Shrink Sleeve Labels

In 2009, Zion Packaging opened its doors in sunny San Clemente, CA. Through passion and persistence we were able to dig a foot hold in the local co-packaging scene. We were blessed to have people on our side that believed in us enough to recommend us to their customers. We have continued to invest in ourselves and grow. Since then we have accumulated hundreds of customers spanning North and South America. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you!

capabilities

you got options

Colors

Up to 10 rich colors with bright and beautiful messaging

Speciality Ink

Fluorescent and thermo chromatic inks can add a special flair.

360° print

You can treat the entire bottle as a label area.

Matte finish

We can change the appearance of the sleeve to be glossy or dull.

Tactile or scratch off

We can change the texture of the sleeve.

Tamper evidence

By extending the sleeve over the cap, you can provide additional security for your customers.

Metallic Inks

We offer bright metallic and pearlescent finishes.

Shelf Appeal

Shrink sleeves make your product stand out.

Fnishing

Sleeve can come on a roll, pre-cut, and perforated if need be.

Every customer has their own special requirements and we try to use the tool that matches the job. Gravure printing is our preferred method as it gives us the highest quality, the most design options and the best printing.

the process

how it's made

shrink-sleeve-design

Design

First things first, we discuss which facility is packaging for you and what container your product is going into. We then prepare a printing template based on your chosen bottle, your finished product expectations, and the capabilities of the desired shrink film substrate. Using this template, your design group prepares your artwork in accordance with the printing template and then submits it to Zion Packaging for conversion. Zion performs prepress and applies any need distortion to the artwork. We then provide you with a high-quality final proof for approval. It is then up to you to either return any changes to our design department for implementation or you authorize production and send a PO.

Cylinder Engraving

After you have approved the artwork, we release for cylinder creation. For gravure printing, our cylinder maker will take metal cores and affix a copper layer to it. They will then laser engrave or acid etch the cylinder as required by the artwork. For flexographic printing, this is instead done with an emulsion and exposed with light until it raises up off the cylinder core. For digital printing, this step is skipped altogether.

shrink-sleeve-cylinder-engraving
gravure-shrink-sleeve-printing

Printing

After the printing cylinders are created, they are transferred to the printing presses and printing begins. For gravure printing, the presses can run at speeds of around 125000 pieces per hour, flexographic is a bit slower and the speed of digital printing is reminiscent of a dialup connection.

Slitting & Seaming

When shrink sleeves are printed, they repeat across the film. We try to fit as many copies as we can into the width of the film. So, once printing completes the printed rolls are transferred to a slitting machine which cut the big role into single item rolls. After that completes, the edges of the sleeves are folded over and the edges are glued together.

shrink-sleeve-slitting
shrink-sleeve-packaging

Shipping and Storage

Once everything gets boxed up, your sleeves will then go on a truck, a train, a boat or plane. We offer free storage for the effective life of the sleeves at our Corona facility in a temperature controlled area. Alternatively, we can ship to your facility or directly to your contract packager.

design guidelines

the rules

Supplying Artwork

  • Early in the discovery process, Zion Packaging will provide each customer with a die line (template) specifically suited to the desired sleeve attributes and bottle size for the project. This die line will define areas of the sleeve in order to aid the customer in sleeve design. Zion die lines will be supplied in .pdf format.
  • Our pre-press department runs on Macintosh. Artwork should be supplied in its native format (Illustrator, Photoshop), along with all supporting graphics and fonts. RGB images must be converted to CMYK, as there will be unanticipated color shifts during translation.
  • Please provide files uncompressed. Color separation is essential to the gravure printing process. Please provide raster files in layers to allow for necessary printing adjustments. Any modifications Zion makes are exclusively to allow for a better printing result.
  • In the event we feel there are components of your artwork that may pose inferior printing results, we will indicate such areas and provide a recommended solution.

Supplying Images

  • Images must be correctly sized and properly oriented to the sleeve.
  • Images should be printed at a minimum of 175 lines per inch. ZionPackaging is capable of printing 250 lines per inch. TIFF or EPS files at 300 dpi minimum resolutions are preferred formats for images.
  • 3%-5% minimum printing dot. When fading a gradient with gravure printing, feel free to fade to 0%. (Gravure excels in drop shadows, fine gradients, blends and vignettes)
  • If a gradient consists of more than one color (i.e process), please ensure all colors terminate at the same location.

Type Size and Font Requirements

  • The minimum type size for good legibility is 6 point. Type face with small serifs or thin strokes should be avoided. Our font size specifications are based on experience and knowing what prints well and what does not.
  • Metallic Inks are more to “fill-in”, and a slightly larger font should be considered.
  • Key-lines may be required for “knockout” type. This decision will be made depending on various factors, including the color composition of the surrounding background. This single color will enhance printing and provide superior results.
  • Any choice to utilize type smaller than 6 point is the sole responsibility of the client.
  • All text must be supplied in Illustrator. Text supplied in Photoshop is unacceptable as it has already been converted to an image inside the program. Finally, Photoshop text will appear blurry when printed. In the event you do not have access to Illustrator, or your artwork is only available as a Photoshop file, Zion will rebuild the file in Illustrator. Please note pre-press hourly rates will apply.

Converting Copy to Outlines

  • Ultimately Zion Packaging will convert all text to outlines, whether or not a client supplies the artwork with text converted to outlines. A client has two options:
    • Supply artwork with text converted to outlines. No (limited) editing will be possible by Zion.
    • Supply artwork INCLUDING all utilized fonts. In the event minor text revisions are required, Zion can easily make these changes without trouble.

 

Die lines and Copy Placement

  • Please ensure all copy is placed within the “Text Zone” as indicated on the Zion Packaging supplied die line.

Setting Barcodes

  • Customer must supply UPC code numbers.
  • If necessary, we have the tools to generate a barcode for your product. Simply supply us with the first 11 digits of the code. Zion will scan the barcode and ensure its readability.
  • UPC codes should be positioned on design to run in machine direction (vertically). This will ensure limited distortion during the shrinking process.
  • Please design the barcode with high contrast in mind. Black on white provides the best combination for success.
  • Should you supply the barcode, please set the bar width reduction (BWR) at .001*(Gravure)
  •  

Trap

  • Artwork should be submitted un-trapped.
  • The standard for traps is 0.2mm. On occasion, a smaller trap is used if we feel it necessary and prudent to provide the best printing results.

Distortion

  • Often the contour of a bottle and corresponding nature of sleeve shrinkage will affect the overall appearance of a project.
  • Zion will offer suggestions if distortion-correction is necessary for your project.
  • Zion utilizes computer modeling in order to compensate for predicted shrink rate differences in order to achieve a desired result. Please ask for details.

Running Combos and/or Common Plates

  • Often a client will offer a family of products that may employ similar features or elements. There are design considerations that may allow the use of common plates/cylinders in several products, offering significant savings.
  • Similarly, clients many times offer a product in several countries, with requirements for different languages. In these cases, it tends to be incredibly practical to design with black or dark text. It is common to be able to utilize overprint techniques, where *only* the primary text cylinders is unique, and all other cylinders are commonly used. Please ask Zion how to achieve this goal.

PDF, Epson Print Proofs and On-Press First Articles

  • During the art submittal process, there typically are a few points at which Zion’s graphics department will provide PDF files to electronically proof. This process enables a client to find errors early and correct before final traps and adjustments are made to artwork.
  • Upon approval of electronic PDF, Zion will create an Epson print proof for the client to review before the project is released to plate/cylinder creation.
  • While Epson proofs are fairly color accurate, there are often slight variations in color when comparing a proof to the final product.
  • A color proof of finished art must be signed and dated and returned to Zion prior to manufacturing.
  • In the event a client must have 100% certainty of the final product, Zion offers on-press first articles. An additional fee applies for this service. Contact Zion for details.
  • Customers are responsible for any misspellings or errors in the artwork they supply Zion Pack.

Changes to Artwork

  • If changes to artwork are required outside the scope of the original quotation, jobs will be assessed and invoiced on an individual basis.

questions and

answers

How many colors can Packaging support?

Up to 10 colors.

What is your DPI printing capability?

Typical DPI is 175-220, with capability up to 250.

How long does a cylinder last?

All Zion Packaging cylinders are guaranteed for life. In the event a cylinder is needed beyond its useful life, Zion will replace the cylinder at no cost.

How much are shipping and import costs?

All import and shipping costs, if any, are included in the quoted price.

What kind of charges can I expect?

Design work, computer file preparation, proofs and film are quoted and billed separately, depending on customer requirements.

For gravure printing, cylinder engraving typically costs $350-475 per cylinder (color), depending on the size of the cylinder.

For flexographic printing, cylinder engraving typically costs $100-$150 per cylinder (color), depending on the size of the cylinder.

For digital printing, expect an artwork preparation charge of $100.

How do I submit a request for quotation to Zion Packaging?

All requests should be sent via our contact form or call us at 949-361-8828. We will respond to your inquiry within 1 business day. Please include the following information on any correspondence:

  • Project Name
  • Film type desired (if known)
  • Bottle Specifications
  • # of colors (including clear)
  • Annual forecast quantity (number of sleeves)
  • Initial order quantity (number of sleeves)
  • Date required

What is your lead time?

For gravure, we can typically deliver initial shrink sleeves to the west coast within 6 weeks of art approval. Or by airfreighting at an extra charge we can produce and delivery within 15 business days from artwork approval. Repeat orders can reach the US within 3-4 weeks of order. Please give us a call to discuss.

For flexographic, we can typically deliver shrink sleeves within 15 business days from artwork approval. A reminder though, plan for artwork approval to take 2-4 days.

For digital, we can typically deliver within 15 business days from artwork approval.

What is your minimum order size?

For Gravure, typically 50 to 100 thousand

For Flexographic, typically 10 to 50 thousand.

For Digital, 5 to 5000.

How should I provide artwork?

Most clients these days submit artwork to us via one of the multitude of online sites, such as dropbox. Please contact us if alternative methods are needed. Artwork should be provided in Adobe Illustrator, with source files and fonts included.

Does Zion Packaging provide warehousing services?

Yes. Temporary warehousing services are considered part of Zion’s service offering. Extended warehousing is also available should a customer require the service. Please give us a call to discuss.

What are Zion’s standard payment terms?

FOB California with advanced deposit and down payment for sleeve order and cylinder creation. Zion will extend payment terms to qualified customers.