Art Specifications

For the best printing output, please ensure that your art meets the specifications below. All submitted files will be inspected by our art department, and we will let you know if there are any problems. If you need any help with art, let us know and we will work with you to create or alter your design.


We are able to print a total of up to 6 colors.  If you are able, please supply Pantone Matching System (PMS) color numbers. Pantone colors are specified as coated (C) and uncoated (U), and colors with the same numbers may look different both onscreen and when printed. We print exclusively with Coated (glossy) inks, so please specify PMS C colors. Color matches are free of charge, but cannot be guaranteed, and are subject to slight variances. We strongly recommend consulting a PMS color book to verify color matches. 


A minimum margin of 1” on all edges works best for most bags. Actual print area varies by bag style. Information about determining the print area for your bags is located here.


Plastic film shifts up to 1/8" during printing and can cause registration issues. On multi-color jobs, white space should be left between colors if possible. If colors must overlap, trapping should extend by at least 4pt.  When setting trapping, be aware of the print order: lighter colors print first, followed by darker colors, and black will always print on top. If unsure of the order that colors will print on your job, please contact us.


If art doesn’t meet requirements for printing, we will let you know so it can be adjusted. If you prefer, we can provide a quote for adjusting art.  Art created or adjusted by our art department is billed at $50/hour.

Please proof your design to make sure all necessary text is included, and check for typos. Art charges may apply if additional text needs to be added to your art.

All art costs must be approved before any work can begin. 


All art should be submitted electronically, either through email, or by providing us a link to download the art. Contact us for information about where to send art. 


  • Vector Format Only - If art is not in vector format, we may be able to convert it. For info about image formats, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page
  • Preferred file format: PDF or EPS. 
  • Acceptable file formats: EPS, AI (CS5 or eariler), and CDR (X7 or earlier). If sending art in these formats, please provide a PDF proof.
  • All text must be converted to outlines (curves).
  • Minimum like thickness is 1pt, converted to outlines. Thinner lines do not print well and can buckle
  • Minimum Text Size:  Small fonts may not print well. Fonts vary in thickness, height and width, but at a general rule, text smaller than 8 or 9 pt may print poorly. 
  • Halftones and gradients are printed at 35-lpi, and should be limited to larger areas for best results. 
  • Convert all outlines to objects - if objects have outlined edges assigned, they should be converted into objects instead of lines. This is because features of the outline - corners, dotted lines, thickness, etc - can shift. Thick outlines can also cause incorrect measurement of the art. Converting to a filled object will alleviate those issues.
  • Files should be unsecured and editable. Our artists need to be able to open and make adjustments to art files. 


Art submitted in the formats below generally require adjustments. All work on these file types will be billed at our standard hourly rate.

  • TIFF, JPG, PSD, PNG or other bitmap files must be converted to vector files prior to printing.
  • Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, or other word processing documents must be adjusted prior to printing. Layouts created in these programs can shift from computer to computer, a PDF or printed copy of the art is required.
  • InDesign or QuarkXPress files can not be used.
  • Art charges apply if art needs to be converted.


Fonts that are not converted to outlines may not display or print correctly. If unable to convert fonts ot outlines, please provide a PDF or print of the file, and/or the font files (PC format) or the font names. Fonts will be matched as closely as possible, but exact matches cannot be guaranteed. Font matching will incur additional art charges billed at our standard hourly rate. If fonts can not be identified, or if fonts need to be purchased in order to complete your art, additional charges (including the cost of any fonts purchased) will apply.  NOTE: when text is converted to outlines it can no longer be easily edited. PLEASE proof all text before sending your file. 


Printed art may be acceptable if electronic art is not available, but additional art charges will apply. Send original laser print, at 100% size, printed at a minimum of 300dpi. All halftones will be printed with a 35-lpi screen. 

American Plastic Mfg., Inc. |  526 South Monroe St, Seattle, WA 98108

(888) 763-1055  |  (206) 763-1055  |  FAX (206) 763-3946

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