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Sports Media, Inc.
(309) 755-6557


Plastic Cup Art Specifications

Sports Media, Inc. suppliers have a complete in-house creative department. Our creative department can design your product or program or we assist your graphic design staff with design ideas. Please see below for our basic art requirements:

 Graphic/Printing Specifications

 General Information


Type of Printing:                  Dry Offset

                                                We butt-register all colors.  We cannot overprint colors.

Ink Type:                               Ultra-violet Inks

Color Standard:                     Pantone Matching system (PMS)

Substrate Consideration:     The substrate color will affect the printed ink colors.  Special

                                                consideration should be given to the color of the product

                                                that will be placed inside a clear or trans container.

Special considerations must be given to Clarified Thermoformed Drink Cups such as:

•The product placed in the cup will affect the color and sharpness of the printed design.

•UPC's will need to have white printed behind them so they will scan, however the fill of the product may still affect the scannability of the UPC.

•Due to the clear substrate and the color of the contents in the vessel, the graphics will appear somewhat subdued and will not stand out as vibrantly as if printed on a white opaque vessel.

                                                •Process artwork is not recommended on this vessel substrate.

Minimum Type Size:           6 point (positive), 12 point bold (reverse) 

Minimum Line Width:         1 point (positive), 2 point (reverse)

**Please note, point size and line width may need to be enlarged due to the design.  We will adjust art to ensure the best print quality.

Line Screens:                         We use a maximum of between 100-120 line screen.  There is 15% minimum dot gain on press.  The smallest dot we hold on our printing plate is 3%.  Therefore, the lightest tint we will achieve is 20%.  DO NOT FADE COLORS TO 0%.  If you are doing a fade or graduated blend, wherever the 3% dot is on the art, a hard edge will appear.  We will adjust your art to avoid this problem.  This usually means filling in any light area with a minimum 3% tint.  We strongly suggest obtaining the opinion of our Graphic Artists on all screened prints.

Tapered Containers/Cups: Images on tapered products will blur at the top and bottom of the imprint area.  Keep all important art or logos near the center of the container.  Keep reverse lines, type and smaller logos in the 'sweet spot' area of the product.  See illustration:                       


Continuous Wrap Around:   A minimum gap is suggested between the start and finish of printed images in order to prevent color overlap and ghosting.  When decorating a bailed container we suggest a gap with no print on both sides to fall under the bail lugs.  Some designs can be butt-fit, but we suggest discussing this with our Graphics department.



UPC Codes:                           A 100% magnification is recommended.  The minimum size we will print is 80%.  UPCs may be truncated but scannability may be reduced.  We recommend printing the bar code in black ink.

Art Supplied:                         We need all working files for the project including editable .eps files, tiffs, layered PhotoShop files, and fonts (screen and printer fonts).


Note on the proof what part of the design is to center (if on a bailed item).


Hardware/Software Information


Removable Media:                1.4mb floppy disk

100 Mb Zip disk

Jaz disk (1 or 2 gig)

CD ROM disk



Electronic Transfer Files:    E-mail – We can receive files attached to e-mail messages.  Files intended for electronic transfer should be ENCRYPTED for best results.  ENCRYPTION reduces the risk of file corruption as it passes through various systems and platforms.  Recommended encryption methods are:  MacBinary (.bin), uuencoded (.uue), BinHex (.hqx).

Programs:                              Macintosh Files:

Adobe Illustrator (versions 9, 10 and CS)

                                                            Macromedia Freehand (versions 8, 9 and 10)

                                                            Quark X-Press (versions 4, 5 and 6)

                                                            Adobe PhotoShop (version 6, 7 and CS)

Adobe Indesign (version CS)

PC FilesPLEASE CALL BEFORE SENDING IN PC FILES. We prefer not to receive any artwork in PC format.  There may be additional charges if art is sent in this way.  Please call before sending.

Process Artwork Guidelines:

Artwork should be saved in Macintosh format.  PhotoShop Files need to be in their layout format, such as paths and masks, and layers need to be present.  A final flattened .eps should be provided as reference of what the separated file is to look like.  Any type elements should be in a Vector format program, such as Illustrator or Freehand, with all fonts included.  Please provide high resolution files, transparencies or reflective artwork to scan for high resolution digital files.  If this is not available, please send a 300 dpi high resolution scan. Any spot color specific to logos, etc. should be properly specified as spot colors and noted on the artwork.  Before the customer approves the artwork, we would prefer a preliminary copy of the artwork to confirm the design is one that we can print. 

A .pdf can be e-mailed to (812-429-9515) or sent on a disk to the Graphic Arts Department, attention Graphic Art.  Please send a color proof to match colors to.  If there have been other promotional items, posters, boxes, etc. please send a sample.  Provide a contact name and phone number when submitting art.


Process artwork charges are $3,000 per design for proofs and separations.  Please check with your Graphics Coordinator to discuss before designing artwork.  Please also check with your Sales representative as minimum quantities could be higher.


            Items to keep in mind when designing process artwork:

                        - All artwork should be designed straight, not curved

                        - We recommend white substrate for process artwork

                        - There is about 15-25% gain on press depending on the size of the container,

                           so items that have a highlight or screen blend might gain more than anticipated

                        - Legal lines will print clearer if printed in the gap area as positive type and not

                           reversed out of the artwork

                        - The 'sweet spot' print area is in the middle of the design (top to bottom).  If

                           there is a critical logo or graphic, it would be ideal to print it in this area.


                        - Please follow the Graphic/Printing Specification sheet for other

                           artwork guidelines.


If you have further questions, please contact our Graphic Arts Department at 812-424-2904.

Please send all artwork to the following address – Attn. Graphics Dept.:

101 Oakley St.  Evansville, IN  47710  PH:  812-424-2904  FAX:  812-421-3144

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