When designing and ordering custom-printed tote bags, the customer should adhere to the image specifications of his printing service, prepare the design for the printing method he wishes to use, and refer to his printer's minimum order requirements. These steps ensure that the end product prints correctly and meets the customer's needs.
Different printing services have different image specifications, and following these specifications results in a more accurate final result. For example, print-on-demand service CafePress supplies information about which image formats it accepts, as well as minimum requirements for image size and resolution. Adhering to these guidelines results in a cleaner, sharper printed image. For tote bags, CafePress recommends a 10-by-10-inch image.
The customer must also consider whether his printing service employs screen printing or digital printing. Screen printing involves layering colors of ink over a stencil or screen, while digital printing is a computerized method that digitally processes and prints the image, adhering the ink to the tote bag. Each method may require alterations to the customer's design. Screen printing is best for darker tote bags and simple, vibrant designs with limited colors. Digital printing allows for more colors and more detailed designs, but the final product may not be as vibrant.
The number of tote bags the customer wishes to order may also impact his choice of printing method. Because it does not require the creation of stencils, digital printing is best for smaller product quantities. Services such as CafePress can digitally print a single tote bag, while screen-printing services typically require a larger minimum order.