Artwork Guidelines & Label Planning

When it comes to producing your project, our job is to assure that it appears the best it can for you and for your end user/consumer. The Label Printers’ Art Department takes that responsibility very seriously. We invest in technology that allows us to start with a concept and move all the way through the required steps to get to a finished product.

Our team includes expert users of Adobe Creative Cloud as well as specialty systems from Esko and Hybrid. Our completely in-house platemaking and pre-press process allows tight control over all steps of the process and direct access for the press operators to the pre-press team in case of any questions. Pre-press, pressroom and quality assurance are in continuous communication as each job moves through the processes. Tight collaboration like that assures that you can rely on us to present and protect your image.

If you have in house designers or a design agency that you work with, the pre-press team is ready to work with them and can make them part of our seamless process. Through the years, we have partnered with some talented designers, so we may be able to make an introduction for you, if that is how you prefer to work.

In case you plan to develop designs to share with us, here are some basics to keep in mind.

Software you should use

  •  Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign

File formats we can accept

  • AI, PSD,  TIFF
  • JPG*, INDD, QXD, PDF
  • *JPGs should be compressed as little as possible as it will affect quality. Please note that resaving a jpg as a tiff/eps does not improve quality.

Software you should not use

  • Microsoft Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Publisher and similar business software.

Tips for best quality

  • Provide all of the supporting files (Fonts, Images, and Logos, etc.)
  • If fonts cannot be provided, present all text as outlines
  • Images should be at least 300 dpi. Higher is better.
  • Supply artwork to exact dimensions ordered
  • Supply proper 1/16″ bleeds when applicable

Printing 101

What is Bleed?

Bleed allows you to have full coverage to the end of your label. This is accomplished by extending the artwork 1/16`` past the edge of the label.

What is the Pantone Matching System or PMS?

PMS is a color reproduction standard. It is identified by a unique, independent number. These colors are often referred to as ``SPOT`` colors. Spot colors are used when color matching is critical and should be used, for example, in logos or corporate colors.

What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?

Electronic displays present colors using the RGB (red, green, blue) color model. This involves blending red, green and blue light to create an array of colors. Printing processes use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model. By blending inks of these four basic colors, CMYK can reproduce most, but not all, the colors of RGB. If a color presented in RGB is outside of the CMYK gamut, that color will be replaced with a ``best guess`` at what color to use. For printing, artwork always should be submitted in CMYK to avoid unexpected color variations. The term “four color process” is commonly used in the printing industry to describe CMYK.

What is the difference between vector images and bitmap (also referred to as raster) images?

There are two major types of 2D graphics – vector and bitmap.
Bitmap images are made up of pixels which are tiny dots of individual color. An example of this would be a photograph. Bitmap images are RESOLUTION DEPENDENT. They should always be submitted at a resolution of 300 dpi or ppi (dots per inch or pixels per inch). They should also be submitted at the size being used whenever possible. Common bitmap formats include: jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif, png, tiff.

Vector images are made up of many individual, scalable objects. These objects are defined by mathematical equations rather than pixels, so they always render at the highest quality. Objects may consist of lines, curves, and shapes with editable attributes such as color, fill, and outline. Because they are scalable, they are RESOLUTION INDEPENDENT. Some common uses of vector art is text and logos. Common vector formats include: ai (Adobe Illustrator) and eps.

A PDF file can contain both types of graphics.