Can Printing FAQ

What is digital can printing?

Digital can printing is a relatively new technology whereby ink droplets can be printed directly onto the surface of a can with astonishing accuracy. Unlike offset printing, which has significant setup costs, lead times, and large minimum order quantities; digital can printing requires only approved artwork to start production with no setup costs. We can queue multiple jobs to run sequentially without stopping and print samples in less than a second, even in the middle of a print job.

From a design standpoint, digital printing frees up creativity in ways that have previously been limited by other printing technologies. Offset printing, for example, can only print a small number of colors and must leave a small gap between colors. This forces artists and designers to work around these limitations. With digital, the biggest limitation is your imagination.

What are the advantages of digital can printing?

  • Full coverage can printing
  • Millions of colors
  • Subtle shading, gradients, and photorealism
  • Resolution up to a staggering 1,200dpi
  • Matte, glossy, or spot varnish finishes
  • Pin sharp text as small as 2pt (3pt negative)
  • 360° seamless print with no overlap
  • Low minimum order quantities
  • Shorter lead times
  • Environmentally friendly

 

What cans do you print on?

We currently print on 12oz and 16oz cans with a white base coat. We will eventually print on uncoated brite cans, sleek cans, and others as we grow.

Do I have to provide my own cans?

No! We have an inventory of cans at our headquarters just waiting to be printed and delivered to you. Due to the very precise nature of digital can printing, our printer must be specially configured to each can based on manufacturer, lot, etc.

What are your order minimums?

4 layers (1,556 cans) with 1 layer (389 cans) per SKU.

Can you print on the neck of the can?

Yes, we do a full coverage print leaving only a small amount of the can exposed at the bottom. However, due to the distance between the inkjet nozzles and the top tapered section of the can, printing here will have less definition. To minimize this effect, avoid text and small graphics at the very top of the can. There is a portion that is considered safe for text and small graphics. Please see our artwork templates.

Do you have design templates?

Yes! You can download them here:
12oz
16oz


How do I set up my artwork?

Start with our can printing templates and follow the instructions provided, If you need additional help our art department is ready to assist you.

Can you use existing artwork for a label, shrink sleeve, or offset print?

Yes, but it will need to modified somewhat. Please contact our art department for more information.

I want to enhance my existing artwork to take advantage of the digital can printing’s capabilities. Can you help?

Yes! Please contact our art department to explore all the ways to take you beverage packaging to the next level.

Do you offer design services?

Possibly if our schedule and availability permit it. There is a cost associated with this service. Please inquire about availability.

Can you print PANTONE® colors?

Digital printing uses CMYK ink colors as well as white and varnish which is different from the PANTONE® color space. We have an array of tools to allow us to fine tune and color match, but due to the differences in the color spaces, some PANTONE® colors may be approximated. After passing our rigorous testing, a physical sample will be provided to ensure the color accuracy is up to your standards.

Can you print metallic colors like silver and gold?

During our initial operations we will be printing exclusively on white cans. As such, we will not be able to use knockouts that expose the shiny aluminum can. We will eventually print on brite cans and will be able to achieve all kinds of metallic colors. In the meantime, we have additional solutions to achieve these effects.

What is “spot varnish” and how does it work?

Our cans are finished as matte, glossy, or a combination known as spot varnish where you choose which specific elements have a dramatic glossy shine. Please indicate which elements should have a spot varnish by copying them onto the Varnish layer and using the Varnish color swatch as the fill.

Does the varnish have an odor?

No, all of our printed cans are odorless, regardless of finish.

Are your cans recyclable?

Yes! Unlike cans with labels or shrink sleeves (which must be completely removed), our cans are 100% recyclable with no additional burden on the consumer.

How are the printed cans packaged?

They come on plastic pallets with plastic slip sheets.

Can you [insert canning-related question here]?

Yes we can! But seriously, we don’t just print – we’re your one stop shop for all things canning. We know cans inside and out so if you have a question, our can-do experts are at your service.