Have you been reading about the power of sticker marketing and want to give it a try? Are you unsure how to get the entire process started and make sure you get the perfect result?
Look no further, we are here to help you achieve exactly that. In this article, you find everything you need to know about the custom sticker printing process and what pitfalls to look out for when designing your stickers.
But before we jump straight into the best ways to prepare your artwork, let’s clarify some basic terms. When you first enter the sticker universe, the number of terms used to describe adhesive-backed pieces of paper or plastic can be confusing: stickers, labels and decals – what is the difference?
Stickers are usually individually cut, whereas labels arrive on sheets. This makes them 65% faster to peel and apply, which is ideal when you have to apply hundreds. Stickers are perfect for giveaways and event handouts. Decals tend to be bigger than stickers and labels, but are still cut individually.
Now that we are more familiar with these terms, let’s dive into our ultimate guide to designing and printing stickers.
- Send in high-resolution artwork
Your artwork is the basis of your sticker. You want to make sure you submit it in the highest resolution possible to ensure a crisp and clean print.
If you are submitting a design that includes text and an illustration, we recommend handing it in as a vector file. A vector is made out of shapes and outlines which makes your artwork easy to scale and allows for a high-quality print.
Do you want to print an image? Then it should be no lower than 300 dpi. Dpi stands for dots per inch. Images are made out of many little dots, so-called pixels. The more pixels there are per inch, the higher the resolution of your artwork.
- Keep it legible
This might seem obvious, but it is worth keeping an eye on the size of your text. Printing companies usually work with a 1.2mm standard. This means that your text should be at least 1.2mm high to print legibly. This roughly translates into 8pt, depending on the font used.
Especially when you want to print product labels with ingredients and instructions on, it is essential to keep this standard in mind and choose an appropriate size that will allow all your text to be legible.
We recommend viewing your design at scale before submitting it. This means, if you ordered a 2×2 inches sticker, view it at its actual size.
- Convert your colors
Not all the colors you see on your screen can be printed. Screens show an RGB color gamut. This means these colors are the product of red, green and blue. Using these three colors, a total of 16,777,216 can be created.
Printers work with a CMYK color code. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. That color gamut can generate 16,000 different colors. This still means that multiple colors can be created, but it illustrates the difference between an RGB and a CMYK palette.
When you convert the colors in your artwork, you can be sure that they will be printed exactly as you can see them on the screen.
- Find your material
Many sticker printers offer a great range of materials to choose from. The most basic distinction we can make is between paper and vinyl stickers.
Paper stickers are ideal for short-term indoor uses and perfect for food packaging labels and product packaging. They are not as resistant as vinyl stickers and should not come in contact with oils or fatty foods. However, they are a great biodegradable alternative to traditional sticker materials.
Vinyl stickers, on the other hand, resists water, chemicals, oils and sunlight, making them perfect for outdoor uses where they can last up to 3 years. Vinyl materials are incredibly versatile and come with different effects. The above image shows a great example of a holographic vinyl that can really elevate any product packaging.
- Stick to simple shapes
Die-cut stickers can have any shape you would like them to have, which is amazing. However, we recommend keeping your cut lines simple to give you the best possible result.
The fewer edges your sticker has, the less likely it is to peel. Round and square shapes with rounded corners are perfect for that and always look timelessly smart.
Take a look at this example of a round transparent sticker. Its simple shape works amazingly well and lets the design speak for itself.
And that’s everything you need to know to make sure you get the perfect stickers, labels or decals. We really hope you found this article useful and are now ready to embark on your sticker adventure. Do you have any questions? Or are you already a sticker expert and would like to share some additional tips? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment down below.