What is the difference between a sticker, a decal and a label?

It is amazing how many people are asking a variation of this question and how many different opinions exist on the answers. But, it is rewarding to know that our answer to this question is viewed by Google as one of the most authoritative. Here’s the link to this popular blog post and the definitive answer to this question.

Can you print multiple stickers at the same time and group them for better pricing?

Yes, there are some ways that can be reviewed to change copy, change colors or group multiple stickers on a sheet within a single order. If your sticker remains the same size/shape and color we can do copy changes mid run. With digital or offset printing we can do complete full color design changes if size and shape stays the same. With screen and flexographic printing only one color can be affected by the change. Changes must be in multiples of 125 for outdoor stickers (1000 for roll labels).

A screen-printed order can be split between different colors with a “color change”. The design must stay the same and just one color (sometimes two) can be affected. We cannot mix “copy changes” and “color changes” within the same order unless using digital or offset printing methods.

It is also possible to place multiple stickers on one sheet using thermal die cutting, kiss cutting or face slitting. This option should be considered if you have multiple stickers that will be distributed together or have very small stickers that you will be applying yourself (so it doesn’t matter how many are grouped on a sheet). This may be the best way to optimize value.

We can’t gang stickers on one sheet and then cut them as a separate service. If you have questions about what is possible for a specific project just call us with your goals and ideal needs and we’ll let you know what is possible and what is the best value.

What’s the difference between “spot colors” and “four color process” (4-cp)?

Spot colors are not blends of colors that create other colors, but individual colors that can be assigned PMS (Pantone) numbers. Our stock colors are spot colors. Halftone screens and limited blending are still possible when screen printing spot colors but are limited to a resolution of 300dpi and screens between 10-80%.

Four Color Process (4-CP) is a blending of 4 colors (CMYK) to create multi-color effects or more detailed blends of color. Putting a color photograph on a sticker requires four-color process. Printing a rainbow where colors blend one into another would require four color process. There are a number of different printing methods used for full color, 4-CP stickers and labels. They can be reviewed on our Full Color Page.

Why is white ink needed on clear material?

White ink is essential for backing all other ink colors on clear material. This is due to the translucence of most inks causing images to disappear when placed on a clear window.  You can read a more extensive answer on this blog post.

Can you use digital files from a web page?

Generally, images used on a web page are 72 dpi. They are so low in resolution to help speed the loading of a page on a computer. Industry standards say to use twice the resolution as the line tone being printed. Since screen print is done at 100-line tone we need scanned digital images at 200 dpi resolution. Flexographic and letterpress items are printed at 150 and 133 line tones so we would need images at 300 resolutions.

What are the general art guidelines for all sticker print methods?

Both created and scanned images must have a resolution of 300 DPI or higher at final print size. Resolution cannot simply be increased in the program if working from a low-resolution file. This merely spreads the original pixel information across a greater number of pixels and does not improve image quality. (Most internet images are a low resolution of 72 DPI.)

Scanned images cannot be manipulated. Text, logos, borders, etc. should be created in a drawing / layout program such as Illustrator, FreeHand or InDesign. This allows us to make necessary adjustments to the digital file such as adding trap.

Convert all text to paths, curves or outlines. If this is not possible send both screen and printer Type 1 fonts used for the job being printed.

Send a copy of all original supporting files used to create the image. When sending Photoshop files, leave the art in layers (do not flatten or merge layers).

Color proofs are made from the digital file and may vary slightly from your computer monitor or color printer. The final printed product may also vary slightly from the color proof due to the differences between printing and proofing methods.

Can websticker drop ship, do special packaging, add variable data and other special services?

Yes, there are many added services that are possible. Split shipments, shrink-wrapping, back printing, perforating, numbering… let us know what you need and we can brainstorm solutions.

Do stickers need to be laminated?

Depending on the end use it can be a good idea to add a layer of durability to a paper roll label. But, in the case of outdoor durable stickers often over lamination is not needed – it’s a question of print method. Read more here and feel free to contact us to discuss your specific durability and printing needs.

What is best format to send design files and art?

Adobe Illustrator (AI) is the preferred software file format. InDesign, Quark, CorelDraw and Photoshop are also acceptable. It is best to save or export these files in EPS or PDF formats

Vector art is resolution independent, meaning it can be enlarged without reducing image quality. This is the preferred format for all artwork. All type should be converted to outlines to avoid potential font problems. If this is not possible, send fonts with files.

Raster art is resolution dependent, meaning it cannot be enlarged without reducing the image quality. To ensure optimal print quality, TIFFs are used with spot color or full color artwork. Create at 300 dpi on the final print size.

Can you match specific ink colors? what are your stock colors?

Yes, we can match specific colors when screen or flexo printing spot colors. It is more difficult to get exact matches with digital (4CP) printing. Our stock colors can be reviewed here. Keep in mind that color representations on different computer monitors may present differently. It is best to choose colors from a Pantone Book of Solid Coated sample swatches