The Guide to Pad Print Design

When you put in a cassette order you want the finished product to look its absolute best. Following these steps not only makes our job easier, but it will ensure that your pad print will look just as gorgeous as intended. First you’ll need to place your order on our cassette duplication calculator, then we can get started!

TV Blonde - Talmbour cassette tape from


1) Download our latest template

There are a few things to consider when designing pad print artwork for your order. First, what kind of shell have you chosen? We have different templates for each different type of shell: clear, solid coloured, and matte white. Here’s a link!

Each template has useful information about designing artwork that is unique to each type of cassette shell chosen, so be sure to check if we have updated templates available with every order and follow the directions contained in the file! They are available in PSD, PDF, and TIFF formats.

2) Applications

There are several programs you can use to design your artwork using our template. Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Gimp, etc. But regardless of the program you use, it’s important that you export your file as a PSD or PDF and make sure you do not merge/flatten your layers before uploading them to your order file.


1) Grayscale

Regardless of your chosen ink colour, make sure your artwork is done in black. If you’ve selected multiple colours, there are designated layers in our template to put the images, labelled “YOUR ART COLOUR ONE” and “YOUR ART COLOUR TWO” respectively. Make sure artwork layers are always black or grayscale only. 

2) Resolution

A low resolution can cause the finished product to look pixelated and of poor quality. The resolution of our templates is 5″ x 5″ x 1000 dpi. If you use your own template, please ensure that the resolution of your artwork is no less than 1000 dpi. In Photoshop you can do this in the drop down menu under “image > image size.”

3) Line Thickness

Pixel thickness for pad print

Look at the lines in your artwork. Choose the smallest line and zoom right in. How many pixels across is it? If lines are less than 6 pixels thick they may be too thin to appear after pad print. Please make sure all lines in your artwork are a minimum of 6 pixels thick.

Knockout pixel thickness for pad print

Moreover, the knockout, gaps, or empty space between artwork also has to be a minimum of 6 pixels thick to properly print, otherwise there is the risk of ink running and filling up the empty space. Please make sure all empty space is at least 6 pixels thick to avoid running ink.

4) Mind the Gap

Pad print artwork over hub area
An example of areas where the artwork will not print.
Depending on the type of shell you have chosen, there are areas you cannot print on. For example, there are two holes in every cassette shell which obviously cannot be printed on! Solid coloured shells, certain select clear shells, and matte white shells have a recessed window in the center which can distort artwork, especially text. If you are uncertain about the type of shell you have chosen for your artwork, contact your sales representative!

5) Tell Your Sales Representative

Make sure that your sales representative knows exactly what your order needs, as there is a price difference. If you want the A and B sides printed, it is “pad print two sides” on the cassette duplication calculator. If you just want the A side printed, it is “pad print one side.” If you’d like the exact same art on both sides, it is “pad print same art both sides.

Once your artwork is complete and uploaded, let your sales representative know! They will double check your artwork to make sure it is compatible before sending it through to our pad print department. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to them! They are happy to help!
Thank you for reading, and happy designing!