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How do I make sure my artwork is print ready?

Here at SheetLabels.com, we understand how important it is that your custom printed items are produced perfectly. We’re happy to help you achieve this in any way we can, which is why our experts manually review each order and provide you with a digital proof before printing. 

To help streamline this process, we’ve outlined a few easy steps you can take to ensure your artwork files are print ready as soon as they’re uploaded- no adjustments needed!

Looking for information on printing your own labels at home instead? Click here! 


Step 1: Size and Format

The first step to achieving print ready artwork is to ensure your design is sized and formatted correctly. When creating your artwork, you’ll want to design it to be the same size and shape of the label you’re ordering. For example, if you’re ordering a 2” circle label, the artwork you upload should be formatted to fit that same 2” round shape as opposed to a rectangle or square.

We recommend using our free downloadable templates to act as a guide while designing your artwork. Simply type in the dimensions of your label on SheetLabels.com to find compatible templates, available in both Microsoft Word and PDF format. No design software? No problem! Our online design tool and free customizable templates make it easy to create the perfect label- no design experience required.


Step 2: Artwork Elements 

Safe Zones

Now that your artwork is sized and formatted correctly, you’ll want to ensure all the elements on your design will print accordingly. One of the most crucial parts of this is keeping all important design aspects within the label safe zone such as text, images, and icons. Keeping these items within the safe zone ensures they will not be cut off due to the mechanical shift of our printers during the printing process. The safe zone area for labels on sheets and cut-to-size labels is 0.125” in from the outer edge of the label. The safe zone area for labels on rolls and keg collars is 0.0625” in from the outer edge of the label. For more information about safe zones, check out our separate article here.


Along with keeping things like images and text within the safe zone, it’s important to check that these elements will print clearly and legibly. For images and any other rasterized content, the recommended resolution is 300dpi or better. You’ll also want to double check that any images or icons are also embedded into your artwork or are exported as separate assets you can provide us with. 


When it comes to text, the most important thing to consider is legibility. While everything may look fine on your screen, you’ll want to check that everything is still legible when printed at your final label size. We recommend printing your design out at actual size to see how your text will appear on your finished product. Click here for more information about legibility, and to see our tips for creating legible labels.

If you’re designing your label using software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you’ll also want to ensure your text is converted to shapes or outlines before sending in your artwork file. You can do this by selecting your text and choosing "Convert to Shape" in Photoshop or “Create Outlines” in Illustrator from the Type dropdown menu at the top of your screen.


Lastly, you’ll want to double check the size of any barcodes on your label. In order for a barcode to be scannable, it must measure at least 1” in width, depending on the barcode data. As part of our artwork proofing process, we do test all barcodes to ensure they scan correctly and have found that any barcodes under 1” wide have difficulty scanning.   

Color Matching

If you’re looking to print specific colors, such as a brand or product color palette, we recommend requesting color matching services on your order. Color matching allows us to ensure your printed colors match your design as closely as possible. In order to perform our color matching services on your label, you will need to provide a vector file of your artwork as well as the Pantone codes for each color.  If you’re matching your colors to a physical item or sample, you will need to send us the item you’re looking to match the color of. For more about color matching, and to ensure the colors on your artwork print accurately, check out this separate article here


If you’d like your artwork to print all the way to the edge of your label, you will need to add bleed to your design. Please note that not all of our sheet label templates are able to accommodate bleed, whether it be multi-color or single-color bleed. Click here to browse our sheet templates that can support any type of bleed. For more options, we recommend choosing labels on rolls or cut-to-size labels. Both of these products are always able to accommodate both single and multi-color bleed. 

For labels on sheets, cut-to-size labels, and stickers, we recommend including a bleed of at least 0.125.” For labels on rolls and keg collars, we recommend including a bleed of at least 0.0625.” For more information about bleed, check out our separate article here.


Step 3: Material Specifications

While most of our materials are able to print any type of artwork, there are a few limitations to be aware of. Most of these limitations concern our transparent materials such as Clear Gloss or our metallic materials such as Silver BOPP. When printing on a transparent material, any white elements on your artwork will be printed as transparent. This includes white text, logos, icons, and images. Similarly, when printing on a metallic material, any white elements on your artwork will be printed as silver. In order to have white color print on a transparent or metallic material, your order will need to be for roll labels. We are unable to print white on clear or metallic for labels produced on sheets.

Along with this, you will also need to supply a vector file of your artwork. This is an editable/layered file and is typically an AI, SVG, EPS, or layered PDF file type. We are unable to use flat image files such as PNGs or JPEGs for this. Lastly, when placing your order, you will also need to select the “White Ink” option. This lets our team know that your artwork contains these white elements. Check out our separate article here for more information about white ink printing.


Step 4: Artwork Content Restrictions

Finally, you’ll want to ensure your artwork does not contain any restricted or non-printable content. This includes anything with a visible watermark or anything that violates our Terms of Service. Click here for more information.

Print File Types 

Now that you’ve taken these steps, the proofing process should be a breeze for our team! We’re excited to review your artwork and will do everything we can to ensure it’s ready for printing. We can accept nearly any standard image type for printing (JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, EPS, AI, PSD, etc), however we always recommend submitting a vector file (EPS, SVG, AI) or a high-resolution raster image (TIFF, PSD) to get the best quality print. Still have concerns about your artwork? No problem! You can still go ahead and submit the file with your order and our team will be happy to help eliminate any remaining issues during the proofing phase of your order.

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Real time help is available Monday through Friday 9AM - 6PM EST

Need help? We’re here!

Our expert customer service team is ready to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Real time help is available Monday through Friday 9AM - 6PM EST
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