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Art Guidelines

Vector Graphics

Raster Graphics

Fonts/Line Weights

Die Lines

Color Specifications

Barcodes and UPCs

Nutrition Facts Panel


Art Guidelines

Our industry is Mac-based and we currently use Adobe CS 5.5 for our design work. We request that, whenever possible, your files be provided to us in native Adobe Illustrator format. Assemble software such as InDesign, Quarkxpress, or Publisher are not desirable for fine quality printing. Saving files as EPS or PDF from these programs is also not desired format. Should you have questions about how to best submit your art files, please contact Marc Dobbs, Art Director, at 407-332-4774, extension 107.

  • All fonts should be included with the native files.
  • All images should be placed in the file rather than embedded, and included separate.
  • Photoshop images should also be high resolution. 300 dpi is ideal. 72 dpi web graphics are not usable for producing quality labels.
  • Any continuous tone Photoshop tiff, jpg, or eps files are usable only as 1 color or 4 color process.

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Vector Graphics

Vector graphics are resolution independent and made up paths and points. Unlike JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs, and BMP images, vector graphics are not made up of a grid of pixels. A path can be a line, a square, a triangle, or a curvy shape. These paths can be used to create simple drawings or complex diagrams.

Vector-based images are not made up of a specific number of dots so they can be scaled to a larger size and not lose any image quality. Increasing the size of a rasterized graphic will create a larger and more defined square dot, or pixel, that make up the image. This is known as pixilation. When you enlarge a vector graphic, the edges of each graphic stay smooth and crisp. Common types of vector graphics include Adobe Illustrator, vector EPS and PDF files*. (*Note – EPS and PDF files can be created out of a number of different vector and raster programs. Just because you can save the file as EPS or PDF does not mean the file is vector. If the file is created from a raster program then the file will remain raster.)

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Raster Graphics

Most images you see on your computer screen are raster graphics. Pictures found on the Web and photos you import from your digital camera are raster graphics. They are made up of grid of pixels, commonly referred to as a bitmap.

Since raster graphics need to store so much information, large bitmaps require large file sizes. Fortunately, there are several image compression algorithms that have been developed to help reduce these file sizes. JPEG, TIFF, PSD, BMP, and EPS are the preferred rasterized file types when placed into an Illustrator file.

Raster graphics can typically be scaled down with no loss of quality, but enlarging a bitmap image causes it to become pixelated. For this reason, vector graphics are often used for certain images, such as company logos, which need to be scaled to different sizes.

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Fonts/Line Weights

Please include fonts used within your file, both screen and printer fonts. When this is not possible convert fonts to outlines.

Minimum Point Size for Positive Serif Text: 5pt
Minimum Point Size for Reverse Serif Text: 6pt
Bold Minimum Point Size for Positive San Serif Text: Opt
Minimum Point Size for Reverse San Serif Text: 5pt Bold

Avoid building colors for fonts less than 12pt.

Minimum Line Weights: Minimum positive line weight 0.012" Minimum reverse line weight 0.015"

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Die Lines

Please contact Express Label for available die sizes and shapes available. Custom dies can be created upon request. 1/16 inch (.0625") bleed is standard as well as a 1/16 inch (.0625") margin inside the die line.

Bleed: A bleed occurs when the ink coverage of the copy runs beyond the cut edge of a label. “.0625” is our bleed specification.

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Color Specifications

All colors need to be defined as process or spot (do not use RGB colors). Spot colors need to carry their proper PMS designation.

Screen Tints and Gradients: Screens may range from 100% to 2%. Any screens that run below 2% will not reproduce correctly. Be very careful with gradients, make sure all the colors used have at least 2% screen value throughout the entire gradient. Gradients are preferred rather than blends. 120 bpi is the standard line screen, although this could go up to 175 lpi or down to 85 bpi depending on the substrate we're printing on.

Bleed: A bleed occurs when the ink coverage of the copy runs beyond the cut edge of a label. “.0625” is our bleed specification.

Trapping: 0.01" trap

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Barcodes & UPC's

We can not guarantee scannability of barcodes below 80%. Bar with reduction - 25 microns.

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Nutrition Facts Panel

Express Label can set-up the Nutrition Facts Panel to our understanding of the point sizes and leading required by the FDA. Please contact the Food and Drug Administration for necessary requirements needed for your particular application.

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