When designing labels for print, it's important that any digital artwork is properly prepared in advance. As with all printing processes, there are certain specifications and tolerances that need be taken into account. As a label manufacturing and printing company, we deal with a large number of digital artwork files on a daily basis which often require the odd tweak here and there. Our aim is to ensure your printed product will turn out right the first time and by following our simple artwork guidelines, you'll be doing your bit to ensure that happens.
When designing for print, the resolution of your file is very important. If the resolution is too low, you're design will appear distorted and fuzzy when printed. Although your design might look perfect on your computer monitor, unless it's been designed in a high enough resolution, it's most likely it will look very different when printed. We recommend a minimum of 300dpi and if possible, we recommend that you design to scale.
There's a lot of jargon in the label and printing industry but it's well worth learning about these 3 key elements for your design artwork. See the image above for reference.
Although the accuracy of our label printing and trimming machines is very high, you still need to allow for slight variations in the final trim of your labels. For a standard A4 label sheet, the bleed area is printed beyond the edge of your label size. For all designs, we recommend a minimum 3mm bleed extending from the label edge. By incorporating a bleed area into your design, you can ensure that any colours or images are printed right up to the edge of your label without creating any dreaded white edges!
For a standard A4 sheet label or custom label size, the trim or cut area is the actual dimensions of the label your are designing for. For example, if you're designing a label for our 21 Address Labels per A4 Sheet product, which is 63.5mm x 38.1mm, your trim area on your design would match these dimensions.
As the name suggests, this is the area of your design that any important elements of your design must be kept within, including text and detailed borders. This area is within the Trim area and allows for any slight variations during the trimming process. We also recommend a minimum 3mm safe area within your design.
There are certain file types which are better suited to the label printing process. These file types can include the required bleed, trim and safety area lines in an easy to read format. Our recommended file types are: AI, INDD, PDF & EPS If it's not possible to supply your artwork in those formats, we also accept: PNG, JPEG, PSD & TIFF.
To ensure that any text on your design is printed using the correct font, flatten the design files before supplying them to us or alternatively include the separate font files (just in case we don’t have the fonts in-house) with your design.