Common mistakes to avoid when designing your product labels

Beautiful labels don’t happen overnight. The first step is to come up with a concept for your product labels. A designer will then bring your idea to life. The next step is where we come in – the printing. Printing companies, such as First Impression, can print custom designed labels. Label design can be an intricate business. Artwork needs to be prepared for printing before it’s sent to the printers. Errors in the layout of your artwork will prevent it going to print. We’ve put together some common mistakes to avoid when designing your product labels.


Artwork errors in product labels


There are some rules to follow when laying out your eye-catching label design. Custom designed product labels often come with specific fonts, colours, images, and graphics. Present all these elements correctly to ensure the printed product matches your vision. Keep these elements in mind when laying out your artwork:


Product labels


Missing fonts and graphics

The digital age offers a wide variety of fonts and graphics at your fingertips. Fancy fonts are easy to download for your design.  The problem? If we don’t have your font, there will be an error message instead of text when we open your artwork. How do you avoid this error? Create an outline of your fonts before sending your artwork. The same goes for graphics. You need to embed graphics in your document if you want them to appear when we open your artwork.


Missing bleed

Labels with a background colour or colour going to the edge must be set up with a bleed. The bleed is the area that will be trimmed off. Artwork not set up with the correct bleed may have a white edge present after trimming. When setting up a bleed, make your artwork a few millimetres bigger than the actual size. Also, avoid putting text at the edge of your label. The labels can shift slightly during the die-cutting process.


Colour consideration

Consumers often identify brands by their chosen colours. It is important to remember that all printers print colour differently. It’s a good idea to get a press proof before printing. Colour is identified in two ways – RGB and CMYK. Computer monitors work with RGB colour, while most digital printers print in CMYK. Your label created in RGB will not match the colour of the printer. Design your artwork as CMYK for the best match.


Sizing your artwork

Don’t forget to size your artwork correctly. The size of your design should match the dimensions of your required label. Save all your files as a high resolution (300 dpi) to ensure high-quality labels. Low-resolution graphics will appear pixelated.


Spelling mistakes

There’s nothing more embarrassing or costly as a spelling error. Always proofread the design of your product labels carefully before sending. While the printer may pick up on any text errors, there will be those that slip through the cracks. Check your content. And again. Get more than one pair of eyes to proof the text before sending to print.


File format

It’s important to save your artwork in a format recognised by the printing press. Using industry standard programs, like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator will ensure high-quality artwork. If you are using different software, always export your files as standard formats. Consult your printer for the correct format to use.


Plan your product labels

Always prepare your product labels with care. The best way to ensure they are ready for print is to start the design process with the requirements in mind. Artwork laid out correctly from the beginning is less likely to be sent back. Don’t forget your labels are an integral marketing tool. Consumers often base their opinion on first appearances. Read our design tips for more information on creating eye-catching labels.


Do you need your labels printed? First Impression Labels is one of South Africa’s leading printing companies. Contact us for a quote.