How Packaging Gets Printed

Learn about how a logo gets printed on packaging.

What is Post Printing?

Post Printing Explained

Post Printing on Packaging

When you print your logo on a box, bag, or another item that is already made, this is called a "Post-Print," which means printing after the item is already produced. Packaging is made in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and finishes and, therefore, printing options greatly depend on the type of packaging you choose.


  • Post Printing allows companies to get their logo printed on bags, boxes, or other items in smaller quantities, usually a minimum of two cases.

  • It is mostly a manual labor process where a person inserts each bag or box into the machine to print each logo.

  • There are several types of post printing options ranging in price including Foil Hot Stamping, Flexo Ink Printing, Screen Ink Printing, and Digital Ink Printing.

  • Our most common types are Foil Hot Stamping and Flexo Ink Printing, use plates to stamp your logo onto the packaging. This process allows for one or two colors to be printed with most manufacturers. Each color requires a separate plate, which is also printed separately.

  • Screen Printing is also an Ink printing method that provides a better quality print than a Flexo Ink, and can be used on Canvas, Non-Woven Totes, and some paper boxes and bags.

  • Digital Printing is also available with some manufacturers and allows for full color or image prints on the packaging. It is the most expensive option which usually starts at $3.50 per piece printed.

  • Some manufacturers charge per piece printed, and some charge a minimum per "lot" printed. A "lot" is a minimum quantity that is ideal for a manufacturer to produce a custom printed item. Per "lot" charges mean there is a minimum charge even if you print less than the "lot" quantity. An example would be that the print charge is $150.00 for Up to 1,000 Bags Printed. 1,000 Bags is the "Lot" quantity. You can get 1,000 bags printed for $150.00, however if you only order 500 bags, the minimum print charge is still $150.00. Printing the maximum quantity per lot is the best way to keep the price per piece at the lowest amount for your budget.

Print Area: Where You Can Print Your Logo

Where you can get your logo printed.
  • When getting your logo post printed on any item, there is typically a defined “print area” where your logo can be positioned.

  • The print area is different for every type of product depending on the way the item is made, where it's folds and creases are, and the machine used for printing the product.

  • The best way to understand where the print area can be positioned is to find the area where there is a solid flat surface when the box or bag is folded flat.

  • Some bags can be printed when they are open by placing a block in the bag so that the folds in the bag do not interfere with printing. Availability depends on the machines available with the particular manufacturer.

  • At the time you place an order and submit your artwork, a PDF proof will then be sent to you, that is required for approval, which will show the placement and print area that your logo or artwork will be printed.

How To Measure Your Logo In the Print Area

How to Measure Your Logo In the Print Area
  • The size of your Logo within the print area is the Length x Width. It will be the size that your printing plate will be made.

  • The example in the picture shows a logo that is resized to fit within the print area on the bag. The logo does not have to be as large as the print area. In the example, Emerald Jeweler's logo will be sized to 4 inches in length and 3 inches width. By multiplying the measurements together, you get the print area of your logo which is also the plate size needed.

  • Some customers choose to get plates made in the smallest size of bag or box they are purchasing and use them for all larger size items that they get printed to save on plate charges. Therefore, their logo is the same size on all packaging items they get printed, because they used the same size plate.

Printing Plates

Printing Plates Defined


  • Printing plates are used for both Flexo Ink Printing and Foil Hot Stamp Printing.

  • Rubber plates are used for ink prints, and metal plates are used for foil prints.

  • Plates are inserted into the machine and then presses the ink or foil down onto the packaging in the image of your artwork.

  • Usually, if there are any setup fees, it is referring to the process of preparing the machine with the plate and the sizing of the area for the bag or box this is being inserted.

  • A plate is required for each color needed and is printed at separate times.

  • A plate is also needed for each size of logo you need. For example, if you want your logo printed on a small jewelry box and a large shopping bag, you will need to get two plates. One small plate for the jewelry boxes, and a larger plate for a larger logo on the shopping bags.

Types of Logo Printing

Go to Types of Logo Printing

There are four primary types of printing, Flexo Ink Printing, Foil Hot Stamping, Screen Printing with Ink, and Digital Printing with Ink. Click Here to Learn More


Preparing Your Artwork

Preparing Your Artwork

Artwork must be submitted in the correct form for printing. Click Here to learn what is needed to prepare your artwork for printing on packaging.


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