When it comes to our artwork guidelines, remember the adage: bad input equals bad output!
This guidance should be used by all customers and where possible, have your graphic designer read this before providing new artwork.
Artwork Guidelines: Process
So this is the process we go through to make your labels:
- We receive your artwork
- We must process your artwork into production files
- We seek your approval to confirm the artwork is correct
- Once approved, we will print the labels
- We won’t print anything until you agree to it.
- Once you have agreed to a document, we no longer accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.
Artwork Guidelines: File Types:
- We can work with several forms of artwork including PDF, AI, SVG, EPS, JPEG, TIFF, BMP and other formats.
- We use Windows PCs as they cost a third the price of Macs.
- We use Adobe Illustrator CS6 and Photoshop CS6 (We do not upgrade in order to keep costs to a minimum).
- Our preferred format is PDF documents built in Adobe Illustrator CS4 or later. Photoshop files (even PDFs) are not suitable for production work without additional processing.
- We do experience some difficulties when working with Mac originated files; this will lead to longer preparation times.
Artwork Guidelines: File Sizes:
- Files only need enough data to print a file – additional data can create very large files that add nothing to the final product.
- Composite files that include pixel/raster images need to have those images processed correctly to minimise file size.
- Images should be set to 300dpi (or 360dpi) and CMYK mode.
- Images should be scaled outside of the label file and saved as a unique file (ideally at the actual size they will be printed), then imported into the final file.
- Clipping large images in the final file is not recommended as this adds needless data to the file.
Artwork Guidelines: File Settings:
- Resolution should be set to 300dpi – a standard PDF will be fine
- All vector graphics formats use mathematics to plot images so we can scale these for you without the loss of image integrity
- Image processing programs like Photoshop work on pixels (rasterised) and resolution can be lost with re-sizing
- Images within vector graphics files (or images provided) should be built at 300dpi (or 360dpi if possible).
- Image modes should be set to CMYK not RGB. We print with Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and BlacK (CMYK). Graphics will often be presented in RGB (Red, Green, Blue) mode.
- If you provide files in RGB we will convert them to CMYK and colour integrity may be lost.
Artwork Guidelines: Fonts:
- Fonts in artwork pose the most frequent problem we face with customer artwork.
- They form an integral part of your brand and design so are very important for your brand.
- Many fonts in a Brand’s artwork are bespoke or rare.
- We carry about 1500 fonts in our font library but don’t expect us to have yours unless it came with Microsoft Windows.
- If any font in your artwork is unusual or purchased, we will probably not have it.
- We will not buy fonts for you unless you pay for them in full in advance.
- You can provide a copy of your font or you can outline the text in your artwork.
- If you provide a copy of your font, we can edit text in your artwork.
- If you outline text in your artwork, we will not be able to edit it.
Artwork Guidelines: Canvases and Artboards:
- We prefer print ready (sometimes called “camera ready”) artwork.
- Your artwork should not need any clipping marks or other printer’s marks as we will only have to remove these which costs us time and money. They look nice but please omit these.
- Your file should only contain the information required to print.
- Additional information can be supplied in an additional file.
- Artwork should be designed to label size +3mm on a canvas (in Photoshop) or artboard (in Illustrator)
- e.g. if your label is 50mm x 70mm, we would prefer artwork on an artboard of canvas of 53mm x 73mm
- If you have a simple die line (e.g. rectangle, oval, circle etc.) You do not need to include that.
- If you have a complex die line, please provide that on its own in a separate file with identical size and position settings as the artwork*.
- If you have multiple designs, we prefer these to be in individual files rather than multiple pages in one file.
*If you wish to prepare the Die Line Correctly, you can set it to Spot Colour, Cyan, 0.25pt stroke and Overprint Stroke