Guidelines For Designing Labels, Stickers or Decals

  • Feb 9, 2017

labels-for-businessStickers, labels or decals are used by most companies large, medium and small. You probably thought you could just order anything and it would work.  Well, I hate to tell you but you would be incorrect.  Following are some important items to consider before designing and ordering your labels, stickers or decals.

What type of label, sticker or decal do you want?  On a roll, individual or on a laser sheet? If they are on a roll do you need them perforated between each label?   If your labels are on a roll do you need a specific quantity per roll?  Do you need a certain core size for your roll?   Mailing labels, or catalog labels are usually on a laser sheet 8 ½” x 11″.  Labels that will be hand applied to bottles, paper, catalogs or packaging are typically on a roll or individual.  Individual cut labels or decals which are the more expensive are used typically when you are handing them out or using them for name tags, conventions, window stickers, political purposes, etc.

What size and shape of label do you need? Keep in mind the product you are going to be placing the label, sticker or decal on and make sure it fits and looks size appropriate.  They are available in all shapes – rectangles, squares, circles, ovals, specialty shapes and custom shapes and sizes.  I would recommend doing this before you start the design process so that you know what area and shape you are working with.

Design – what are you placing the label, sticker or decal on?  If you are using these on a colored background keep that in mind.  Ex. If you are placing on a jar or bottle will the container be white, clear, blue, brown, or green?  If it’s a catalog is the background black, red, blue, etc.?  You want your design to look nice and show up on whatever you are placing them on.  Keep the color of the object you are placing these on in mind while you design your background color and create your entire design.  Also bear in mind if you need the label, sticker or decal numbered or printed with a bar code.   You can also choose from a very large selection as far as the color of stock you have them imprinted on.  Some examples are green, blue, yellow, white, silver, gold, neon, or clear.  This is not inclusive of all the colors.  Additionally, you can choose a foil background or a foil imprint.

What are you applying these to?  It is extremely important when ordering labels to let the company know what you are using these for.  Different adhesives are used for different products.  Ex.  If you need a theft deterrent product they use a different material as well as a different adhesive.  If you are placing them on glass, metal, plastic or paper they need to know so they can use the proper adhesive.  If you do not want permanent adhesive it is critical that you let them know or if you want the newer repositionable adhesive they need to know that as well.

Environment – Where will you be using these labels?  If these are used in a warehouse under bright light and you use a neon paper label that neon color will fade out.  If you use a vinyl product with a laminate coating it will protect your label and imprint. If they are being used outside or in an industrial capacity a different material and finish will need to be used.  If you are using these indoors on a catalog or mailing envelope you can use white litho that cannot be used in an outdoor environment.   Last example . . . if you are applying these to a container that may get wet, oily, dirty or you may have wet hands you will need a vinyl product with a coating.  Different stock, adhesive and finishing are used for each application.  You need to be sure and specify where you will be using them for these reasons.

Submitting artwork – I can never stress enough, proof, proof, and then proof again.  Have several people review the art before submitting it to be printed.  Prior to submitting please make sure your art is at a minimum dpi of 300.  Specify PMS colors if applicable.  Vector art is required unless you have a photo type design that is printing full color digital.  If you need more info on vector please check out my article What is Vector Art? It can be found at

Hopefully, following these guidelines will help you achieve a seamless project.  If you do have further questions don’t hesitate to contact us or you can check out numerous label options on our web site

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  • Tags: decals, design, guidelines for labels, labels, labels for business, Marketing, stickers
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