How to Prep your Label Files For Print

Art File Formats

How to Prep Your Label Files For Print

How you Prep your labels for print is an important step in creating the perfect label! Whether you have someone design your label or you design it yourself, Ample’s 8 steps for prepping your art files is a great tool to use when you are ready to send us your finished work!
This blog is for those who have the Adobe Creative Suite.

How to Prep Your Label Files For Print

Preferred Art Submission Guidelines Overview:

How to Prep Your Label Files For Print

1. Accepted Files:

ai (Adobe Illustrator), PDF, TIFF, PNG, JPEG, id (Adobe InDesign), and PSD (Adobe Photoshop).
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign Files: can be converted to a PDF or EPS File Format.

To learn more about each file and what they are used for, click here.


How to Prep Your Label Files For Print

When designing your label, it is important on where you create your artwork. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign are the number one programs used when it comes to creating printable artwork. Ample’s Art Department is Mac-based. All files should be native to: Adobe Illustrator, FreeHand, Photoshop, or High-Quality PDF format. If the Adobe software is not in your skillset, Ample Label’s talented graphic designers can help you create and print professional-looking labels that fit uniquely to your business.

Adobe Suite

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe InDesign.

While Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator use vector-based software, Adobe Photoshop can work with vector files, but will not save the files as a vector.
Because Photoshop is a photo editor, its default software is a Raster based file format.

Vector vs Raster

What is Raster?

Let’s break it down a little. When you look up images on a computer, you are looking at Raster (Bitmap) images, which are colored pixel squares of individual points that blend together to form an image.

Pixel Heart Ex.

Raster images are specifically digitized photos that stay in one resolution. When you try to resize the image, it will lose its quality, because you are stretching each pixel to try and fill space, causing a blurry image.

72dpi Ex.


The larger the grid of pixels, the blurrier the image.

300DPI Example

The smaller the grid of pixels, the finer the image.

2. Use Vector art

What is Vector?
     * Recommended

Vector graphics are NOT made up of pixels like Raster graphics instead, vectors are comprised of straight or curved lines that are defined by a start and endpoint.

Vector vs Raster

How to Prep Your Label Files For Print

Image Resolution


Web graphics, are used for 72 DPI, and are not meant for high print quality images or for producing print quality labels.

72dpi dog image ex.
300dpi Dog



3. The resolution of your label design should be 300 dpi

300 DPI is the number you want to see on your images when you print sharp-looking Labels! To check your design quality, zoom in on your image from 100% – 500% to see the resolution of your image. If it is sharp and clear, it is perfect for printing. If not, you might have to find another image with a better resolution size.
Any continuous tone Photoshop tiff, jpg, or eps files are usable only as 1 or 4 color process. (Files provided in this manner can sometimes be converted to vector files, and then PMS colors can be used. Additional art charges will apply.)

How to Prep Your Label Files For Print

4. Make sure ALL your label designs are in CMYK format

At Ample Labels, we print in the four-color process (CMYK)

If you need help to resolve a problem with your label’s color, our customer service representatives have years of experience in label manufacturing. Give us a call or email us today!


RGB: (Red, Green, Blue) are the colors used for web graphics and NOT ideal for printing.

CMYK: (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key “Black”) are the colors used for printing.

5. All fonts should be converted to "Outlines"

Convert all of your fonts into vectors/Outlines. 
At the top of your screen in Adobe Illustrator, go to “type” and then go down to “Create Outlines.” All fonts should accompany native files of the Adobe Suite.

Why do this? Because your fonts will no longer be a typeface but rather a vector, which cannot be altered as a text anymore.

Pro Tip: Save your design before you convert your type in a separate file. So they can be edit in the future if needed.

6. create a bleed border 1/8th of an inch


Bleeds occur when the ink coverage of the image runs beyond the cutting edge of a label design. See the image on the left.
When you start your new design, make sure you create a bleed border with a 1/8th of an inch (0.125) around the entire art-board. This will ensure that the image won’t leave a tacky white line around your design.

Crop Marks

Crop marks are lines in the corners of your designed artwork that show the printer where to trim. (This will not show up on your final print.)

Safe Area

All of your information, should be positioned inside the Safe Area. Any text or image caught outside, might be chopped off due to possible shifting during the cutting process.

Adobe Artboard Labeling

How to Prep Your Label Files For Print

7. Package your Art into a file folder

Before you start packaging, check the spelling and design layout for any needed changes.
Next, be sure to send all of your images (if any) separately rather then embedded in your file.

To unembed, your image files, select the image in Adobe Illustrator, and go up to the top menu and select “Unembed.” You must do this with every image.

To package all of your images and fonts for printing, you must first save your file. Go to “File,” “Package” and choose where to save the package.

Next, make sure all boxes are checked and click “Package.”

Optional: To add a PDF file to your folder, open your file and go to “File,” “save as,” click PDF. In Adobe Save Preset, click high-quality. Next, go to the “Marks and Bleeds” tab on the left side menu and mark all the boxes. Click save and add the PDF to your packaged folder. To do so in Adobe Illustrator, go to “File,” “Package.” Choose where to save the package.
Next, make sure all boxes are checked and click “Package.”

8. Upload

Lastly, Ample has an FTP site for uploading large files (address available upon request) or smaller files, can be emailed to

To make your folder smaller for emailing, compress to a zip file, right-click on your packaged file folder, and select “Compress.”

If you have additional questions, click here to read more about label artwork specifications.

Have questions?
Give us a call for more label tips and tricks!

Call Ample at: (417)725-2657
We are eager to talk with you about Amplifying Your Brand!

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