Corrugated Plastic Printing: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to printing on corrugated plastic, there are a few key factors to consider. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of corrugated plastic printing, exploring its uses, benefits, and the printing techniques involved. Whether you’re new to this type of printing or looking to expand your knowledge, this article has got you covered.

In the following sections, we will cover everything from the basics of corrugated plastic printing to advanced techniques and tips. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to effectively print on corrugated plastic and create stunning visuals for a wide range of applications.

Understanding Corrugated Plastic

Corrugated plastic, also known as coroplast, is a versatile and durable material commonly used for various applications. It is made from a lightweight, twin-wall polypropylene plastic sheet, with a fluted center layer sandwiched between two smooth outer layers. This unique composition gives corrugated plastic its strength while maintaining flexibility.

One of the key advantages of corrugated plastic is its weather resistance. It can withstand harsh environmental conditions, making it an ideal choice for both indoor and outdoor applications. Additionally, it is resistant to chemicals, water, and UV rays, ensuring that prints on corrugated plastic remain vibrant and intact for extended periods.

Corrugated plastic comes in various thicknesses, ranging from 2mm to 10mm, offering different levels of rigidity and durability. Thicker sheets are more suitable for applications that require sturdiness, such as durable signage or packaging, while thinner sheets are ideal for temporary displays or lightweight projects.

Why Choose Corrugated Plastic?

Corrugated plastic has gained popularity in numerous industries due to its versatile nature and numerous benefits. Here are some key advantages that make it an excellent choice:

1. Versatility:

Corrugated plastic can be used for a wide range of applications, including signage, packaging, displays, and even architectural models. Its versatility allows for creative and practical solutions in various industries.

2. Lightweight:

Being lightweight, corrugated plastic is easy to handle and transport. It is an ideal choice for applications where weight is a concern, such as hanging signs or portable displays for trade shows.

3. Cost-Effective:

Compared to other materials like metal or wood, corrugated plastic is a cost-effective option for printing. It offers a balance between durability and affordability, making it a popular choice for businesses working within budget constraints.

4. Customization:

Corrugated plastic can be easily cut, folded, and formed into various shapes and sizes. This allows for endless customization options, enabling businesses to create unique and eye-catching designs for their specific needs.

Preparing Artwork for Corrugated Plastic Printing

Before diving into the actual printing process, it’s crucial to prepare your artwork properly to achieve the best possible results when printing on corrugated plastic. Here are some essential considerations:

File Formats:

When preparing artwork for corrugated plastic printing, it’s recommended to use vector file formats such as AI (Adobe Illustrator) or EPS (Encapsulated PostScript). These formats ensure that the graphics retain their scalability and sharpness, regardless of the size they are printed in.

If you’re working with images or photographs, use high-resolution raster file formats such as TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) or PSD (Adobe Photoshop). Make sure the resolution is set to a minimum of 300 DPI (dots per inch) to ensure crisp and clear prints.

Color Modes:

For corrugated plastic printing, it’s essential to work with the CMYK color mode. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black) and is the standard color model used in printing. This mode ensures accurate color representation and avoids any discrepancies between the digital artwork and the final printed output.

Bleed Settings:

Adding bleed to your artwork is crucial to ensure that no white edges or borders appear after the prints are trimmed. Bleed refers to extending the artwork slightly beyond the final trim size, typically by 0.125 inches (3mm) on each side. This extra area accounts for any inconsistencies during the trimming process, ensuring that the design reaches the edge of the printed piece.


As mentioned earlier, maintaining a high resolution is crucial for printing high-quality images on corrugated plastic. Ensure that all images and graphics used in your artwork have a resolution of at least 300 DPI. This resolution ensures sharpness and clarity, even when the prints are viewed up close.

Printing Techniques for Corrugated Plastic

When it comes to printing on corrugated plastic, several techniques can be employed. The choice of technique depends on factors such as the complexity of the design, the required durability, and the budget. Let’s explore some of the commonly used printing techniques:

1. Screen Printing:

Screen printing, also known as silk screening, is a popular choice for printing on corrugated plastic. It involves pressing ink through a fine mesh screen onto the material. This technique is ideal for large print runs and can produce vibrant and opaque colors.

Screen printing offers excellent durability, making it suitable for outdoor signage and long-lasting displays. It can also handle intricate designs and fine details, making it a versatile option for various applications.

2. Digital Printing:

Digital printing has revolutionized the printing industry, and it offers several advantages for corrugated plastic printing. This technique involves directly printing the artwork onto the material using digital printers, eliminating the need for screens or plates.

Digital printing allows for quick turnaround times and is cost-effective for smaller print runs. It also offers the flexibility of variable data printing, where each piece can have unique details, such as personalized names or numbers. Additionally, digital printing can reproduce gradients and complex color schemes accurately.

3. UV Printing:

UV printing utilizes ultraviolet light to cure the ink instantly, resulting in vibrant and durable prints on corrugated plastic. This technique offers excellent color saturation and can produce sharp images with fine details.

UV printing is ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications, as the cured ink is resistant to fading and scratching. It also allows for printing on various substrates and offers a wide color gamut, ensuring accurate color reproduction.

4. Flexographic Printing:

Flexographic printing, often used for high-volume printing, is another technique suitable for corrugated plastic. It involves using flexible relief plates to transfer ink onto the material. Flexographic printing is known for its speed and efficiency, making it a cost-effective option for larger print runs.

This technique can handle different types of inks, including water-based, solvent-based, and UV-curable inks. It is commonly used for simple designs or solid color prints on corrugated plastic packaging.

Ink Options for Corrugated Plastic Printing

Choosing the right type of ink is crucial for achieving optimal results when printing on corrugated plastic. Here are some commonly used ink options:

1. Solvent-Based Inks:

Solvent-based inks contain pigments dissolved in a solvent, which evaporates during the drying process, leaving behind the pigments on the material’s surface. These inks offer excellent durability and weather resistance, making them suitable for outdoor applications.

Solvent-based inks are known for their vibrant colors and can adhere well to the smooth surface of corrugated plastic. However, they require proper ventilation during printing due to the volatile nature of the solvents.

2. UV-Curable Inks:

UV-curable inks are designed to cure instantly when exposed to ultraviolet light. This type of ink is ideal for printing on corrugated plastic as it offers excellent adhesion and durability.

UV-curable inks are resistant to fading, scratching, and weathering, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. They also provide vibrant colors and sharp image reproduction, ensuring high-quality prints.

3. Water-Based Inks:

Water-based inks are environmentally friendly and contain pigments dispersed in water. They are known for their low odor and lack of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Water-based inks offer good adhesion to corrugated plastic and can produce vibrant prints. However, they may not be as durable as solvent-based or UV-curable inks, making them more suitable for indoor or short-term applications.

Design Considerations for Corrugated Plastic Printing

Designing artwork specifically for corrugated plastic printing requires careful consideration to ensure the best visual impact. Here are some design tips to keep in mind:

Font Selection:

When choosing fonts for your corrugated plastic prints, opt for bold and easily readable typefaces. Avoid intricate or overly decorative fonts that may become illegible when printed on the textured surface of the material. Consider the viewing distance and choose fonts that are legible from adistance. Sans-serif fonts are often a safe choice for readability and clarity.

Color Choices:

Colors play a crucial role in creating visually appealing prints on corrugated plastic. Consider the contrast between the background and the text or graphics to ensure readability from a distance. Vibrant and bold colors can grab attention, but avoid using too many colors that may overwhelm the design. Stick to a cohesive color palette that aligns with your brand or the intended message.


Creating contrast between elements in your design can enhance visibility and make your prints stand out. Ensure that there is enough contrast between the text and the background to ensure readability. If using images or graphics, consider the contrast between the foreground and the background to maintain visual clarity.


Keep your designs clean and simple to ensure that the message or information is easily understood. Avoid cluttering the artwork with excessive text or graphics that may distract from the main message. Embrace white space to create a balanced and visually appealing composition.

Imagery and Graphics:

If using images or graphics in your design, ensure they are of high quality and resolution. Low-resolution images can appear pixelated and detract from the overall quality of the print. Consider the size and placement of the images to create a visually pleasing layout.

Finishing and Coating Options

Applying finishes and coatings to your corrugated plastic prints can enhance their durability and visual appeal. Here are some common options:


Laminating your prints involves applying a transparent film over the surface, providing protection against scratches, fading, and moisture. It adds a glossy or matte finish and can enhance the vibrancy of colors.


Varnishing involves applying a clear coating over the prints, offering protection against UV rays and abrasion. It can add a glossy or matte finish and can enhance the depth and richness of colors.

Protective Coatings:

There are specialized protective coatings available specifically for corrugated plastic prints. These coatings provide additional durability and resistance to weather and chemicals, making them ideal for outdoor applications.

UV Coating:

UV coating involves applying a clear, liquid coating to the prints and then curing it using ultraviolet light. It provides a glossy finish and enhances the vibrancy of colors. UV coating also offers protection against fading and moisture.

Corrugated Plastic Printing Applications

Corrugated plastic printing finds application in various industries and can be used for a wide range of purposes. Here are some common applications where corrugated plastic shines:

Outdoor Signage:

Corrugated plastic is a popular choice for outdoor signage due to its durability and weather resistance. It can withstand harsh elements and maintain its integrity, ensuring that your message remains visible and intact.

Event Displays:

Whether it’s trade shows, exhibitions, or conferences, corrugated plastic prints can make a significant impact as event displays. From banners and backdrops to standees and promotional signage, corrugated plastic offers versatility and portability for various display needs.

Packaging Solutions:

Corrugated plastic is commonly used for packaging purposes. It can be easily cut and folded into various shapes and styles, making it suitable for custom packaging solutions. Its lightweight nature also helps reduce shipping costs without compromising on protection.

Promotional Materials:

From point-of-sale displays and retail signage to promotional posters and banners, corrugated plastic can effectively showcase your brand and promotional messages. Its versatility allows for creative and eye-catching designs that grab attention and leave a lasting impression.

Architectural Models:

Corrugated plastic is often used in architectural models due to its flexibility and ease of shaping. It can be cut and formed into intricate structures, allowing architects and designers to present their concepts visually and accurately.

Tips for Successful Corrugated Plastic Printing

To ensure successful printing on corrugated plastic, consider the following tips and tricks:

Proper Printer Settings:

Adjust your printer settings according to the thickness of the corrugated plastic sheet. This ensures proper ink adhesion and prevents issues such as smudging or streaking.

Static Electricity:

Corrugated plastic sheets can generate static electricity, which may cause ink to adhere inconsistently. Use an anti-static spray or wipe the sheets with a damp cloth before printing to minimize static buildup.

Test Prints:

Before printing a large batch, always perform test prints to ensure color accuracy and quality. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments to your artwork or printer settings before committing to a full run.

Storage and Handling:

Store and handle corrugated plastic sheets properly to prevent damage or bending. Keep them in a clean and dry environment, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, to maintain their integrity.

Avoid Sharp Folds:

When folding corrugated plastic, avoid sharp creases or folds that may cause the material to crack or break. Use gentle curves or rounded edges to maintain the structural integrity of the prints.

Choosing the Right Printing Partner

When it comes to corrugated plastic printing, choosing the right printing partner is crucial for achieving high-quality results. Here are some factors to consider:

Experience and Expertise:

Look for a printing partner with significant experience in printing on corrugated plastic. They should have a thorough understanding of the material, printing techniques, and finishing options to ensure optimal results.

Capabilities and Equipment:

Ensure that the printing partner has the necessary equipment and capabilities to handle your specific printing requirements. They should have access to the latest printing technologies and a wide range of ink options to cater to your needs.

Sample Work and Portfolio:

Request samples or check their portfolio to assess the quality of their previous corrugated plastic prints. This will give you an idea of their attention to detail, color accuracy, and overall print quality.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials:

Read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the satisfaction levels of their previous clients. Look for positive feedback regarding their professionalism, communication, and ability to meet deadlines.

Corrugated plastic printing offers a world of possibilities for businesses and individuals alike. From its versatility and cost-effectiveness to its durability and vibrant printing results, it’s a fantastic choice for a wide range of applications. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to unleash the full potential of corrugated plastic printing and create visually stunning outputs.

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