5 Things To Check Before Printing Your Labels

Mrignayni Pandey

Content strategist, and copywriter.
January 20, 2022

Want to prevent misprints, product recalls and maintain brand credibility? Then, check for these 5 things before sending your labels to be printed.

Proofing your labels before they’re printed maintains your brand’s credibility and prevents you from facing recalls and fines due to misprints. 

But many brands don’t know what to look for when proofing their labels, and it costs them heavily in terms of brand reputation. 

That’s why we’ve created a guide that lists common proofing mistakes you should look out for in your product labels and how you can avoid them. Here’s what we’ve covered:

Things To Check Before Printing Your Labels


1. Check For Linguistic And Visual Errors 

You'll need to do two types of proofreading before sending your labels to the printers. 



Linguistic Proofreading 

A London-based agency surveyed more than 1000 consumers and found that 42.5% of consumers would be discouraged from purchasing if there were spelling mistakes on marketing materials. 


So, catching spelling and grammatical errors is important as they create a negative brand perception and affect product sales. Here are a few ways you can check for spelling and grammatical errors in your artwork: 



Visual Proofreading 

Product labels contain important information and convey your product’s value to consumers. So, you must avoid visual errors that’ll reduce brand visibility and make your labels unattractive.

Linguistic And Visual Errors in printing label


Here are a few things you must check to ensure your labels don’t have any visual errors:


  1. Check if heavy visual elements are balanced by lighter ones and direct the consumer’s attention to the product.
  2. Look for standalone words at the end of line breaks and remove them as they break the visual flow of elements.
  3. Check if your line lengths are consistent, so the lack of uniformity doesn't throw viewers off. 

Check these things Before Printing Your Labels


2. Ensure Compliance 

The FDA has strict requirements for the placement of information, font size, type, spacing, etc., to make sure consumers can see important information clearly. 


If you don’t adhere to these requirements, you might have to face product recalls or end up with  a “misbranded” label. So, here are a few things you should look out for to maintain compliance:


  1. Make sure mandatory label statements like product identity, quantity declaration, ingredient declaration, etc., are placed properly and adhere to FDA’s recommended font size and style.

  2. Check for sufficient contrast between the background and font, and ensure that there are no obscuring vignettes or graphics on the mandatory label statements.

  3. Lastly, ensure that the margins and text are spaced properly. These sizes vary depending on your label size, and you can find more information on labeling requirements on our resources page. 


To avoid label compliance issues, here’s what you can do:


label management tool



image quality in printing your labels

3. Assess Image Quality

Creating label artworks with high PPIs (Pixels-Per-Inch) makes your labels crisp, adds depth, and improves the overall print quality. That’s why most printers request that your label artworks be at least 300 PPI. 


However, this doesn’t mean that higher DPIs mean more lifelike images and more sales. This is because the human eye can’t tell the difference between images that are 300 DPI and 600 PPI even under magnification. Plus, images with higher PPI will cause your printer’s systems to crash and cause lags in the printing process. 


In short, you must ensure that your artwork’s PPI doesn’t exceed 300, and here’s how you can do that on different mediums:


  1. If you’re using Photoshop, click “Image” and choose “Image Resolution” to check the artwork’s resolution.

  2. In case you’re using Acrobat, or any other image viewer to check your artwork’s resolution, set the zoom to 300% and check if the image appears pixelated. Your label has the right resolution if the image isn't pixelated.


  1. If you’re using Windows, you can check the DPI of the artwork file from the “Details” tab in the Properties window. And Mac users can select the “Show Inspector” tool from the Preview window to check your artwork’s PPI. 

Color accuracy for printing label


4. Check Color Accuracy

The colors you see on your computer screen aren’t identical to the printed label, as your screen uses light to make colors (RGB), and the colors on labels are made from ink (CMYK). 


So, color proofing your labels is important to maintain color consistency and accuracy across all of them. Here are a few things you can do to check if the printed labels will match the colors on the screen. 


​​

artwork management tool for color accuracy


5. Ensure The Label Has The Right Bleed Area

important things before printing label

 

While printing labels, you must set a bleed area to prevent unwanted white borders, potential smudging from paper movement and ensure that images don’t get cut off during the process.

bleed in artwork management tool


Labels usually have a bleed area of about 0.125” (3mm) or 0.25” (6mm) on both sides, but if you’re not sure how much bleed to add, consult your printers. 


Also, here are three things you must check to ensure the printed label doesn’t have uneven margins and slanted white spaces that ruin its appearance.

  1. Using Artwork Flow's online measurement scale, check if the printer's trim marks are set at the right size. 


  1. Add a safe zone to ensure that important text and graphics aren’t cut off even if the label sheets shift or get misaligned during printing. Again, use Artwork Flow’s online measurement scale to check if the safe zone is sufficiently large.

  2. Make sure graphics, logos, and text don’t extend beyond the bleed area, so they don’t appear cut off. 


Wrapping Up

Proofing your labels is important as a label with missing information, inconsistent colors, and spelling mistakes causes a dip in brand credibility. This is because consumers mistake your products for counterfeit ones, and it also causes product recalls and fines from agencies like the FDA. 


You can use Artwork Flow's proofing tool, font finder tool, color extractor tool, artwork compare tool, etc., to catch major errors like spelling, font size, placement, and image quality errors.  


And if you want to optimize your workflow and ensure your quality checks at every stage with custom checklists, sign up for Artwork Flow’s 14-Day FREE trial. 

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