How To Set Up Artwork For Stickers And Labels

Lauren P
Lauren P
  • Updated

We're so glad you asked! Print-Ready Artwork is what we require and request from our customers to set up, proof and print stickers and labels that make you and your customers go WOW!

When you set up your own artwork, there are 3 main things to focus on to make sure your designs are front and center in your custom stickers and labels.

So, what is Print-Ready Artwork?

Print-ready artwork is a design or image that is ready to be proofed digitally and sent to our presses. It must be a digital version of your art, preferably not a picture or drawing of an image. It can be either a "raster" image or a "vector" image (What's the difference?) set up for the custom size and shape ordered with proper safety margins and bleed in the artwork. Fully-vector images will always be the best option if you have them available, however in most situations, as long as your raster image is at least 300dpi at your requested size, that will work too!

Every Custom Sticker Artwork File Has 3 Main Attributes, Which Are:

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Bleed in your Design: Bleed is the area of your design that extends past your cut line. We require 1/8” of bleed if your background is not white or transparent. This area is important if you have a background image or color that you would like to go to the edge of your sticker. Extending this portion or your artwork past the cut line 1/8” will ensure that there are no awkward white edges if there is any shift in the finishing process. 

In the image below, the left image has no bleed (the edge of the sticker will be white), the right image has grey bleed (the edge of the sticker will be grey).

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Cut Line - The Cut Line (magenta/pink line) represents the edge of your sticker or label and marks the final size and shape of your product. In other words, it's where our lasers cut your stickers! 

This 100% magenta line follows the width of your "safe area" around the entire outline of your design, also known as the inset or safety margin of your sticker or label. In general, the cut line is set up at 1/8” out from your artwork. For many designs this can be setup to be 1/16" out from your artwork and mostly depends on the size of your sticker or label.

  • Friendly tip: Our stickers and labels are finished with rounded corners, so if you are setting up your own cut line, your corners should be slightly rounded with a 0.04" radius or larger for the best results.

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Safe Area - The Safe Area is the space inside the cut line where the artwork containing important content should remain. (The green area below.) Anything outside of this area will be at risk of being cut off during our manufacturing process, which is why we also require a buffer area, known as the inset. (The yellow in the image below.) You’ll want to make sure that all of your logos, text, barcodes, important background elements, etc are inside of the safe area when designing your custom sticker or label.

  • In general, the safe area of our stickers and labels requires an additional buffer area which is the outer ⅛” inch of your design. For stickers and labels over 0.75"x0.75”, it is possible to make this buffer zone smaller at 1/16” out from your artwork. For designs that are smaller and measure under 0.75"x0.75”, we will always need to include a safe area of 1/8” due to our finishing process.

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