Sttark's Guide to Preparing Your Custom Label File for Printing

Custom Label Graphic Design
Even with the least competitive of souls, there is something so deeply instilled in us, so primal, so paramount, that we have to, and I mean have to, try and get all of the groceries up the steps and into the house in one trip. Bags rip, oranges roll, and muscles reach a true max, but the accomplishment is real. And…you don’t have to go back to the car. Why do we do this? To get it all done the first time.
Today, we offer the ease and time saver of sharing the checklist our team uses to make sure your custom label art files are ready to go! This is great especially if you need your custom labels quickly; correctly submitted artwork will save time and eliminate those delays.


Fonts almost need a literal passport to get from one place to the next. This is why those letters need to be outlined before you send us your art file. If they are not outlined (this also can be known as converting objects to outline), they can change to different fonts or even shift spacing or location on your artwork. When you outline your fonts, it locks them down or flattens them so that they are safe for transport.


When placing your order with us, we have a spot for you to upload your artwork. Each artwork file should be 30MB at the max, or it won’t upload. What if it’s larger than that? It’s not the end of the world, just contact us and we’ll help you get that big ‘ol file safely on over to us.

Bleed and Safe Zone

Bleed takes it to the edge. If you’d like a background color or pattern printed to the edge of your label, extend this part of the design to the bleed. What is this bleed? The bleed is .125” past the edge of the label. For example, when setting up your document, if your label is a 2” x 4” rectangle, the size of your label with bleed will be 2.125” x 4.125”. Breaking it down, that’s only .0625” on each side of the rectangle. Tiny, but tough. No white trim on the edge of this label!
The safe zone, on the other hand, is there to keep it secret, keep it safe. When your label is being converted or cut out in production, there is a tiny amount of shifting that occurs because machines will be machines; but, the safe zone ensures no important text or design element is cut off. This zone is on the inside of your label shape. The safe zone is also .125’’ as it is for the bleed, but on the inside of the die line (a die is the cookie cutter that cuts out the shape of your label when it’s being converted). So, with our example 2” x 4” rectangle, the safe zone would be 1.875” x 3.875”.

File Types

We take almost any file type, so that’s cool. You may upload any .psd, .ai, .pdf, .jpg, .tiff or .eps file. But….which ones are the best? Our graphic designers do have a few faves: .ai, .pdf, .psd, or .tiff.
Off the record, most .png and .bmp files tend to be low resolution, so do keep an eye out for that.


We print in CMYK here at Frontier. Your other color option is RGB which is used for web based work, not print. In short, do make sure your art file is set up with CMYK selected. RGB is a different color spectrum and won’t portray the colors we can print.


If you’ve ever been in place where you’ve had say, “Gee, that’s pixelated.” Or, “That image isn’t very sharp.” We’ve got you covered. Resolution is very important. If you would like your label design to print clean and sharp and clear, make sure your artwork is at least 300dpi (dpi stand for dots per inch). The higher the better. We print up to 800dpi. And that, my friends, is when the clear becomes crystal.

Embed Your Images

This is similar to outlining your fonts. The design doesn’t travel well if not prepared properly. If you have a logo, image, or any file that was placed into your artwork, that file must be embedded. If the image is not embedded, it won’t show up for our graphic artists.

All of this info might be second nature if you are a graphic artists or used to prepping art files for print. If you are new to the game, don’t worry, just let us know if you have any questions. Our team is ready to help answer questions and navigate your custom labels to a beautiful printing.
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