UPrinting Design How-To Series: A Simple Guide to Making Better Stickers and Labels

by Arthur Piccio on 04/30/2013

by Arthur Piccio  |  April 30, 2013  |  Design, Print Tips

Stickers and labels are among our most ordered products. While simple to design and create, there are a couple of things that can trip up a customer ordering these for the first time. Here are some of the more important design factors to look through before you order.

Standard or Roll?

Standard sheet stickers and labels are a more economical choice for a variety of applications, especially where fewer or larger prints are required. However, they may be tedious to dispense when a large quantity are needed. Roll stickers and labels can be far more convenient in these cases.

Location (e.g. what you’re sticking them on)

You don’t want to spend unnecessary hours designing a sticker or a product label only to find out that it’s a poor match for whatever you’re sticking them to. For instance, beer bottles may come in brown, green, or clear varieties, and you’ll want your label’s colors and materials to match them appropriately.

Materials and Finishes

Different materials are more suited for certain applications. For example, white Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) film may be great for promotional stickers, but may not be the best material to use for wine bottles. Likewise, paper labels might not be the best choice in outdoor applications or situations where they would be constantly exposed to water.

Transparent BOPP might also be a better choice for situations where you’d want some part of your design to be transparent. It’s also an appropriate material when you want to better show the contents in transparent vessels such as beverage bottles.

Standard stickers and labels  use 70 lb label stock in your choice of matte or UV (high gloss) finishes. Some customers prefer matte for a classier look that doesn’t easily show fingerprints. Others prefer a high gloss finish for making text and images look brighter and sharper, making for a potentially more eye-catching sticker.

Resolution

Stickers and labels are meant to be read at a relatively close distance. We recommend a PPI/DPI value of around 300 or better, for this reason. This helps keep your stickers and label’s images and text clear and legibile.

Less important details such as background images, may look fine at 250 PPI/DPI, so long as important foreground elements have better resolution. UPrinting’s offset and digital printers are capable of photo quality resolution values of  up to 600 PPI/DPI, so having better than 300 PPI/DPI won’t hurt at all.

Shape

Square or rectangle? Oval or circle? There’s no right or wrong answer -it all really depends on the type of application you’d want your stickers for. Circle and oval shapes however, are much less common than square or rectangle stickers, and you might want to go with these and sacrifice just a small bit of available space for a more memorable sticker or label.

However, if you want to go with a rectangular or square-shaped design, you may want it to have rounded corners to avoid unsightly fraying as usually happens with stickers with sharp points. UPrinting offers rounded corners for both square and rectangle stickers as a standard option for roll labels.

Colors

It goes without saying that you’ll want to match colors with your brand, among other things. However, it’s important to consider the type of material you’ll be using for your stickers. Colors for stickers on clear BOPP for instance, may have to be handled differently from paper wine labels.


It also helps to properly calibrate your monitor settings to ensure better color fidelity and to give our prepress specialists a better idea of the colors you need.

 

Proofing

Regardless of design and regardless of who you print with, it’s best to have your design manually proofed before actual printing. Automated proofing may sometimes lead to important parts of images going over borders, and critical text being trimmed off during the cutting process. We offer manual proofing as standard for all our products to ensure better fewer avoidable errors.

Stickers and labels are versatile tools that in many cases, may be at the very forefront of your branding and promotions efforts. Taking a little time to look over what needs to be done before submitting a design for printing can go a long way towards creating a more coherent and effective brand.

Other Posts In The UPrinting Design How-To Series:

Effective Promotional Door Hangers 

Designing USPS-Friendly Postcards

Vinyl Banner Design Checklist

Choosing Booklet Design Options

Choosing Poster Sizes, Stocks, and Finishes

Run a Better Marketing Campaign With Flyers

 

 

Love/Hate this article? Questions? Insights? Just head over to the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!

This post was written by

Arthur Piccio is UPrinting.com's Small Business and Public Relations Coordinator.

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