Printing Questions

Do I use CMYK or RGB for digital printing on pouches?

For digital printing on pouches your file should be set to CMYK. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. These are the ink colors that will be combined when printing your logos and graphics on the pouch. RGB which standards for Red, Green, Blue is applicable to on-screen display.

Can spot or pantone colors be used on digitally printed pouches?

No, spot colors cannot be directly used. Instead we create a close match to spot color ink using CMYK. To ensure the maximum control over the rendering of your art, you’ll want to convert to CMYK before sending your file. If you require Pantone colors consider our plate printing.

What is the most versatile style of printing, digital or plate printing?

Digital and plate printing have unique characteristics. Plate printing allows the widest selection of finishes, and color, and yields the lowest per-unit cost. Digital printing excels at small quantities, multi-sku order, and high color count jobs.

What does “outlining text” mean, and why must I do it?

The text in your design when stored as editable text is rendered using the font files on your computer. We do not have access to all the same font files you do, and even when we do, the version of the font we use might be different than yours. Our computer will then substitute our version of the font for the one you have and that could create changes that nobody can detect. The process of outlining text is converting text from editable text, to artwork shape. While the text then becomes uneditable, it also won’t suffer from font changes. It is advised to keep two copies of your file, the editable copy and a separate copy for going to press.

What is Press ready artwork?

Press ready art is a file that meets artwork specifications and can pass pre-press inspection. Our art specifications can be found on our site, or email our team.

What types of metallic effects does CarePac offer?

Unlike many of our competitors we offer several choices for metallic effect. First we offer ink over metalized material. In this approach we apply colored ink (silver, CareGold, etc) directly over a metalized base material. This approach can be used for both digitally printed, and plate printed bags. Our second option is a step up in quality and combines spot matte or spot UV Gloss with ink over metal. This creates an even more stunning metalized effect, for example a glossy rich metalized effect on a matte bag. Our Third approach is true embossed foil. With this third approach actual CareGold or silver is stamped directly on the bag, creating an amazing “real” metalized area.

What is an eye mark and do you require it?

An eye mark allows our bag making equipment to know where one bag begins and the other ends. Some of our competitors require the eyemark be visible on the bag, they do this to speed up the production process. Luckily here at CarePac we do not require you to include an eye mark, because we allow you to fully customize your bag. We don’t gang run (combine) orders, and we include any eye mark outside finished bags and and trim that material off. It takes a little more effort and time, but creates a more beautiful bag!

Want to see a hard copy proof of my printed bag?

Our production process and quoted lead times rely on the industry standard proofing process which is the use of PDF digital proofs. We offer several alternative proofing methods, which may incur additional cost or extend lead-times. Our proofing options include.

  1.  Digital proofs
  2. Film Cut offs
  3. Short digital runs
  4. Short Plate runs

Do you have graphic design guidelines?

Yes! See our graphics design section, we offer many resources for artists, and are always ready and willing to answer questions.

General Questions

Can I speak to someone on the phone?

Yes, we always look forward to speaking with our customers. Please call 949-336-1541949-336-1541 Monday thru Friday 9am - 4pm PST. Alternatively you can email info@carpak.com.

Do you charge sales tax?

We are located in Los Angeles County California. Orders shipped within California are charged sales tax. Please submit a valid sales and use tax exemption certificate (reseller certificate) to avoid having sales tax, it can be gathered online at no cost to you if you qualify. Outside of California due to the recent Supreme Court decision South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., .Other states can impose immediate tax collection requirements, which must be complied with, without warning or grace period. Given the ambiguity of the decision, and uncertainty of the SSA exemption in each state, we collect a copy of your sales and use tax exemption form for any shipment to customers in the U.S.A.

The exact name of the form used in your state will vary but the form is variously known as: reseller certificate, sales tax exemption letter, sales permit, resale permit, exemption certificate, sales and use certificate.

Can I pick-up our order?

Yes we allow will-call of all shipments.

Do you offer Blind Shipping?

Yes, we ship custom orders blind upon request, please indicate you want the order shipped blind when ordering.

Do you offer distributor pricing?

Our pricing is exceptional and we offer all customers a 5% price match guarantee. We also can extend additional pricing discounts to qualified distributors.

Are sizing samples available for testing and sizing purposes?

Yes we can offer short testing runs. The cost of these samples is not included in or our normal estimates, please request an estimate.

What shipping options do you offer?

For stock bag purchases we offer free shipping, as well as expedited. We ship with USPS, and Fedex. For custom orders shipping can be on your account, FedEx, or LTL freight. Once we have the final size and weight of your custom order, we can request a number of LTL quotes for you to pick between.

Do you offer custom printed Roll Stock or VVS film?

Yes, we offer fully custom printed roll stock.

Where are your bags made?

We make bags here in the USA, as well as Mexico, and Asia.

What are your minimum order quantities for bags?

Minimum order quantities vary depending on the type of project, material, and features. Generally, digitally printed bags MOQ is 1,000 bags. Plate printed bags are 5,000 bags. Some materials have higher minimums.

What are your quantity tolerances?

Typically 20%, but we can accommodate other requests such as 5%, 10%, etc. We strive to be a price leader and always offer you the best price.

Are shipping costs included in my custom bag price?

Shipping rates are based on the weight and size of your bag, and are determined once the bags are made, shipping costs are in addition to the bag costs you were quoted. Shipping costs typically range from $30 for small orders, to a few hundred dollars for larger orders (25,000 or more).

Are there any hidden costs or additional costs?

There are no additional costs or fees, unless you choose to use our in-house design team. Plate charges cannot be fully determined until you submit final art as the total plate count might change.

Are transit times included the quoted lead time estimates?

The estimated ready date is different than the date the bags would actually arrive at your location. Quoted lead times do not include transit times.

How do I determine the amount of barrier I need?

When we talk about barriers we mean the rate at which oxygen and moisture pass through the bag. These rates are typically measured over a 24 hour period. We sell materials of various barrier levels, from moderate barrier to ultra high barrier. For example for materials with OTR (Oxygen transmission rate) of .06 or better are considered high barrier. Our highest barrier material have rates of .006 (lower is better!).

How long do CarePac bags last?

All bags we make are made-to-order, and we work with a large selection of materials. As such the shelf life of unfilled bags varies. For most materials we suggest a shelf life of unfilled bags of 18 months. Compostable bags 6 month, and high barrier bags 2 years. The shelf life of your empty bags will vary based on storage conditions, and handling.

How do I seal my bags

All our bags are designed to be heat sealed. You will want to heat seal your pouches using a heat sealing machine. There are several types of heat sealers that are compatible with our bags. From impulse sealers to band sealers. We sell a selection of heat sealers on our site as well!

What temperature should I use to seal my bags?

The temperature required to seal your bag varies based on the material composition. CarePac offers a selection of materials. We suggest testing different temperature and dwell settings.

Do you offer recyclable bags?

Yes we offer two types of recyclable materials. But, you should note that whether your bags can be successfully recycled depends on your jurisdiction and municipality. Many municipalities do not offer recycling of flexible barrier packaging.

What is Vicat softening temperature?

Vicant softening temperature (VST) is the temperature at which a material softens and deforms. It is important in relation to hot fill applications. Vicat softening temperature is measured as the temperature at which a flat-ended needle penetrates the material to the depth of 1 mm under a predetermined load.

What’s a Retort pouch?

A retort pouch is a pouch which is made of materials that are designed to withstand higher temperatures. Common uses of retort pouches are, camping meals, MREs, Sous vide, and hot fill uses.

What custom pouch size is right for my product?

All custom pouches are made-to-order, so you may specify the exact dimensions you desire. Sizing a pouch is a very individual decision. You should consider more than just whether your product “fits” in the bag, but also how you want it to look, do you want a pouch which is tall, or wide? Do your retailers have any sizing requirements? We suggest you order a sample pack and review the sample, and also look at what your competitors are doing, sometimes the best approach is to follow your industries’ standard instead of re-inventing the wheel.

What is the internal volume or capacity of each pouch?

The amount of product that you can fit in a pouch varies depending on the density of your product. You can calculate the interior size of your pouch by taking the outside diameter and subtracting the side seals, and if applicable the space above the zipper.

Can you hand make me just one bag?

This would be useless, for everything other than sizing confirmation, a handmade bag would not have the same quality of seals, or workmanship as a machine-made bag, the machines that make the bags cannot produce one bag. See Digital Append Proof option.

Can I buy machine time, and have my rolls sit on the machine (warm pause) while I approve the rolls?

No, unfortunately this is not compatible with our production environment, and the cost of a factory hold will be far in excess of the value of your order.

Can we fly an employee for a physical press check?

For orders not part of a procurement contract, we respectfully decline all such requests. Consider purchasing a digital run or see other proofing options above.

Can we fly an employee to be physically present during each stage of the production?

We allow physical audits for customers who have a signed procurement contract meeting certain defined minimum tonnage, and duration (typically 1 year or more). For smaller orders we respectfully decline all such requests.

Will I receive a First Article (FAI)?

The concept of a FAI is common in industries such as Aerospace, Automotive, and Medical Instruments, but it is a foreign concept in flexible packaging due to the way flexible barrier packaging is made. A first article is not included in a standard quotation, or lead-time estimate. The US military, who pioneered the concept for aerospace, do not utilize it for Mil-Spec flexible barrier packaging. If you would like a FAI see our alternative proofing options.

Can you color match different materials?

We can attempt a color match to most any object, but color differences will still occur see terms of sale.

Can you follow brand style guides for our private label project?

Yes, we can incorporate the requirements of a brand style guide into your production.

Why is there a difference between digitally printed and plate printed projects?

Digital printing is accomplished using computer controlled CMYK printing. All elements of the design are CMYK, and ink colors are not able to be selected individually, Spot Gloss, UV, or Matte varnishes cannot be applied. With digitally printing the bag must be all matte or all gloss.

Can we use the same art files we used to print our labels or stickers with?

Yes, but remember with our custom bags the entire bag can be printed! Sometimes when repurposing artwork, you may need to convert CMYK art to Spot Color on plate printed projects. The reason CMYK is not a proper choice for all elements when printing flexible plastics is because of the differences in printing technology between paper printing (as for labels) and flexible packaging. Also, customers are not always made aware of what changes are made to their art by previous printers. Items like colored type and line graphics will always print better with Spot Color than CMYK Process because a single pigmented ink is used as opposed to several process plates.

Common Problems Tips and Tricks

Why are some of my zippers pulling off the bag?

Zippers pulling off, or zipper delamination can occur for many reasons. One of the most common is using the correct technique when opening a bag. Zipper delamination typically occurs when the force applied to the zippers connection to the bag exterior exceeds the tensile strength of the zipper. The zipper is tightly sealed during the production process, much tighter than a human normally tightens it, so when you apply pressure that energy has to go somewhere, and it finds the weakest point. When hand loading a bag you will want to change the way you open the bags for the first time. You want to PUSH the zipper apart instead of PULLING it apart.

Flexible Leadtimes


Digital & Plate Printing

We offer the full array of printing styles, bag finishes, and effects. 

Totally Custom Bags

customize every ASPECT of your bag. Size, material, features, configuration.

Testing & Compliance

Our materials are FDA CFR 73, BPA & Phthalate Free, and meet all the major compliance standards.


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