How to Set Up Sticker Artwork
At StickerGiant, we touch every piece of artwork that is submitted to be turned into custom stickers and labels. In doing so, we offer Free Artwork Setup so all you have to do is send us an image. We get a lot of questions about how to setup artwork though and below are a few guidelines on how we get stickers ready to print.
How to Set Up Artwork Files for Custom Stickers
Every custom sticker artwork file has three main attributes: Safe Area, Cut Line and Bleed. All essential information on a sticker like text or logos should stay inside the safe area. The area outside the safety zone is for background color and bleed. Generally, the safe area begins 1/8" inside the cut line, but this can be as narrow as 1/16", just let us know.
Any artwork that goes to the edge of the sticker should extend to the Bleed line. This creates a tolerance that ensures the background doesn’t get cut off in production. The bleed extends 1/8” out from the Cut Line.
The Cut Line is the edge of your finished sticker. Our lasers cut along this path during production. In general, the cutline is setup 1/8” out from your artwork, and this can be setup to be 1/16" out from your artwork. It mostly depends on the size of your sticker or label. For stickers and labels over 1" x 1" in size, it is possible to make the safe zone smaller, and have this be 1/16". For smaller stickers and labels under a 1" x 1", a cut line of 1/8" from your design will always be needed due to our finishing process. Cut Lines should also always have rounded corners.
Raster vs. Vector
We can print both raster and vector images. Vector images are infinitely scalable graphics made up of paths, lines and shapes. Vector graphics are commonly made in Adobe Illustrator and have file extensions .ai, .eps and .svg. Raster images are made up of pixels and are commonly photographic. Raster images need to be 300dpi at print size for high quality printing.
We want your stickers to print with the best possible quality. If possible send us your artwork in vector format or raster format at 300dpi CMYK color mode in one of these file formats. Not sure? Have a different file format? No problem. Our Art Department is standing by to help advise you or to fix up your artwork for print.
Most of our stickers print using CMYK process color printing. That means the colors are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, like the four colors you see in the lightbulbs below. Our Silkscreen Stickers print using spot color printing. Not sure what we mean by CMYK or spot color? Learn more about the difference between CMYK vs. Spot Color here.
At StickerGiant our stickers are cut with lasers following a path around the artwork. To properly set up a cut path, use a vector shape with a .5 pt stroke in 100% magenta. The cut path can have no sharp corners. Our standard corner radius is 1/8”. The minimum corner radius is .04”.
Clear Stickers should be set up in layers. The artwork should be on one layer. A white vector layer should backup any color areas. A third layer should indicate any clear areas. Clear stickers should be submitted as vector graphics with no transparency.
StickerGiant can produce sticker sheets with multiple stickers on one sheet. Follow these guidelines for perfect sticker sheet setup:
- Extend bleed 1/8” out from any Cut Line, and some margins may vary based on the size of your Sticker Sheets and individual sticker peels.
- The two shorter sides of the sheet must have 1/2” margin between Sheet Cut Line and Sticker Cut Line
- The two longer sides of the sheet must have 1/4” margin between Sheet Cut Line and Sticker Cut Line
- Individual stickers must have 1/8” inset between Cut Line and artwork
- 1/16” minimum between Cut Lines
- Round corners on all Cut Lines
Learn more about some of our artwork guidelines