Print Tips
A Simple Guide to Making Better Stickers and Labels
  by:  |  Jun 6, 2017

Stickers and labels are among our most popular products. While simple to design and create, there are a couple of things that can trip up a customer while ordering. Here are some of the more important design factors to understand before you order.


Cut-to-Size or Roll?

roll sticker

Cut-to-size stickers and labels are a more economical choice for a variety of applications, especially where fewer or larger prints are required. However, cut-to-size stickers are slightly harder to remove from their backing, and are tedious to dispense when a large quantity is needed, such as in production lines.Roll stickers and labels are far more convenient in these cases. Roll stickers are also easier to peel off the backing by hand, making them better for many applications.


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

sheet and roll sticker

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

wine label

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 — you might prefer traditional textured paper for that, especially if you’re going for a classic look. Likewise, paper labels are not be the best choice in outdoor applications or situations where they would be constantly exposed to water, in which case a water-resistant vinyl or BOPP stock might be more suitable.

clear sticker

Clear BOPP would 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 show the contents in transparent containers such as beverage bottles.

custom shipping label

Standard stickers and labels use 70 lb. label stock in your choice of matte, gloss 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

cmyk close up

Stickers and labels are meant to be read at a relatively close distance. We recommend a DPI value of 300 or better, for this reason. This helps keep your final sticker and label images and text to print clearly and legibly.


Shape

Die-cut shaped stickers

Square or rectangle? Oval or circle? There’s no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your needs. 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 can also have rounded corners to avoid unsightly fraying as can happen with a lot of wear on stickers with sharp points. UPrinting offers rounded corners for both square and rectangle stickers and labels as a standard option on rolls.


Colors

assorted stocks and 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, as you would need to add another color layer to make specific areas opaque.

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 printing. Automated proofing may 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 fewer errors.

Stickers and labels are versatile tools. In many cases, they are at the very forefront of your branding and promotion efforts. Take a little time to look over what needs to be done before submitting a design for printing. This can go a long way toward creating a more coherent, effective brand.

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Questions? Insights? Just head to the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.