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Designing Product Labels To The Correct Size

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Label Sizing (and design implications)

The decision about what size your product labels should be is impossible for us to answer (due to the infinite possible variations due to intended content, regulatory needs, visual impact etc) and is part of the designer’s role to guide you towards an agreeable conclusion. As stated elsewhere, at Wizard Labels we do not offer a design service – we focus on the physical printing of your labels from artwork supplied by you.

That said, there are a couple of critical points your designer should keep in mind when commencing the design project:

1. First, being a proudly all-American company, we work in inches (not millimeters or centimeters) – so your artwork files should be set up using imperial measurements (even if your designer is based in a country using metrics). Also be aware that all commercial design software utilizes decimals when defining “parts of an inch”, so a label intended to be 3-3/4” by 6-3/8” would be set up in the software as 3.75 x 6.375. You should be comfortable telling your designer the size required using either approach, but the artwork should always be in decimals of an inch.

2. In order to keep our production processes as efficient as possible and to minimize time and cost to you, our online Quoting/Ordering system always rounds dimensions to the nearest 1/32” of an inch (0.031”) for all regular shapes (rectangles, circles, ovals, squares). It will also round all dimensions to 3 decimal places – again for the purposes of consistency and efficiency. So, if you enter (say) dimensions of 3.4198 x 5.674, the Quoter will automatically adjust those to 3.406 (which is 3-13/32) by 5.688 (or 5-11/16).

Those very subtle adjustments (which are in effect never more than 1/64” in either direction) are indiscernible to the human eye and they help us maintain our industry-leading turn-times and super-competitive pricing. The one exception is if you’re ordering a Special shape (e.g. a curved label or some other irregular outline) where the finished label has no normal height/width relationships – in such cases the Quoter will accept any dimensions you choose (up to 5 decimal places, and as long as they’re in inches of course).

Why is this important for your designer to know? – because if they understand in advance how the online Ordering system works, they can design accordingly and avoid having their artwork “bounced” for being a different size from what you ordered (or thought you were ordering). As long as they design everything to the nearest 1/32 of an inch, you should receive what you expected and avoid delays.

Incidentally, if your designer needs us to provide a template for them to work from, we’re happy to oblige. We can supply a starting template sized correctly and containing the appropriate die-line, bleed line, and clear space line, to make their life simpler – at no charge. We’d much rather do that up front than have to reject artwork and have the designer repeat work unnecessarily.

One last tip... be very careful using design templates from other label companies or container manufacturers. Unless the dimensions are very simple (e.g. 3 x 4) it’s quite possible that they won’t meet our needs (which after all are also your needs).

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