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Graphic Overlay Printing Design Requirements for the Screen Printing Process

Graphic overlay printing is a powerful way to create attractive, long-lasting images for a variety of items. When done correctly, the process produces durable printed elements that can stand up to years of use and exposure to environmental elements. Learn the key design requirements and essential tips you'll need to know when engaging in this type of screen printing process.

Make Sure Graphic Design Is Optimized For The Material Type Being Printed

When designing for graphic overlay printing, it is important to take into consideration the material being printed on. Different materials require different methods of screening; as such, they will influence the design elements used in order to ensure successful print production. Make sure that any fonts, line widths and detailed shapes are optimized for the chosen material type – or else you may end up with poor or unreliable results.

Design Artwork That Can Be Accurately Reprinted On Different Devices And Substrates With No Color Variation

To ensure that the graphic overlays prints correctly, designers must create artwork that can be accurately reprinted on different printing devices and substrates with no color variation. Consideration should also be given to the size of the graphic overlay and its contours, as any areas within the design which are too small or complex may hinder print production. Finally, some overprinting techniques require special attention to bleed area sizes, trapping areas and color transitions. Make sure they are set up properly in order to guarantee accurate results every time.

Use Vector Graphics Where Possible To Allow Accurate Resizing Of The Artwork Without Degrading Details And Resolution

Vector graphics is essential to produce an excellent quality graphic overlay. Photoshop, Illustrator, and CorelDRAW are all popular vector graphic programs used in graphic overlay printing. Vector graphics pieces have the advantage of allowing artwork to be accurately adjusted or resized without losing any details or resolution. Any texts included should also be saved as vector graphics as raster text tends to lose clarity when stretched or rotated. When creating artworks for large numbers of product variations, vector files are highly recommended for most efficient printing production results.

Ensure All Text Is Legible At Small Size - Preferably 5-6pt Font Size, However This May Depend On The Final Use Of The Graphic Overlay Printing Product

When deciding which font to use for your graphic overlay printing, ensure the type applies to the product or brand. Legibility is key, thus selecting a font that has a thickness or height difference between each character will help distinguish word elements while producing an aesthetically pleasing result. It’s also important to consider the overall size of fonts on the product as text can become illegible if too small or difficult to read at a shorter viewing distance. To meet both visual and legibility requirements, select a minimum font size of 5-6 pt with appropriate line spacing.

Vectorize small unique details or logos, as bitmaps will pixelate when resized or distorted

When scaling symbols, logos or smaller details within your graphic overlays, always vectorize them as bitmaps can lose clarity and become unrecognizable when they’re resized or distorted. Vectorizing logos or art refer to the process of converting bitmap images into vector graphics. Vector files, such as EPS and PDF, are composed of paths with defined line widths in which a vector based format will losslessly scale while maintaining its original resolution independent of size, whereas bitmaps use pixels to store image information.


When you are ready for a graphic overlay printing estimate contact IP Tech today.


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