Custom Design Guide
Custom Design Tool Overview
Our Custom Design Tool allows you to easily customize your bottle(s). There are two primary areas within our tool.
1 Navigation Tabs
Each tab offers you a different way to customize your bottle or get useful information. Selecting each tab will bring up new options in this area.
The art and text you add will appear here on your bottle. You can navigate between the front and back of your bottle by selecting the arrows at bottom. You will also be given the opportunity to move, scale and rotate your images and text in this area.
Design Studio Features
Placement Options: These options allow you to choose on which side (front or back) you'd like to place each image or text block. Navigate using the arrows below the bottle.
Scale: Select and drag one of the four corners enclosing your image or text. Drag inward to reduce size and outward to enlarge.
Move: To move your image or text on the bottle, place the cursor in the center your image or text and drag to the new desired position.
Rotation: To rotate your image or text, select the circle with two arrows and rotate that handle around the center clockwise or counterclockwise.
We offer custom digital printing on both the front and back of our BPA-free plastic bottles, sports bottles and kids bottles, as well as select white stainless steel bottles.
File Types Accepted: JPG, PNG
How it Works: We use our digital inkjet custom print system to place your design directly on the bottle.
Resolution: We recommend 300 dpi for a high quality print. Images less than 72 dpi will appear pixelated (creating a “jagged” effect).
Image Size (miniumum): 300 pixels x 300 pixels
Line Widths (minimum): 3 points
CMYK Printing: Like most professional CMYK printers, we cannot print neon or metallic colors.
Common Design Error: If you want the background to be the color of the bottle, you need to upload a .png file with a transparent background. Customers frequently upload a file with a white background. If you do, we’ll assume you want to print that white background.
For our vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottles, we offer custom laser etching on one side of the bottle.
File Types Accepted: PNG (with transparent background)
How it Works: The laser removes the powder coated finish from the bottle and exposes the stainless steel wherever your design indicates.
Image Size (miniumum): 300 pixels x 300 pixels
Line Drawing vs. Photo: Artwork for a laser etched bottle must be a line drawing (lines, shapes and text all work). We cannot engrave photographs.
Engraved Area: Any area that will be engraved must be entirely in black and must have a line width of at least 0.008".
Negative Space: The negative space between the artwork to be engraved must be at least 0.016” minimum width.
Digital Printing Vs. Laser Etching
With our plastic bottles, we can print a full-color digital image directly onto the product. With our stainless steel bottles, however, we use laser etching to cut away the powder coated finish to reveal your design in the stainless steel below the finish. Unlike our multi-color digital print designs, the laser etched design is only the color of the stainless steel (represented in your design by black) with the color of the powder coating as background. Both methods produce striking and eye-catching hydration products.
Tips for Digital Printing
One key to a great digital print is uploading a good quality image. Choose files with high resolution (300 DPI), and images that are clear and crisp. Every imperfection in your image will be visible on the print. Keep in mind, also that lighter images will usually print better, so avoid overly dark images.
If you want to remove the white background from an image and don't have a design program, like Adobe Photoshop, there are many free image editors online, such as GIMP [links to https://www.gimp.org/] and Pixlr [links to https://pixlr.com/], that will help isolate the subject in your image from the background. Remember to save your file as a PNG to preserve the transparency.
Note: Be sure to vet any plugins or software you download. We are not responsible for any damage that may result from using 3rd party sites and make no warranties for the services they provide.
Tips for Laser Etching
Custom stainless steel bottles are for laser etching only. Images you upload to the Custom Design Tool must be PNGs with a transparent background. Other file types will not be accepted. If you upload a PNG file without transparency, you will see a large rectangle on the bottle (as in the image at left). If you proceed to checkout when your preview shows a plain rectangle, we will assume that’s what you want and print the rectangle on your bottle.
3 Basic Design Tips
Simplicity: Use fonts, colors and shapes sparingly.
Let it Breathe: Respect the space of your design elements (images and text). Avoid overcrowding your design. Negative space, the space between objects, can be a good thing.
Legibility: Don’t place text over a busy background. Ensure you have a clear contrast between the color of your text and the color of its background.
Design Colors: CMYK or RGB
In your image editing software, every image will be assigned a color mode (that you can change). The two primary modes are CMYK and RGB. Here are the main differences:
RGB: RGB (which stands for Red-Green-Blue) creates color for digital displays by combining these three colors.
CMYK: CMYK stands for Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key(Black) and is based on the way pigments interact when you combine them. Most professional printers print images using CMYK. When creating an image for a custom digital CamelBak bottle print, we recommend using CMYK for the closest color match. Only 70% of the colors available in RGB or also available in CMYK, so you won’t see neon or metallic colors reproduced in your final custom product.
Design Colors: Monitor Vs. Printed
The colors you see on your screen, which are derived from the RGB color profile (see above), are different from printed colors which use CMYK. Not only that, different displays, from laptops to devices to your TV, all depict colors slightly differently. Expect a slight variance in colors custom printed with CamelBak to those you are viewing on your screen.
Are you creating a custom print order for a group? See our Group Personalization Guide here.
Final Check List
Before you submit your order, double check your elements:
1. Inside the Print Area: Is all of your artwork appearing on the bottle or is it getting cut off as it appears in the Custom Design Tool? You may need to resize it.
2. Proofed Text: Is all text spelled correctly? Is it grammatically correct? Consider having someone else check your work.
3. Digital Printing: Did you upload images with transparent backgrounds (and not white) and preserve with a PNG file type? Did you submit your images in high resolution (300 dpi)? Did you avoid overly dark images?
4. Laser Etching: Are your all of your line widths a minimum of 0.008” and are all of your negative spaces a minimum of 0.016”? Is all of your design to be engraved in black?
5. The Dreaded Rectangle: In the preview of your custom bottle are you seeing a rectangle instead of the artwork you wanted? That probably means you submitted an image file without transparency. Go back and resubmit a PNG image with a transparent background.
6. Not Licensed Artwork: Remember! You must own the rights to any image in your custom artwork. If your image appears to contain a licensed image, we will have to cancel it. Avoid using such licensed images as professional sports team logos, licensed characters and registered trademarks.