Setting up files to use in our “Upload Your Own” label templates can be confusing at times - with terms like final size, trim size, bleeds, and safety zone all being equally important, it can be hard to understand if you are designing your labels for the best possible result . Especially if it is your first time creating something for print!
We are here to explain these terms for you, and help you set up those files so they’ll print properly. If you have ever ordered labels from us in the past and they’ve arrived with an unexpected white border on either side of the label, the following will help prevent that from happening on future orders.
There are three lines you should be paying attention to when designing for our Upload Your Own templates - the label size/final size, the canvas/upload size (this is the final size plus the bleed zone), and our Safety Zone.
Let’s use the Basic Label as our example:
When we go into the Basic Label section on GrogTag.com, and click on Upload Your Own, we see the label specs on the left hand side.
We can see that the Canvas Size is 2.6” x 3.6” and the Trim Size is 2.5” x 3.5”. The difference between these two sizes will account for your Bleed Zone.
Bleed is a printing term used to describe images that extend to the edge of the page. We need your image to extend beyond the final size/trim edge so that there are no white borders once your label is cut down to size. The portion of your image that extends out past the final size is your “Bleed”. Simple, right?
If you’ve ever received your label and had important text or graphics cut off, it is likely because they were designed too close to the trim edge. This brings us to our Safety Zone. During printing, there are small, natural shifts that can occur from the commercial-sized printers we use. It is common in the print industry, which is why we have you take steps to plan for such a shift. Our Safety Zone exists so that we can ensure your text or logo is not cut off during printing, no matter where it is trimmed.
To help out with your designs, we created some design guide templates that show you the Canvas/Upload Size, the Final Trim Size, and our Safety Zone - these can be located here.
Let’s grab the Basic Label template and start to create a label!
In your editing program (such as Photoshop, Gimp, or anything else), create a new project. Again, this would be a project with canvas/artboard/image size of 2.6” x 3.6”. Place the template onto your canvas. If your editing program allows for layers, place the template on a separate layer, move it to the top layer and lock it. This way you can design on the second/bottom layer while still seeing the zones. If the text on the template is too distracting, you can always hide the template layer and check periodically.
Now, let’s break down the template guide and make sure we are fully understanding it.
In this template, the yellow border goes across both the safety zone and the bleed zone. The outer edge of this yellow border is the Canvas Size - you want to make sure any background color or background image you have is pulled all the way to this edge. The inside edge of the yellow border is the Safety Zone. Any text or important graphics (logos, etc) should fall on the inside of this border. The blue dotted line represents the label size/final size. This is where your label will be trimmed.
Once you have completed designing your label, remember to delete the design guide!
Now, let’s export our file! GrogTag works best with .pdf, .png, and .jpeg file types. We would first recommend exporting as a .pdf as these export as a high quality document. If your editing program only allows for .jpgs or .pngs, just make sure you are exporting at 300dpi to get the highest quality label possible. If 300dpi is not possible, as low as 150dpi is acceptable, just note that it may print slightly fuzzy.
So we have our file...now what?
All that’s left is to upload the file into the editor! On the left, above the yellow information block, there is a button labeled “+ Image”. It will bring up the image library where we will click “Upload Image”. Select your file and drag it to the canvas.
Once on the canvas, we’ll need to stretch the image field to line up with the Canvas edge - in this case, the solid black line.
You can see once more that you’re given a chance to check the Safety Zone and Trim line. Is there text or a graphic you don’t want cut off in this area? If there is, you will need to go back to your editing software and make some adjustments. If not, then you can add the label to the cart! You’ve successfully uploaded your design!
Should you have any further questions on setting up your labels, our support team is available and happy to help you out!
Product: Upload Your Own Design
Tutorial: How to Setup Your Artwork