What client wanted:

Printing food-related items requires a special FDA-approved ink that is safe to be consumed (around the shop we call this “edible ink”). Most who produce FDA-approved printed products do so in large quantities, making it hard for smaller businesses to produce printed, FDA-approved products. The client wanted to print a small run of plate liners for their food truck.

Design Process:

The biggest challenge with this job was to find the FDA-approved ink and offset the cost so that small run jobs were possible. We did some research and found a company that sold the ink, then came up with a plan to address cost. Instead of printing a small run for a single food truck, we could print multiple small runs for several food trucks at the same time, which would keep the production cost reasonable.




While the ink itself was FDA compliant, how we produced the job was also important in ensuring the safety of the edible ink. We had to follow strict guidelines about how we clean our presses, how we run the job, etc. to ensure that the finished product would truly be safe to come into contact with food.

Benefits for client:

    • Branding: Printing these plate liners allows the client to brand their product in such a way that those who order their food are also advertising their brand.
    • Food-Safety Compliance: The biggest concern for the client was to ensure that the plate liners they used were FDA-approved to avoid any unnecessary harm to their consumers. For many small, food-related businesses, they have to settle for plain paper to ensure compliance.
    • Small-Run: Creating price breaks for multiple food trucks printing at the same time allows for small-run production without steep costs. This gives small food trucks the chance to take advantage of printed, food-safe products in the same way that larger brands are able.