Container Selection

There are thousands and thousands of containers available in the market today varying from all sizes and shapes and materials.

  1. You need to choose the material that you want your product to be in; which is plastic, glass, or aluminum containers (or any other metal).
  2. For all the different types of material out there, there are many variations available in terms of color and density.  For example: for plastic bottles or jars there are many variables available such as high density, low density, and white, natural or clear etc.
  3. Many containers come in different shapes; as oval, square or rectangle.
  4. Depending on the quantity of the product you want to sell; you need to choose a size from all available sizes.

Keep in mind, often a customer gets carried away with really odd shaped bottles and in turn it becomes very hard to decorate them and eventually ends up to be trash.

We can refer you to different container manufacturers, if you have trouble finding the right one, who can be the right one and inexpensive.

We want to give you some tips on how to choose a right container for your product.

  1. When you buy the bottles, please make sure that the bottles are flamed by the bottle manufacturers.  This is one service they provide for free and there is no extra charge by the bottle manufacturers to you.
  2. If you send us bottles which are not flamed, we can offer to flame them for you, but that will be added to your cost.
  3. Jars and plastic tubes are made from different materials and they generally do not need flaming to be silk screened.

Please keep in mind that with round bottles, we can print on both front and back with one pass for one color printing; whereas with oval and square bottles you need two or more passes even if the color is same on the front and back – so it is double the expense for you.

Creating the perfect package for your product is absolutely essential to marketing your business.  Once you have found the plastic container, jar, or glass bottle that truly accents and compliments your product, you are well on your way to that perfect package.  Without appropriate and artistic labeling, however, you will never sell your creation.

Art and Film Requirement


To print a container, you’ve got to have art.  Art (or artwork) is typically a digital rendering of what you want on the bottle.  It is designed at 100% scale and can have 1-3 colors. It’s typically designed using professional design software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.  Word, Excel, or Paint, won’t cut it.

You can also hire a professional artist to help you get your artwork ready.  If you do not know of any, then we can possibly recommend someone and they can create the artwork that you need with our requirements.

Here’s an example of some artwork for the fictional La Victoria Orange Vanilla Body Lotion.  This is a two color silk print project (orange and black):



Once you’ve created your digital artwork, you then need to create film positives. This is done by printing your artwork out on transparent sheets of plastic (think overhead projector transparencies). There’s a big difference between film positives and film negatives. For silk prints, we need film “POSITIVES Motion Up”


Regardless of the color that you want printed (in our example, orange and brown) the artwork is converted to black, and then printed on transparent sheets. Because we have two colors, we need two films; one for the black and one for the orange. See how the artwork is separated into two films?

Screen Making


Once the films are made, we then need to “burn” the image of your art into the screen. A screen is a piece of ultra-fine mesh silk fabric stretched over a frame. The silk is coated with a light-sensitive water-soluble glue or emulsion that is then air-dried. The film is laid on top of this glue-coated silk and then exposed to a high-power UV light. The film positive (the black printed part) blocks the light and prevents the glue from curing. The screen is then washed with water and the uncured glue is washed out, leaving your artwork “burned into the silk.”



Inks are mixed to match the colors that you specify in your artwork. Many print shops use the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM.


So, we’ve created the art, we’ve made films out of that art, and then we’ve burned that art into a screen. The screen is then fixed to the print machine and the printing begins. A bottle is placed in the machine, the machine is activated, the bottle is raised to the underside of the screen and then a squeegee presses the ink through the screen onto the bottle while the bottle rotates. The ink is then dried by passing it through heat tunnel and VOILA, the print process is done.


Color Selection and Matching

While the fundamentals of screen printing have not changed much over the past 58 years, our ability to achieve precise color matches has grown exponentially.


Cal Dec is widely recognized as an expert partner for companies that need consistent color matches across multiples products and substrates. We can even replicate color matches across different printing processes.

Most customers supply our color specialists with Color System swatches such as Pantone, which specify the color(s) they wish to use. Our staff will formulate inks to match not only the color, but also inks that are particularly suited to the substrate and conditions of use.


Certain colors may require a more precise and complicated color match.  The desired opacity of the ink, the color and opacity of the material being printed on, and the color and density of the product inside the container can all impact how your screen printing appears on the final package.  Metallic inks can present their own set of challenges, depending on how light reflects from the printed surface.

With many years of experience under our belts, we can usually find a combination of ink formulations that gives you the container decoration you desire.  It also helps that Cal Dec has developed strong relationships with ink suppliers around the globe, giving us many options for ink colors that make your printing pop.

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