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Common Label Artwork Mistakes

19 Oct 2016
Common Label Artwork Mistakes

For custom label printing, we work with artwork files on a daily basis. We often find that there are many ‘obvious’ common errors in some of the artwork we receive. We thought we’d jot down these common errors to save you time, energy and money when it comes to label artwork design. Here are the top 10 label artwork mistakes we have encountered:


1. Missing Fonts

You may have selected a fantastic fancy font in your artwork, but the reality is, that if we don't have it, when we open your file, we will get an error message. The best way to avoid this is to always outline your fonts before sending us your file.


2. Missing Bleed

If you want your colour to print all the way to the edge of your custom label you need to include a bleed. For example, if you want to print a 80mm x 100mm custom label, the size of the artwork you would create would be 83mm x 103mm Also, you need to leave some space around the very edge of your label that is free of text. The reason we need this is because during die-cutting the label material can shift ever so slightly (up to 1mm), so you need to make allowances for this in your artwork.


3. RGB vs CMYK

Most digital colour printers today print in CMYK, also known as four color process. However, all computer monitors display colour as RGB (Red-Green-Blue). Now if you create your custom label file for the RGB colour space, the colour is going to look different when printed on a CMYK printer, so it is always a good idea to create your artwork as CMYK. You should request a press proof if colour is very important to you.


4. File Resolution

Many times people send us a file of a picture or graphic that was on their website and expect us to create a high quality custom label from it. Unfortunately, in most cases the file on the website is very low resolution, often as low as 72 dpi. In order to provide a high quality finish, we would recommend a resolution of 300 dpi for best results.


5. Tight Borders

It is often tricky to print a thin border on your custom labels. There is often very slight movement when printing and die-cutting your labels. While this movement is relatively small, if your border is

near the edge of the label it will be noticeable. Our advice, if you really want a border, is to make it a thick one (more than 4 point). That way the slight movement will be much less noticeable.


6. Spelling Errors

While we do check your artwork for mistakes, it is up to you to check your custom label artwork carefully. Sometimes we print beautiful custom labels only to discover a spelling mistake after the fact. You can save yourself a huge expense by ensuring all your text is correct.


7. Missing Graphics/Links

All your graphic elements should be embedded into your document before sending them to us, otherwise when we open your file there may be missing graphics or links.


8. Unsupported Software Format

For label design, we recommend that you use the graphic industry standard programs: Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. These packages create high quality label artwork that will produce the best quality custom label. If you don’t have this software, then make sure you can export into a standard graphics format such as EPS, TIF or a hi-res JPEG.


9. Colour Expectations

Many people create their custom label artwork and then print it out on their inkjet or laser printer, thinking this is how their labels will look. But anyone who owns more than one different printer knows that colour can look vastly different between printers. If colour is important to you we recommend you request a press proof - this way you will see exactly what your labels will look like when printed on our press.


10. Incorrectly Sized Artwork

We often receive artwork where the size of the art does not match the size of the requested label. If your artwork is a different size than the requested label please include detailed instructions when placing your order.


If you can avoid some of these common mistakes when creating your artwork, your custom label order will be processed more quickly and you will receive the highest quality result.

If you are unsure about your label artwork file, we will be happy to help! Give us a call or email your label artwork to us and we will guide you on setting it up correctly.


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