Frequently Asked Questions (Artwork)

What are Vector and Raster images?

Vector images, which are made of thin lines and curves known as paths, are rooted in mathematical theory. This allows vector images to retain their high-quality at any size. Programs like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, or Adobe Freehand use vector graphics. Vector images should be used for all text and logos if possible. They result in the clearest image and can be re-sized without losing resolution.

Digital Photos or Raster images are often called bitmap images because they are made of millions of tiny squares, called pixels. When these pixels are small, and placed close together, they fool the eye into forming a single image. Raster images work great when subtle gradations of colour are necessary. Because they contain a fixed number of pixels, a major disadvantage of raster images is that their quality suffers when they are enlarged or otherwise transformed.

We would also recommend fonts and logos to be vector for print with maximum clarity.

What is Color Mode (CMYK or RGB)?

CMYK Color Mode:
CMYK refers to Cyan(C), Magenta(M), Yellow(Y) and Black(K) which are also known as secondary colors. The CYMK color mode is prefered when working with vector image files.

RGB Color Mode:
RGB refers to Red(R), Green(G) and Blue(B) which are also known as primary colors. An RGB image contains three channels made up of red, green and blue color data. This is the preferred color mode when working with photographs, raster or bitmap image files.

For best results, design your vector file in CMYK color mode, and embed RGB images if required.

What is a PMS / Pantone color?

The Pantone Color Matching System is a largely standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.

Kemik Labels uses the Pantone Formula Guide (Solid Coated & Uncoated) for High Volume Flexo Graphic printing only.  Any artwork to be produced digital will be converted to CMYK color values before printing.

If you have a digital job that requires a specific PMS color, please advise your salse associate that you require color matching, and also be aware that it is not possible to achive an exact PMS match with CMYK colors.

With digital CMYK printing, it is not possible to achive an exact PMS Color match.

What are Overprints?

Overprinting refers to the process of printing one colour on top of another.  This process is useful in offset and flexographic printing, but is not recommended for digital printing as it can cause many problems.  Please make sure that the overprint options are turned off, this will allow our graphics department to process your artwork more accurately.
Please note that our file preview does not display overprint issues, therefore, it is critical to check your file for overprint issues before uploading the file to us.

Please do not use Overprints in your artwork.

Should I use Borders in my Artwork ?

For products such as round or small labels, we recommend customers avoid the use of borders in their designs. If the border is thin or too close to the cutline, The final product may appair to be slightly off-centre.

Avoid boarders when ever possible.

What are safe margins and bleed?

Safe Margins are 1/16” away from the cut line, minimum.
Safe margins are guidelines that help you keep important elements of your design away from the edge of your artwork so that text and images will not be cut off when trimmed down to the final size.

A 1/8” bleed is required on all four sides of your artwork.
​​​Bleed is extended artwork on all sides of the artwork to allow for cutter variance. Items such as background and design elements should always extend out of the trim margin.
Failing to provide bleed information and crop marks can result in the printed product showing a thin area of white on the edge.
If your file does not consist of bleed, it will be rejected by our prepress department and we will request a new file with bleed. This can result in delaying the completion of your job.

View Diagram

If proper bleeds are not provided, your artwork may be rejected.

Is there a Mandatory File Format?

We will accept most file formats, but prefer High-Res Press Quality PDF files in CMYK Color Mode, with bleed and crop marks. Don't forget to include all linked images & fonts, it's best to use the package feature if available in your design software.

It is also a good idea to include a 2nd copy of your artwork with all fonts converted to paths, outlines or curves, incase some or all of your fonts are not compatible.
If you require a special shape, please include a cut line in your file.

For raster or bitmap image files, please ensure they are high quality 300dpi RGB images for best results.

Please avoid office software such as Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint when prepairing for artwork.

We prefer High-Res Press Quality PDF files in CMYK Color Mode.

Can I use Transparency in my artwork? 

Transparency effects are generally not preferred in printing. It causes ripping issues and elements to disappear. To prevent this, do not use any shadows, glows and transparency on top of a spot colour – always convert your spot colour to CMYK before using any transparency effects.

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