EHG’s Pre-Printing Checklist for Cut & Stack Labels

POSTED 07/03/2014
Beginners Guide for Customized Labels by EHG

When you’re getting ready to print cut & stack labels with Epsen Hillmer Graphics, there are a number of steps you need to take to make sure that your labels come out looking the way you envision them. The name of the game when it comes to getting your label designs ready to be printed is paying attention to the details, so before you send our custom label printing experts your final label design, here are some basic rules to follow that will ensure a successful print run!

1. Pay Attention to the Safety Zone

Part of the process of creating your cut & stack labels is, you guessed it, cutting them! When we cut them to the size you need, we want to make sure that we don’t cut off anything important, like text, images, or any other vital part of the design. That’s why we recommend a ½ inch buffer from the trim size of the label (which we call the “safety zone”). If you keep this area around the edges of your cut & stack labels clear of important text and images, you’ll come out with great-looking labels. If text and images are in this “no man’s land” when cutting time comes, they might get cut off!

2. The Size of Your Cut & Stack Label Design Matters

When you send a label design to our label printing company in Omaha, it’s important to remember that the size of the file you send matters. When sizing your cut & stack labels design, you need to take the bleed into account.

What’s the bleed? Essentially, the bleed refers to the edges of your labels that get trimmed during the cutting process. This area extends 0.125 inches from the finished size of your label.

Why does the bleed matter? Think of it this way—if you simply send us an image file for your label that’s the actual size of the cut & stack labels you want, your labels will actually be ⅛ inch smaller than you want them to be! This may sound like a small number, but believe us, it can make a huge difference. It’s much better to pay attention to the details now than to realize something’s wrong when your labels are finished!

3. What Colors are You Using?

If you’re used to seeing the design of your cut and stack labels on a screen, you should know that those colors won’t translate exactly right to a custom label. Electronic screens like computer monitors use the RGB color model to display colors, while custom label printing requires your graphic file to be in CMYK composite. For more information on these different systems, check out our article, “Why You Should Always Color Proof Your Custom Labels.”

To put it simply, you should make sure that your image file is in CMYK composite and that the colors of your cut & stack labels are the way you want them before you send them to us. If you send us the file in RGB and we have to change it to CMYK, the colors of the final product won’t be exactly how you want them to be.

4. Get an Accurate Idea of Your Print Resolution

You may think that what you see on your screen will accurately reflect what you’ll see on your finished cut & stack labels, but that’s not always the case. Our custom label printing experts recommend a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) to get the best print results on your labels, but here’s the catch—electronic screens generally display resolutions of only 72 to 116 ppi (pixels per inch).

To get a true idea of what your label will look like in print, you’ll have to zoom in your monitor display up to 300-400 percent.

Contact Epsen Hillmer Graphics at (402) 342-7000!

If you focus on the details when creating the digital file of your cut & stack labels, you can avoid potential problems down the line and end up with fantastic labels for your consumer products from Epsen Hillmer Graphics. Centrally located in Omaha, we are the Midwest’s premier custom label printing company. Give EHG a call today at (402) 342-7000 to see how we can make your perfect cut and stack labels a reality!