Printing Info

Printing Characteristics


Printing Characteristics



The appearance of printed cups will differ from one print method to another. These differences are based on the various capabilities of the printers used. Cup samples from each method can be provided to help determine the best method for your job. For particularly complex art files we recommend doing a pre-production sample.

To view T & C related to artwork preparation and results, please consult our Artwork information page.


Screen Printer

Disposable cup orders with a quantity of less than 5,000 are screen printed. Ink coverage is thick and lines are crisp and well defined. Colours are printed one at a time and registration between colours will vary up-down and left-right. Colours must print 100% solid (no halftones or shading). Please send multi-colour files to customer service for evaluation prior to placing your order.


Off-set Printer

Cup orders with a quantity of 5,000 or more are offset printed. Ink coverage is thin and will not appear as sharp as with a screen print. Up to 5 colours can be printed at the same time. Halftones and shading are possible; however it is up to the art department to determine when halftones must be applied as an additional colour.


Pad Printer

Glassware and sleeve orders are pad printed. Ink coverage is thick and lines are crisp and well defined. Colours are printed one at a time and registration between colours will vary up-down and left-right. Please send multi-colour files to customer service for evaluation prior to placing your order.


Printing Disclaimers

Ink Odor: Paper and plastic products are printed with inks that have some odor. Vapors may be trapped in the plastic packaging during printing, leaving behind a residual odor Some colours of ink have more odor than others and the amount of ink coverage can affect the amount of odor (example: partial wrap imprints). Should this odor be present, it is not considered a defect. Should this odor be a concern, remove the products from the plastic packaging and allow them to air out so that the odor can dissipate.
Ink on Paper Cups: Ink will print opaque on paper cups.
Ink on Plastic Cups: Plastic cups will allow for some light to filter through and therefore, ink may appear lighter.
Close Registration: Printing multi-coloured logos with close registration is available for quantities of 5,000 or more. Artwork must be evaluated by our art department.
Double Walled Cups: Double walled cups will exhibit some texture in the outer layer as pressure is applied to the cup during the printing process. Texture can include creases or dents in the outer layer, as well as the appearance of ridges caused by the underlying glue. Due to the uneven surface of the double walled cup, text or images positioned closer to the top and/or bottom of the cup will not print as sharp as images in the center. This is unavoidable and not considered a defect. Contact customer service should you require further details.
Four Colour Process and Gradients: Four colour process and gradients are available and must be evaluated by our art department. Additional charges may apply.
Thin Lines: Outlines should be 1pt or thicker. Reversed lines require at least 2pt thickness.
Small Text: Artwork fonts should be 8pt or larger. Script and reverse fonts should be 10pt or larger.
Seam Printing: Printing on the seam will occur when printing paper cups at high speeds. To minimize printing on the seam, we recommend printing on one side only. Reprints, discounts or any other compensation will not be provided for printing on the seam. If printing double sided, logos will print closer together to minimize printing on the seam.
One Sided Logos: When printing paper cups, one sided logos are not guaranteed to print opposite of the seam. Logos will move from side to side within the printing area. Every effort will be made to avoid printing on the seam, although when printing at high speeds, it is not always possible.
Vertical Fonts: Vertical fonts may take on the form of trapezoids (wider at the top, narrower at the bottom) as it is printed on the rounded surface of the cup.
Shapes: As your logo prints on the rounded and tapered form of the cup, circles will appear as ovals and squares will appear as trapezoids.
QR Codes / Barcodes: QR codes and barcodes are subject to stretching during the printing process. We recommend sizing these items no larger than 0.75” to minimize stretching. We cannot guarantee that QR codes and barcodes will scan correctly once printed.
Ribbed Translucent Plastic Cups: Due to the uneven printing surface of our ribbed translucent cups, text or images positioned closer to the top and/or bottom of the cup will not print as sharp as images in the center. This is unavoidable and not considered a defect.
Coffee Sleeves: This item is printed while folded flat and are matched to the proof in that manner. Once placed on the cup, the image will take on the shape of the cup and look tapered. This is unavoidable and not considered a defect. Due to the uneven surface of the coffee sleeves, the imprint may show subtle tonal changes. Please note that our coffee sleeves are only guaranteed to fit OUR paper cups. If you or your customer are planning to use our sleeves with cups purchased from somewhere other than Primary Printers, it is recommended to request complimentary samples for sizing purposes.
Full Wrap Imprint: Full wrap imprints are available with a minimum order quantity of 100,000 cups.
Partial Wrap Imprint: Partial wrap imprints may be available depending on the artwork. Please contact customer service for details.

For more info and visual examples of some of the above disclaimer situations, please consult our full Terms and Conditions (PDF).