Below are some key tips for designing the coffee cup wrap for your cup order. We offer a design service, although we find that many of our customers like to have their own graphic designer produce the layout for their custom printed paper cups.
While some customers like to be creative and design their own cup wrap. If we are designing your cup wrap please supply us with a high resolution PDF of your logo, and any other details you may want on your cup wrap.
The templates are available to download at the bottom of this page.
Software for Cup Wrap Designs
- Illustrator is the way to go. The best software to prepare cup wrap design is Adobe Illustrator (AI).
- It gives the biggest flexibility for adjusting the design to the cup wrap template.
- You can also work with Photoshop and Indesign.
Follow the Grid – Arching of design
- Use our gridlines to adjust elements using warping effect in Illustrator to make elements appear straight on the cup.
- Ideally elements need to be arched so envelope distortion matches horizontal and vertical lines of the grid.
- The text must feature the same curvature as the provided grid pattern to ensure that the printing results appear optically correct and linear.
- This approach is also used when positioning images.
- In this case, we also recommend creating a new image layer and adjusting the edges of the image to fit the pattern.
- There are some exceptions like vertical text or circular elements, where warping might affect general proportions of the elements
- A paper coffee cup is a 3D object, which can be very challenging when you want to depict shapes like circles or squares.
- A cup is tapered towards the bottom making the actual design template appear curved.
- Generally, the bigger the shape the more awkward it will appear on the cup.
- Do not make circles or squares wider than 80% of the base diameter.
Seamless Designs on Cup Wraps
- Please be aware any bands and patterns running around the cup wrap may not join correctly at the seam due to movement when the cup is wrapped.
- Please allow for +/- 1mm movement up and down.
Bleed it out
- One of the common mistakes is forgetting about bleed.
- Bleed is an extra print area added beyond the cutting line giving that extra safety when the wraps are die cut.
- Without bleed we can get white lines visible at the edges of the seam- something nobody wants to see when the cup is supposed to be a solid colour all around.
- 10mm clearance of all text and logo on the bottom and 10mm clearance on the other 3 sides, top, left and right hand sides from the actual keyline as opposed to measuring from the bleed keyline
Paper Cup Wrap Printing Colour Model
- Work in the CMYK workspace. Avoid RGB or spot colours when not needed.
- Our main printing process used for printing cups is high resolution full colour process CMYK.
- This process is great for accurate representation of photos and graphics.
- If you have specific Pantone references for your brand, no problem. We convert all Pantone references to the CMYK version of this reference using up-to-date Pantone Colour Bridges Books.
- For the most part this is very accurate. But there are some colours to watch out for.
- The colours with the most discrepancies to be aware of are bright oranges – such as PMS 021. Pastel and Neon colour palettes are a couple more examples.
Vector vs. Raster Graphics for Cup Wrap Designs
- Rasterized logos are a common issue we encounter.
- We recommend vector as it gives more flexibility in colour corrections. Plus print quality is generally better. Vector files – Adobe Illustrator (AI), EPS and the right types of PDF can be more easily manipulated, resized and colour corrected while maintaining higher resolution for a better quality appearance in print. If a designer created your brand and logo, you should ask for vector master files so you can produce a wide range of versions for a range of use for signage, advertising and of course branded paper cups!
Black Needs to be Black
- Black mixes using all 4 Process Colours are not recommended as they might print as dark brown due to high ink coverage.
- To print black we advise using K100% only, additionally to achieve deep black Cyan boost between 20-40% can be used.
Small Text Sizes and Tiny Elements
- Text 6pt and below might not be legible.
- Please take care with small imprints and symbols like: © ® and ™.
- If it’s not readable when you print it on your printer, it won’t be on the cup.
- Line thicknesses below 0.5pt might differ from screen appearance, especially on matt finish cups with dark backgrounds and bright graphic elements.
- This is due to uncoated paper which ‘soaks’ in some of the ink.