How do I design for products printed on Plastic?

When you design plastic cards you must keep in mind that clear plastic cards and the frosted ones are transparent. Also, plastic cards with round corners do not have any extra charge!

The difference in the transparency can be seen above. The clear cards (on right) are transparent. The frosted cards (in center) are semi-transparent and it is difficult to see through them. The opaque white plastic cards (on left) are not transparent and solid white. Remember this while designing your plastic cards as it will affect the design that you print.

  • Printing on Frosted and Clear Plastic Cards will come out lighter than normal as compared to other stocks. This is because of the plastic itself not a production issue.
  • When you are setting up a rich black value, make sure to use C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100 values. Never use all 100 as it causes problems and will not print dark on plastic.

It is important to remember than clear and frosted plastic card are transparent as there is not white ink in CMYK. The three designs shown above are the similar to the first picture. Notice that the white area in the clear cards (right) and the frosted cards (center) has zero ink and shows the transparent material it has been printed on. So, the clear and frosted cards white area show up with no ink on the printed piece. Also, remember that all colors printed on clear or frosted cards will be transparent as well.

For the clear plastic cards, there may be a small amount that might have light scratches. This issue comes from the manufacturer and is because of the material and handling. To help reimburse for this, we run overs of the clear plastic cards deliver the required quantity.

Clear plastic cards come with thin protective layer on one side that can easily be peeled off. This is to avoid the cards from scratching while packaging and shipping.


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