Artwork Preparation

Preparing your label artwork

Because many of our customers are independent musicians and artists, we frequently have many questions about the proper methods to follow when providing your artwork to us. Please read the following guidelines very carefully to ensure that your artwork is prepared properly to avoid production delays and/or additional costs.

Choosing the proper size for your label artwork

7" Records

Record labels for 7" records are 3 5/8" in diameter. Artwork should be setup in a format which recognizes that the actual cutting edge of the label will be 3 5/8" in total diameter. Because the die cutting process used to cut your labels is not a perfect process, we highly recommend that all printed text or images be kept within the safety area that is shown on our templates. Printing text or image too close to the actual outer cutting edge and center hole may result in some text or image being lost in the cutting process. The only exception to this rule is when you are printing an image or color background where it is desired to bleed off the edge of the label.

10" Records

Record labels for 10" records can either be 3 5/8" in diameter (7"size record label) OR 4" in diameter. (12"size record label). You will need to contact whoever is mastering and cutting the lacquers for proper label size for your particular job.

12" records

Record labels for 12" records are 4" in diameter. Artwork should be setup in a format which recognizes that the actual cutting edge of the label will be 4" in total diameter. Because the die cutting process used to cut your labels is not a perfect process, we highly recommend that all printed text or images be kept within the safety area that is shown on our templates Printing text or image too close to the actual outer cutting edge and center hole may result in some text or image being lost in the cutting process. The only exception to this rule is when you are printing an image or color background where it is desired to bleed off the edge of the label.

Using the templates correctly

When submitting label artwork for printing, the template for the label should be in a layer by itself. Do not draw any cut or drill lines for the outside edge of the label, or center hole on the live artwork. Drawing these lines on your artwork may cause you to have undesired stray markings around the outer edges and center of the hole on the finished product.

Using Halftone images in your artwork

Grayscale values going over 60% in grayscale value may make tones go much darker than intended. Going way over 60% can make images plug or fill in and become solid when printed.

Computer artwork guidelines
We accept files from the following programs:

  • Adobe Illustrator (Preferred)
  • Adobe Photoshop (Preferred)
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator (When printing two or more spot colors)
  • Adobe InDesign  (When printing two or more spot colors)
  • Layered Adobe PDF (Layered Photoshop/Illustrator PDFs)
  • EPS
  • TIF (1 color only)
  • JPEG (1 color only)

Our preferred format is Illustrator or Photoshop format. We cannot process multicolor files that are in the TIF or JPEG format.

Fonts do not translate reliably, so convert all fonts to OUTLINES when possible. Turning fonts to outlines will make the fonts become artwork not fonts. Doing this will make certain that fonts do not become a problem.

Submitting multi-color digital files

If you are submitting the completed files for multi-color jobs, it is best to use a vector base program such as Illustrator. Advanced designers may use Photoshop programs for multi-color but unless you know how to "channel" colors in layers. This is not recommended.

Other Tips

Artwork files should be at least 300 dpi. Sending low resolution files like 72 dpi will make artwork look fuzzy or blurry.

In reverse printing, it is not recommended using smaller than 8 point type.

In reverse printing, it is not recommended using a very thin font.

We can also accept files on the following formats:

  • CD-ROM
  • DVD

Please make sure documents have been laid out according to our size specifications. All documents contain image bleed, where appropriate. (When an image or background intentionally goes to the trim line, extend it 1/8" beyond the trim line. All images and fonts needed to output the job from your disk have been provided. (Provide both screen & printer font parts for Postscript fonts.) Images are provided at high resolution (300 dpi for continuous tone, 600dpi or higher for line art (Please note that home color printers can produce misleading and inaccurate color proofs!)

Typesetting done in Photoshop will have edges that are fuzzy or jagged. While this can be acceptable for titles, logos, and larger type, it can cause the smaller type to be unreadable in the finished printed product. For sharp type, use a vector-based program such as Illustrator or InDesign.

Be sure to keep a copy of all of your files, since we will not be responsible for keeping or storing any files which we did not create. Do not use the "bold", "italic", "shadow" or other kinds of type modifications contained within layout programs. These often will not translate to the final plate output. Instead, use only the bold and italic versions of a font.

Color printouts made from the computer files especially inkjet or laser print, do not show accurate color and may be misleading.

Save line art in bitmapped mode, not grayscale, or it may look fuzzy.