Stickers that leave an Impression: best techniques when printing stickers DIY or professionally

Have you read about sticker marketing and are ready to try it out? Do you want to print your own stickers, but are wondering how to best go about this? Are you curious to learn more about sticker printing? 

Then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will talk you through the essential steps and techniques you need to get the perfect custom stickers, no matter if you would like to print them at home or are choosing a professional sticker printing company. 

Designing for print comes with its own specific requirements and pitfalls. Below you will find a checklist of things to keep in mind when designing your artwork. This ensures that you will be happy with the end result, saving you time, money and nerves. Does that sound good? Then let us get started.

1. High-resolution artwork

Let’s start with the most important part: your artwork. The design you would like printed is the foundation of your sticker. The higher the quality of the file you will send to print, the better the end result. There are a few standards that will help you ensure your artwork has a high resolution.

If you are working with text and illustrations, convert your design to a vector file. Vectors consist of geometric shapes and lines, which makes your artwork easy to scale. It also ensures that your design will print as crisply as possible, giving you a clean end result. 

Are you working with images? Then you want to keep an eye on your DPI. Images consist of dots, so-called pixels. The more dots an image has per inch, the higher its resolution is. You can use the dots per inch (DPI) to estimate that. Your images should have a minimum DPI of 300 to print nicely. 

2. Keep it legible 

Custom printed product labels are a great way to brand your products and communicate their benefits to your customers. When designing your sticky labels, you are most likely dealing with a specific amount of words that has to fit onto limited space. 

It is essential that you check whether your text will be legible when printed before you send your design to print. Professional sticker printers will check this for you, but even if you choose to get your stickers printed professionally, checking it yourself can save you a lot of time. 

Printing companies work with a so-called minimum height requirement of 1.2 mm. This means that each letter of your text should be at least 1.2 mm high to print legibly. Any font at 8pt should cover this.  

3. Convert your colors 

Colors can be a bit tricky. This is mainly because your screen and your printer work within two different color gamuts. It can be incredibly helpful to convert your colors to match your printer’s gamut simply to see what you printed stickers will look like. 

Design programs can do that for you. You simply have to look out for RGB and CMYK. RGB stands for red, green and blue and describes the colors screens work with. You want to convert your RGB colors to a CMYK color gamut. This stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black, the colors printers use. 

This might seem like a rather unnecessary task, but it can save you a lot of hassle. Using an RGB color grid, your screen can create 16,777,216 colors whereas CMYK can generate 16,000 different colors – still a lot, but there is quite the difference between the two. 

4. Stick to simple shapes

Die cut labels and stickers mean that you can choose the shape of your sticker. While you can opt for traditional shapes like squares and circles, this also means that your cut line can follow the exact shape of your design. 

This is a great way to let your creativity run free. However, we recommend keeping your cut line as simple as possible. This is especially important when you are cutting your stickers at home: the more detailed the cut line, the longer it will take you to do that. But even if you are choosing a printing company, there are limits to their cutters. 

Your cut lines have to be at least 3 mm thick to ensure a precise cut. Otherwise, you might be left with jagged edges, or, even worse, your stickers could tear once you peel them off the backing paper. 

And those were our tips and tricks when it comes to printing stickers professionally or at home. By following these steps, you will feel more confident about sending your design to print and can be sure of a great outcome. If you have additional tips you would like to share, please do so in the comments below. 

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