Prototypes allow you to see what your shrink sleeve will look like on the actual container it will be applied to, before printing the full order. We recommend getting a prototype after selecting the final color and text that will be included on your shrink sleeve. This is especially important if you have text that is small or symmetrical shapes (i.e. circles, rectangles) in your design that could be distorted after the sleeve is shrunk. Additionally, prototypes confirm the shrink sleeve dieline measurements and show how your bottle/can will be covered. 

Prototypes can also serve as a sales and marketing tool when brands are redesigning or pitching a new idea for a product line. Creating something tangible that people can experience firsthand has more impact than a drawing or image on a PowerPoint. As a result, prototypes can make a product pitch more effective and meaningful.   


To complete a prototype, select the can or bottle you want to use for your product. Our pre-press department will create a MCSD (Multi-Color Shrink Dieline) specific to your container that art files will be placed into. If you do not have art files and want to test the measurements of the MCSD, we can print a grid pattern instead of your shrink sleeve design. However, most customers prefer to include their graphics on the prototype to preview how the design will look after it is shrunk. 

Once the graphics of your choice are printed, the sleeves are slit and seamed on our shrink sleeve equipment. The sleeves go through inspection to ensure the prototypes will be a true representation of what you will receive for the actual order. Next, we apply the shrink sleeve to the customer supplied can or bottle using steam. Then, the prototype is complete and ready to be mailed to the requested recipient(s).

Note: customers supply containers for prototypes to ensure we use the exact model of can/bottle the sleeves will be applied to. 

View our Shrink Sleeve Graphics Prep Guide.

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