A common question that we get is “can I print in the seal zones and the zipper area on my pouch? Fitting all the client's content onto the bag can prove a challenge to say the least. Less-is-More isn't always possible. Sometimes you're adapting artwork from a different packaging medium, other-times you using the same artwork on multiple bag sizes. Whether it's the limitation of design, client requirements, or other variables there will come a time when you must put graphics in the seal zones and zipper areas. 

5078060 Монтажная область 1 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas
Zipper print 32 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas
Zipper print 31 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas
Zipper print 27 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

Can I print in the seal zones, zipper area, or near the hang hole?

The short answer is yes, but it’s best to avoid putting important design elements in those areas. But the long answer is, it depends.

Zipper print 22 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

What is a seal zone?

Seal zones are where the material of the bag is sealed together. Without seals you don't have a bag. Depending on the pouch configuration involved you may have as few as 2 seal zones or as many as 8.

On our dielines seal zones are show using dashed lines. Seal zones typically run along the edge of the pouch. As in the picture below.

seal zones Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

Zipper Area Explained

trick or treat 3.5g bag Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

The zipper area is where the zipper is built into the pouch. The zipper is a physical item which takes up space and creates a slight bump and ripple in the pouch surface. Most styles of zipper are heat sealed into the pouch during the pouch making process. Standard zippers will have a zipper flange on both the front and back side of the bags. Ez-Pull / Pull tab zippers exist only in one face of the pouch. Either way, there will be a bump in the material where it conforms to the extruded zipper. 

What are “important design elements”

Important design elements are anything that is critical to the success of the packaging. This might include barcodes, USDA / FDA stamps or icons, P65 statements, or other compliance warnings, nutritional information etc. When designing your bag, you ideally want to follow our art guidelines and avoid placement of critical graphics in zipper, area, seal zones or around hang hole because you don’t want someone claiming they these items are distorted or otherwise not readable.

logos 18 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas
logos 26 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas
logos 19 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas
logos 28 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

Basic Rule for printing in seal zones

The basic, fall back rule is don't put anything in the seal zones or zipper area that you need maximum readability. Generally, graphics like logos can be placed in the zipper area with subjective results. Bar codes should never be placed in zipper or seal areas, the seals and zipper can create read errors.  

Never Place the following Items in Seal Zones and best to avoid placing them in the zipper area. 

  • Barcodes
  • Ingredient Allergen information
  • Compliance icons (USDA, EPA, ETC)
  • Nutritional information
  • Ingredient lists. 
  • Compliance warning statements. 

Generally OK to print in the seal zone and zipper area

Zipper print 25 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

Generally its best to bleed out graphics, backgrounds, etc through the seal zone. When it comes to the zipper area, the amount of possible distortion is lessened. Here are some design elements which we commonly see placed in the zipper area when the customer is left with no other options: 

  • Logos
  • Slogans "the best product ever!"
  • Marketing phrases "100% organic", "free range" 

Remember the tear notch

Zipper print 26 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

The tear notch is meant to be used, but many times graphic designers forget that it will be! Anything you place above the tear notch will be removed when the consumer opens the pouch. So you'll want to avoid putting warning logos, and important things above that area. 

What result can I expect?

The exact outcome will vary based on several variables including bag material, and colors used, but generally print in the seal zones or zipper area turn out just fine, you just have to be willing to accept that there will be some bumpiness, and possibility of a little distortion.  

Examples: here are examples of print results obtained when printing in the seal zone. 

Logo in Zipper Area

Zipper print 23 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

Optimal Placement

Zipper print 24 Graphics in Zipper and Seal Zone Areas

Everything is made-to-order, and we'll ultimately print whatever you need wherever you want it,

but following the best practices will make for a better outcome!

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Everything is made-to-order, and we'll ultimately print whatever you need wherever you want it, but following the best practices will make for a better outcome!  


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