( Best practices for Flexo and Digital Printing )
- Our preferred file format is Adobe Illustrator (.ai), or (.pdf) saved from Adobe Illustrator using the ( High Quality Print ) setting. If you are using any other software for your labels, please consult your customer service or sales rep to verify compatibility.
- Please do not set type or layout your label in Adobe Photoshop or other pixel-based programs. Set type and compose the file in Illustrator, placing all Photoshop images (if any are used). If using Photoshop images, the file should be in CMYK format, at least 300 DPI (dots per inch).
- If you must use an alternative vector-based software application, you must export a CMYK-print quality (.pdf) file. Make sure the following are in the PDF’s file settings: embed thumbnail, retain file colors & editability, no compression, downsample to 300 DPI, no color conversion, and no passwords.
Label printing standards
- Minimum line thickness: .50 point (1.0 point for reverse).
- Minimum font size: 4 point (6 point for reverse).
- Minimum Bleed: .0625″
- Minimum distance from die cut to graphic elements: .0625″
- Minimum Border width: .0625″ wide
- Set up files as spot color (pantone coated) and/or CMYK.
- Convert RGB files and images to CMYK.
- Delete unused colors from the swatch pallet. Indicate special match colors.
- Let your customer service representative know if you need your labels to match any existing labels, capsules, pantones, etc. If no matching instructions are provided your labels will print per your artwork file builds.
- All flexographic label art gradients must have a minimum 5% dot in all colors.
- Digital print files can have a 0% dot.
- Do not trap the artwork.
- If your label prints off the edge we required a minimum of 0.0625″ (1/16th) bleed on all sides past the dieline (A ‘bleed’ is when the artwork extends beyond the edge of where your label will be cut so that there are no white spaces around the label’s borders.)
- See this file for a proper bleed, dieline, and safe print area example.
Safe Print Areas
- All critical art such as copy and logos must be a minimum of 1/16″ from the edge of the label.
- Set up art at 100% size to fit the die plus any required bleed.
- Indicate final trim size including corner radius for rectangles.
- In-House Dies: Using a stock cutting die will help you avoid custom tooling charges. Check with our Sales or Customer Service department for more info.
- For rectangle labels please click here for our corner radius chart [PDF].
- We use .0156 (1/64) corner radius for square corners in most cases. If a true square corner is required additional charges may apply.
Special shape labels
If you have a unique, custom shaped label such as a starburst, tapered bottle label, or some other non-standard shape please note the following:
- Any sharp points in your die must be a minimum 1/64 corner radius.
- Small, intricate cut outs on the edge of your label my not strip from the label roll properly. Please send your preliminary die line for review.
- We would be happy to assist you in fitting your label to your custom shaped bottle or container. If you have a taper or a special shape to fit, please send us your container so we can create a die line for you.
- We can create internal, kiss-cuts in your label but most internal cuts cannot be stripped on our press. They will need to be removed by hand and labels created like this are not compatible with auto-application.
- If you require a multi-cavity custom cutting die (such as different sized front and back wine or alcohol bottle labels) please indicate the orientation and positioning you would like in relation to one another.
- PrimeSourceOPC has laser die-cutting capabilities! This means, whatever the shape you can create, we can cut. Some limitations do come into play in regards to a minimal list of substrates that can not be laser cut ( vinyl, polyethylene, clear – poly liner materials are just a few examples. ) Please verify with your Sales or Customer Service Representative.
- Place/Link graphics (.eps or .tif) to the art file and provide the images separately in a “links” folder. Images should be at 100% size in the file.
- Do not embed images/graphics.
- Images must be 300 dpi at actual size.
- JPEGs for images or logos must be in CMYK format with a min 300 DPI.
- Provide a flattened and a layered version of any PhotoShop files.
- Bitmapped images with small text should be a minimum of 600 dpi.
- Include all fonts or convert the fonts to paths. WARNING: converting fonts to paths/outlines will make text non-editable by our art department.
- Do not use application styles on text (i.e. bold, underline, italic, etc). Use the style variation of the specific font(s) used in your design.
Label Bar Codes
- UPC codes must meet minimum size requirements ( see chart ) for scannability. If a barcode does not meet the minimum requirements, scannability cannot be guaranteed. Customer artwork will be reviewed and barcode size suggestions will be noted on proof.
- Color choice is critical for barcode scanning performance. Choose black for the barcode color, over white or a very lightly colored background. Contrast is important, therefore some color choices are not suited for barcode use.
- Whenever possible, create label artwork in Vector Format.
- Try not to create artwork with a heavy use of Strokes. Draw the secondary shape you are trying to achieve and nest accordingly.
- Be mindful of using the color White in your artwork if it is designated as a Spot Color. If White Ink is required, place on a separate Layer and set to Overprint.