Sticker Printing: Top 5 Tips and things to avoid

Are you ready to get your custom stickers printed, but are not sure what to look out for? Maybe you are putting the final touches to your artwork and want to ensure you get the best possible result? Or do you simply want to learn more about the sticker printing process? 

In this article, you will find everything you need to ensure a great result when printing custom stickers. We will talk you through the top 5 things to avoid when preparing your artwork, or even if you are looking to print your own stickers. Following these steps, you can lean back, relax and trust the process.

1. Low-quality artwork 

The artwork you want to print is the foundation of your sticker. The higher the quality of your design, the better your final outcome will be. If you are comfortable using design software, then this is probably not an issue for you. 

However, if you are new to this, there are a few ways you can improve the quality of your artwork. Are you working with text and illustrations? Then it will be best to convert your design into a vector file. A vector file is made of geometric shapes. This makes it super easy for your sticker printer to scale your design, allowing it to print as crisp as possible. 

If you are working with images instead, you want to make sure that your file is at 300 dpi. Images are made out of little dots, so-called pixels. The more dots an image has per inch, the higher its resolution is. Dpis refers to this metric called dots per inch and gives you a great indication of the quality of your artwork. 

2. Small writing

Especially when you are designing product labels, you are working with lots of text that has to fit onto a limited space. While it is essential to have all the necessary information on your sticky labels, you also need to ensure that your text will still be legible when printed. 

A great metric to use to double-check this before sending your artwork to print is the minimum height requirement. This is a standard professional printing companies use to check whether a text will be legible. All you have to do is check the height of your letters. Each letter should be at least 1.2 mm high. This roughly translates into a font size of 8pt, depending on the font used. 

3. RGB colors

Colors can be a little tricky when you are designing for print. That is because your screen and your printer work within different colors models. If you want to see an accurate representation of your colors when printed, you have to convert your colors on screen. 

Most programs will allow you to do that. Here is what you need to look for: Your computer generates colors using red, green and blue (RGB in short). Using this combination, screens can create 16,777,216 colors. Your printer, on the other hand, works in CMYK. That stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black with which it can generate about 16,000 colors. 

Since there is quite the difference between the colors possible using RGB and CMYK, converting your colors to CMYK will preempt any unpleasant surprises. 

4. Choosing the cheapest option 

Many sticker printers advertise the lowest price. While the cost surely plays a role in any purchase decision, we advise choosing the perfect size and shape based on your application, not the price. 

The majority of the advertised prices are based on a 1×1” sticker. Such a size can work for simple, small logo stickers, but will not suffice when you are looking for product labels or laptop stickers. Often, we get lured in by such bargains, only to end up disappointed with the end result and spending more time and money on fixing what could have been avoided in the first place. 

As a rule of thumb, stickers between 3” and 5” are ideal for numerous applications and give your design enough room to be impactful. 

5. Intricate cut lines 

When you choose custom printed stickers, you are free to choose the shape of your sticker as well. This allows you to create amazing die cut labels or stickers exactly how you want them. 

However, there are limits to the cut line that can be realized. Choosing a very intricate, detailed cut line can lead to jagged edges or can even cause your stickers to rip once peeled from the backing paper. 

To get the best possible result and still stick to your desired shape, make sure each individual element of your sticker is thick enough to cut. If in doubt, reach out to your sticker printer of choice, they will happily help you out. 

We hope you found this list helpful and now feel ready to tackle your own custom printed stickers. If you are still unsure or would like to share more tips, leave us a comment below.

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