Just how do you design custom printed labels?

At Mercian Labels we often get many customers enquiring about how they should design their labels, as they dont have professional graphic design software in house, or havent yet engaged a designer to realise their design ideas.

This is why we offer a custom design service to help customers who do not have professional artwork files to create their new label designs. This is a great cost effective service saving customers from having to pay the costs of commissioning a full graphic service from a advertising or design agency. As our graphic design studio is PC based we have a few simple instructions for customers to follow when sending artwork.

If you use either CoralDraw 14 or Abode Illustrator CS3 then your artwork would look a lot better than if they were to use other programs that are not vector based. This is because both these programs help to improve the sharpness of the printing plates and allows easier colour separation and a better quality image. Our customers benefit greatly by using these programs as they give a lot better results for your design. We also advise customers to make sure that all photographic images are embedded into the file and all text created where possible as vector drawing line work as this all helps get the best results for their design.

To minimise the chances of unexpected design artefacts, we advise customers who need their artwork to be bleed off to make sure they allow 1.5mm of bleed off. We also express to customers how important it is for them to convert all fonts to curves/paths as this stops any missing texts issues when our graphic design studio opens the file up.

The process for getting designs ready to be printed flexographically is not a simple process at all for the uninitiated! We prefer to complete the process ourselves as the design has to be stepped and repeated and also stretched around the cylinder before sending for the plates.  Trust me – if you dont know what you are doing, you dont want to try this!

It is important that customers do follow the instructions given as otherwise files could be sent to our graphic studio which may not be usable for printing. This could be because of artwork being sent as low resolution jpeg or gif files, or it could be because designs are sent to us without converting font into outline paths. When customers do not follow normal industry practice for design files, it inevitably extends the amount of time it takes to go through the whole artwork approval stage of the order.

Our full guidelines for artwork files can be found at https://www.mercianlabels.com/artwork.html but please fee free to email us for free advice on design files – try jamie.caddick@mercianlabels.com first of all!