Common Label Printing Mistakes To Avoid

When you have invested your time and effort into creating the perfect label design, the last thing you want is to receive a finished product that fails to perform as expected. From labels that don’t adhere to the intended surface, to colours printing in slightly different shades, there are many issues that could arise from the printing process if you aren’t properly prepared.

No matter whether you’re looking to print labels for promotional purposes, product packaging or personal use, there are steps you can take to ensure you get a desirable result. Before sending your artwork to the printer, make sure you double and triple check your file to avoid making these common label printing mistakes.

Incorrect Colours

There are two types of colour profiles that you can choose from when creating a design file; CMYK and RGB. For the best results in colour printing, you want to be selecting the CMYK option.

You may have noticed that your home or office printer uses ink cartridges in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black). Each time you send a file to your printer, it is essentially mixing these four colours in different combinations to reproduce what’s on your computer screen.

The only problem is, the images on digital screens are made up of Red, Blue and Green. With different base colours, there will always be a variation between CMYK and RGB schemes.

By switching your design file into a CMYK colour profile, you’ll be much more likely to match the colour on your screen to the one that will be printed on your label. If you provide your artwork to your printer in RGB, you run the risk of your label having colour discrepancies.

Incomplete Design

It’s very important to account for three invisible lines in your design. The first is the dyeline, which tells the printer where it should cut the label material to create the intended shape and size.

Next is the bleed area, which extends the background of your label beyond the edge of the design to ensure there won’t be any unwanted white space on your printed artwork.

And last, but not least, is the safe zone. As the name suggests, anything that lies within the boundaries of the safe zone is protected and won’t be accidentally cut off. You should always leave some space between the elements of your design and the edge of the safe zone to allow some room for error.

If you do not include a dyeline, bleed area and safe zone in your design, you run the risk of parts of your label being partially cut off or removed completely during the printing process.

Blurry Images

There’s nothing more unprofessional than a pixelated image. For crisp and clear label graphics, you should aim to use vector-based images. Unlike traditional photographs that are comprised of pixels, vectors are made up of paths and shapes that allow the graphic to be resized as needed without impacting the image quality.

While vectors are the ideal choice, you can still use pixel-based images as long as you use a resolution of 300dpi or more. The higher the dpi or dots per inch within the image, the greater the result, as it provides more detail in the image for the printer to read and produce.

Missing Fonts

Have you ever opened a file that is unable to be read due to missing fonts? Every computer-based system must have the required font type installed to be able to read the text in any given file.

The same principle applies when sending your artwork to a professional printer. If you supply artwork with unique or custom fonts, the printer will be unable to interpret the text in your design.

To prevent potential printing errors, you need to ensure your text is outlined in your design program. Most popular software programs will offer a function that allows you to outline your text and transform it from a font type into an image. In doing so, your text will become embedded into your label artwork, enabling the printer to read the typography.

Spelling Mistakes

It may seem obvious, but it’s so easy to miss a small typo or spelling error in your design. You don’t want to find it later once its already been printed onto a large quantity of labels.

Before finalising your artwork, read over every single detail in your label design. It’s also a good idea to get another set of eyes to look over the file. Someone with a fresh perspective is far more likely to detect minor issues than someone who has reviewed the same artwork several times.

File Format Not Accepted

Every printer in Perth is different and it’s important to follow the guidelines of the company you decide to use. Certain printing companies may only be able to accept certain file types. To save time and effort, make sure you provide your artwork in a format that the printer will be able to recognise.

What’s more, you also need to consider the size of your file and the dimensions of your design. If your file is entering double digits in gigabyte territory, it may be too large for the printer to read. Chat to your printer about size restrictions and work with your designer to condense your file without reducing quality.

When it comes to the proportions of your actual label, it’s best to double check that you are supplying it to the printer with the right measurements. A simple slip on the keyboard could change your label dimensions from millimetres to centimetres and suddenly you could end up printing a run of labels that are 10x the size of what you require.

At The Label Factory, we provide our artwork guidelines on our website to give you easy access to all the information you need to prepare your file. We’ve been around for more than two decades so we’ve seen all the common mistakes that people tend to make.

As Perth’s sticker label printing specialists, you can trust us to handle all of your label needs. To ensure you get the best possible result, contact us today to discuss your project.