6 Tips for Designing Stickers and Labels
Stickers or labels you’ve designed can be a great addition to your portfolio. Labels are a prominent part of package design – a growing industry. Stickers are a great tool used for promoting businesses, products, events and even people. Designing custom stickers and labels is very similar to designing for traditional print, with a few mall changes. Ensure you get the best results with these tips and tricks from StickerYou, sticker printing professionals.
- Beware the bleed. As with traditional printing, it is important to add a bleed of at least 1/8 inch to your design to account for subtle shifting in the cutting of your stickers or labels. Adding a bleed will ensure there are no slivers of white around the edges of your design. Die-cut stickers or labels without a border or colored background are typically printed with white padding around them to prevent parts of your design from being accidentally trimmed off.
2. Know your materials. Just like paper stocks, there are a vast number of different label or sticker material stocks. Depending on the printing method used and the stock used, your stickers or labels will have different appearances. Various stickers and labels are also used for different applications. Ex: Will they be used outdoors and require lamination or a coating to protect the design? Will the end us require that the stickers or labels be permanent or should they be removable? To get the best results, these are all questions you need to ask before choosing a sticker or label material.
3. A simple design is better. Complicated or overly detailed designs are more likely to be passed over. A sticker or label that is less complicated and vibrant will likely gain more attention. Simple designs are also easier to print and leave less room for print error.
4. Use the right color combinations. As with most print projects, color is tantamount. Make sure you are using the right colors for your design as well as any text. Avoid thin light text on dark backgrounds, dark text on dark backgrounds, or highly contrasting colors. Instead opt for a color scheme that compliments each other.
5. Use the right color mode. When you are designing for print, your colors will be most accurately represented and printed when you design in CMYK color mode. The same goes when you are designing for printed stickers or labels. If you need precise colors for a brand, you will need to use pantone colors or spot colors and may be charged extra for this.
6. Resolution matters. If you have a small print file and are printing it at a large size, you will experience resolution issues. Vice versa, if you have a large print file and are printing it as a small sticker or label, you will have resolution issues. In both cases, your printed stickers or labels may have blurred edges or appear to be of a lower quality. A good rule of thumb is to use a 350 dpi print file.