print the bag colour in 100% and “reverse out” the white. Our team will be able to advise you the best way to reproduce your design.

On items that are screen printed, such as cotton and jute bags, it is simpler to print white ink and depending on your artwork we can arrange this for you.

2.3 What is the print area that I can use on a bag?

For short runs on printed bags, there are certain restrictions that do apply. Our bespoke consultants will be able to guide you as to the best way to maximise the print area on the bags and our design team can also advise you about artwork.

2.4 What are printing plates or origination costs for?

All printing requires origination or printing plates in order to print the bags. The type of plates that are required are generally dependant on the type of bags. A brief guide is below:

Flexographic printing: e.g. plastic and paper (twist and flat handles)
With “flexo” printing you require printing plates that are also commonly referred to as “blocks” or “stereos”. The plates are made from a rubber material and usually last for 5-6 repeat prints. Once you’ve ordered them on your first order, the plates remain yours although are best kept with the printers.

Lithographic printing: e.g. laminated bags
Lithographic plates are usually included in the price of the printing as they proportionally make up less of the printing cost. As a result they are not relevant on this.

Screen printing: e.g. cotton bags and jute bags
Cotton and jute bags are screen printed and require origination. The screens do have a cost but this is built into the price of the bags. For environmental reasons the screens are recycled and as such you do not own them, the cost is built into the price. With any price you receive from us, you do not have to worry about any additional costs creeping up.

2.5 What is a pantone colour and why do I need one?

Pantone is a series of colour charts that allow a way of making sure that artwork is reproduced as it was intended. The guide provides an accurate method for teh selection, communication and reproduction of colours in printing.

If you are using a standard selection of colours, then it is essential that you identify the pantone colours that are relevant to your logo. We can guide you with this, or your graphic design or artwork team will be able to help you.

The Pantone chart does vary depending on which material you are printing on, for example pantones on plastic and paper vary slightly. Your bespoke packaging consultant will be able to advise you on how to ensure you get the best print reproduction.