Graphics in Zipper and
Seal Zone Areas
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 contents 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 area and zipper areas of your pouch.
Printing Content in Zipper and Seal Zones on Pouches & Bags
The short answer is, Yes! But it’s best to avoid putting important design elements or contents in those areas. So essentially, the long answer is, It depends.
What is a seal zone on a pouch?
Seal zones are where the material of the bag is sealed together. Without seals you don't have a bag and the contents within are not protected. 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.
Pouch Zipper Area Explained
The zipper area is where the sealing zipper is built into the resealable bag. The zipper is a physical item which takes up space and creates a slight bump and ripple in the pouch surface. Most styles of zippers 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” on pouches?
You will come to learn that important design elements are anything that is critical to the success of the packaging. This might include barcodes, USDA organic labeling, FDA stamps or icons, P65 statements, or other compliance warnings, nutritional information etc. When designing your bag, you ideally do 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.
The Basic Rule for Printing in Stand Up Bag Seal Zones
The basic, fall back rule is don't put anything in the seal pouch (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 it's best to avoid placing them in the zipper area.
- Ingredient Allergen information
- Compliance icons (USDA, EPA, ETC)
- Nutritional information
- Ingredient lists.
- Compliance warning statements.
Generally OK to print in the seals and zipper area
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 printing options:
- Slogans "the best product ever!"
- Marketing phrases "100% organic", "free range"
Remember the tear notch on flexible packaging
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
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 and quote.
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!