June 25, 2018

Things to Think About When Designing Your Bag Artwork


You are ready to take a momentous marketing step and invest in printed bags for your business – great! We love welcoming new clients to the world of custom printed bags.

Before you get ahead of yourself, there are lots of things to think about when designing artwork for your printed bags to ensure you end up with a custom printed bag that both you and your customers love.


Key artwork points to think about:-

Colour consistency throughout your branding and marketing is essential to give your brand an identity, differentiating you from your competitors. Yes, that can sound pretty obvious, but colour matching across different mediums; website, to paper, to cotton bags for example, can be tricky. The easiest way to get consistency is to choose your colours from the Standard Pantone Colour Books.

Pantone colours need to be suitable for the material they are being printed onto. Plastic bags, laminated bags, cotton / canvas bags and tapes require coated pantone colours. When selecting your colours use the C code (Coated). If you have chosen paper bags, none-laminated bags, or tissue paper you will need to select colours that use the U code (Uncoated).

Don’t be too specific when considering a new design for your printed bags. Even if you want to promote a particular campaign, try to keep your design quite neutral while still being true to your brand. This way the bags don’t have to be thrown out once the campaign has ended and can continue to be used to promote your brand.

Adding your website URL and social media details to your design is an advertising opportunity that should be taken advantage of.


Other things to be aware of:-

  • The print area/coverage for the bag style you have chosen and make sure your design fits within this space.
  • Handle position; this is important for flat handled paper bags as the handle can be on the inside or outside of the bag.
  • Consider the folds on laminated bags – will your design go into the folds or not?
  • Check if you can print tints on the style of bags you have been quoted.
  • It is best to provide Pantone references to ensure colour consistency. If you can’t supply the exact colours we will match them as close as we can.


Paper Bags

While when printing onto our paper bag range the key points above are all important, The Printed Bag Shop design team brought a couple of other points to our attention:-

  • Remember if you choose laminated, twisted handle or flat handle paper bags you can also print the gussets.
  • When printing an exterior flat handle paper bag, the artwork must be positioned so that the handles are not glued over the design.
  • Sandwich bags have a glue lip that runs the length of the bottom of the bag which needs to be taken into consideration when printing.
  • Laminated bags can cause lots of issues for designers when it comes to creating the correct artwork for printing. There are many folds and crease lines to consider; our laminated bag cutter guide can help ensure your design prints correctly.


Cotton Bags

Our custom printed cotton bags are one of our best sellers, not surprising given their array of uses, both for businesses and reuse by the customer. The most significant point to remember if this is the bag choice for you is:-

  • Cotton bags cannot be printed to the edge of their print area of 287 x 287mm.
  • If your artwork is very finely detailed it may fill with ink making it appear blurred, less sharp. For designs like this it can give better results when printed as a transfer print.


Printed Mailing Bags

If you use mailing bags in your business here are a few pointers before you get them printed:-

  • Make sure there is adequate space for a shipping label.
  • Have your logo a decent size on the back of the bag with the return address on the lip, so that when the bag is sealed the address shows on the back of the mailing bag.
  • Advice for the front of the bag would be to leave the top right blank for postage and leave a piece in the centre blank for the shipping label. This way your design doesn’t become obscured by labels, spoiling the impact of your branding.
  • It’s a good idea to put your logo and website address on the front of the mailing bag – at the bottom, left or right is a good place for this information.
  • Paper mailing bags are a new addition to our range of printed bags. Here you have to take into consideration two seals when creating the artwork – the bottom seal which folds up on itself and the seal that runs the length of bag from top to bottom.


Plastic Bags

For our range of plastic bags the key points to think about when designing artwork for your printed bags are the general points already mentioned. Also, with punched handle plastic bags the print area needs to allow for around 3” from the top of the bag where the handle is punched out after printing.


Our designers know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to designing the perfect artwork for our printed bag range. If you’re struggling with getting your design right, why not talk to the team?

We’d love to help you create unique custom printed bags to complement your branding and marketing tools.

Call 0191 268 7555 or email today!