Instructions for uploading art files
Every day we receive dozens, sometimes hundreds, of different artwork files for custom package printing. Sometimes the art we receive is perfect but often there are problems that need to be addressed before we can move forward with printing. This page has been developed by KDV Label to assists in the flow of information and artwork and can be used as guide to generate appropriate art and copy for your project from conception through final files and plates.
All labels will be printed using Flexographic presses. All trapping is done by KDV Label. Please do not trap your art, and please remove existing traps from your art unless you are supplying DTP files. The information provided below is for general reference only. If you have a specific question please contact your customer service representative.
- Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf)
- Adobe InDesign (.id, .eps or .pdf)
- Adobe Photoshop (300 dpi or higher) (.psd, .jpeg or. tiff)
- Adobe Illustrator (.ai, .eps or .pdf)
- QuarkXPress (.qxp, .pdf) **(files will be converted to .eps and an additional charge may apply)
- All art components must be layered and selectable using a mouse. This applies to filter effects added to the art, Illustrator filter effects in versions 9 and earlier should not be used as those effects will not color separate and will need to be rebuilt.
- Send any graphics used in the file separately, DO NOT EMBED GRAPHICS IN FILE, keep them as a separate link.
- No hairline or smaller lines/rules. All lines need to be 1/2 point minimum.
- Images should be cropped, scaled and rotated in native application prior to placement in Illustrator.
- Make sure all linked files sent to us are high resolution, minimum 300 DPI.
- Do not send RGB (Red, Green, Blue) files or images, convert files to CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) before sending. This will allow you to see the effect the conversion will have on your image.
- When designing line art, indicate PMS colors. Try to avoid the use of CMYK color mixtures, which are mostly used for process work.
- All colors need to be properly defined as process or spot. All unused colors need to be deleted from the color palette. Spot colors need to carry their proper PMS designation. Colors that have been used to designate special colors need to be named to reflect the color as they will print (i.e.) a color showing where gold foil is to imprint should be named “gold foil”.
- NO WHITEOUT! Unwanted items need to be deleted not covered with a white box. This includes flaws in scans and EPS file. They should be cleaned up before being placed in artwork.
You will get the best results when you include images with your file, instead of placing or embedding them. Placed images often allow enough information for a preview of an image but do not contain the proper information to print the graphic at a higher resolution. Embedded images are not editable. In order for images to print in high resolution and to allow for edits, we highly suggest including the graphic files separately.
- Send all fonts used in your artwork with mac compatible fonts. Be sure to include both screen and printer fonts. Remember to include fonts used in graphic files placed into your art. If you are unable to send us fonts, convert Type to paths or outlines before sending art.
- Minimum type size for copy built out of one color is 4pt., for builds of two colors is 7pt., for type reversed out of one color the min size is 6pt and for type reversed out of two colors (max of two colors) the minimum is 8pt.
- On small type size (4 to 8pt.) use boldface sanserif fonts make sure “™” and “®” marks are large and bold enough to reproduce in a readable manner.
- Make sure all the type styles have been applied properly, avoid using pseudo fonts align columns/ text by using tabs, not the spacebar.
- It also helps to send a version of your art with all copy outlined.
Maintain 1/16″ margins from die line for all art, unless it is intentional to bleed off label. Examples below show setup for diecut, direct food contact, sheeted with no ink border and with common border.
- Information on barcodes can be obtained from the GS1 website. Once you have acquired the numbers for your bar code KDV can create bar codes for you. KDV places its own bar codes in your art to verify scannability of your code. All codes are test scanned in our facility at press for verification. KDV requires at least an 80% barcode printed black on white with minimum 1/8” quiet zones to guarantee scannability.
- KDV Label’s customer service representatives are also very well versed on legality issues for labeling in most markets and will make every attempt to assist you in making your label comply with all regulations.
Top Product Artwork Mistakes
- If you used a page layout program (QuarkXpress, InDesign, Pagemaker, Publisher, etc.) you must provide all fonts used in your layout. If you do not supply fonts, you will be asked to upload your fonts and your job will be placed on hold until we receive them.
- Nearly all graphics programs can provide you with a list of fonts used in a document.
Special Note: Not all font companies will allow their fonts to be embedded within documents (subject to certain licensing restrictions). If you are using any of these fonts it is imperative that you either provide working copies of all fonts used in the job when you send your file.
For instructions on how to correctly package your Illustrator art files to include all images and fonts please see this link.
If you want your color to print all the way to the edge of your product label you need to include a bleed. For example, if you want to print a 3″ x 5″ label, the size of the artwork you would create would be 3.125″ x 5.125″. Also, you need to leave some space around the very edge of your label that is free of text. The reason we need this is because during die-cutting the label material can drift ever so slightly (up to 1/32″), so you need to make allowances for this in your artwork.
Most color printers today print in CMYK, also known as four color process. However, all computer monitors display color as RGB (Red-Green-Blue). Now if you create your file for the RGB color space, the color is going to look different when printed on a CMYK printer, so it is always a good idea to create your artwork as CMYK. You should request a contract proof if color is very important to you.
Many times people send us a file of a picture or graphic that was on their web site and expect us to create a nice looking label from it. Unfortunately, in most cases the file on the web site is very low resolution, often as low as 72 dpi. We know if we print a file at that resolution it is going to look terrible. We recommend a resolution of 300 dpi for best results.
If you are using a newer version of Photoshop or Illustrator (Creative Cloud) this is less of a problem, but for people using older versions it is still a major issue. All your graphic elements should be linked in your document and collected with the art file before sending them to us, otherwise when we open your file there may be missing graphics or links.
There are dozens of different software programs you can use to design your labels. A trip to your local CompUSA will give you plenty of inexpensive choices, but these packages typically use proprietary formats that are designed to be used only on your desktop printer. Most of them cannot be used on a professional label printing press. We have artwork specs on our web site, but you will always be better off if you use the graphic industry standard programs: Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. These packages create high quality art that will produce the best quality custom product label. If you don’t have this software, then make sure you can export into a standard graphics format such as EPS, TIF or a hi-res JPEG.
Many people create their label artwork and then print it out on their inkjet or laser printer, thinking this is how their labels will look. But anyone who owns more than one different printer knows that color can look vastly different between printers. If color is important to you we recommend you request a free contract proof – this way you will see exactly what your labels will look like when printed.
We often receive artwork where the size of the art does not match the size of the requested label. This may be intentional but unless we have complete instructions we don’t know how to handle the artwork. Is extra white space needed? Is the label supposed to be centered, or should we be cropping the label to make it fit the desired size? If your artwork is a different size than the requested label please include detailed instructions with your order.
We see files every day that contain one or more of these mistakes. So if you can avoid these common pitfalls when creating your artwork, your custom product label order will be processed more quickly and you will receive the high quality result that you are no doubt expecting. If you have questions about any of the points discussed here please let us know, we will be happy to help you.
Of course, if you are new to graphic design you may be making one of these mistakes without even realizing it. So what you can do if you are unsure about your art file is email it to us and we will take a look at it, or give us a call and we will answer your questions. It is always easier in the long run to take extra time before submitting your artwork and avoid making one of these common mistakes.