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Custom Printed Packing Tape Art Specs & Requirements

These guidelines serve as an overview of our post-production tape printing parameters. We have a real, live human review and proof your artwork prior to production. Look out for your final preproduction proof in the next business day after your order is placed.

  • Lead time begins after final preproduction proof approval and custom ink swatch approval, if applicable. Check out our current lead times here.
  • Contact us with questions about our custom printing services and to learn more about advanced tape printing options; including continuous designs, 3-4 color prints, or flood coats.
  • Want to go fully branded with your packaging? Check out all of our custom branded packaging options for more info.

Art Requirements

Vector Files

To ensure a clear, high-quality print, please send us your artwork in vector format with all fonts outlined and all supporting files embedded. PDF, AI, and EPS are our preferred choices, but we also accept SVG.

We require artwork to be in vector format so that we can scale designs to size without losing any detail. Raster images are typically pixelated and these pixels are visible in the final print.

For additional help, check out Vector vs. Raster in our Knowledge Bank.  

Print Coverage

We have a 50% print coverage maximum per 12" of tape design. This means your design may not cover more than 50% of the printing plate. If you are interested in heavy ink coverage or flood coat designs, contact us to learn more about our advanced printing capabilities and pricing.

Please note flood coating is only available on our water-activated tape. To ensure the integrity of your print we will not flood coat the tape a dark color and print a light color on top. If you would like to flood coat any color, we recommend choosing our white water-activated tape to achieve the most vibrant print.

Fonts

Please find our minimum baseline font sizes below. We cannot specify font size for every font.

  • Positive (Sans Serifs): 9 pt. (Helvetica)
  • Positive (Serifs): 10 pt. (Times New Roman)
  • Negative (reversed out): 16 pt. (All fonts)

Sometimes bold lettering increases the risk of test filling in or smudging. To ensure a high-quality print we recommend using a larger font size for any bold text.

Ink may fill in spaces less than 1/16th of an inch (for both fonts and graphics). Any text smaller than our suggested font sizes is subject to filling in and has a high risk of being illegible.

Stroke Weight & More

For any art element, we require at least a 1 point stroke weight and a 2 point reversed out stroke weight as this is a plate manufacturing requirement. Any art element lower than this minimum may cause the plate to break or not print as intended.

  • Side-to-side alignment tolerance: 1/16”
  • Registration Factor: 1/8” plus or minus
  • Ink may fill in spaces less than 1/16th of an inch (for both fonts and graphics)

Templates & Guidelines

Use a template to place and size your artwork exactly to your specifications. Use either your original artwork or your designed template as your art file when placing your order. All artwork must remain in the art boundary box.

Repeats & Plate Breaks:

  • Artwork should be set up for a 12" repeating pattern or must be adjustable to achieve this repeating pattern. Our standard procedure is to make minor adjustments during proofing to achieve an existing cylinder repeat. The adjustments may include minor changes to logo size, spacing and design rotation.
  • A gap of at least 1/4" should be present between repeating designs within the 12" pattern. This break in the design is a plate manufacturing requirement.
  • A margin of at least 1/16" should be present on the top and bottom of the design.

Ink & Color

Water-Activated Tape

Kraft Flatback & Cello Tape

Our tape is printed with flexographic printing with HydroSoy ink. Each color requires it's own $200 printing plate.

Choose from a variety of stock ink colors or a custom color! Custom PMS matching is available at $130.00/color and is purchased for each order. Contact us to get started on your custom ink and ink swatch order.

Flood coating is available for white water-activated tape for an additional $17.00/case. Contact us to get started on your flood coat order.

To see an accurate representation of a PMS color, we can send you a complimentary physical sample of our stock ink colors or we can create swatches of your custom color on our tape material - contact us to get started.

PDF previews may render differently in browser previews and phones. Proof colors will vary from monitor to monitor and are only used as reference. Printing the proof with a digital printer will not give you an accurate representation of color because the conversion from PMS to CMYK is not perfect.


If you are new to tape printing or have more questions, don’t worry! Just contact us. We would be happy to review your design with you and share our experience and thoughts on how to make sure you turn your into a great print for your customers. And we will then work closely with you during the entire process - from art proof to the delivery of tape to your door.