BASICS

 

How do I get started with my custom labels?

We've created numerious blogs in our Insight section just for you - which explores many of the most common areas of concern and/or confusion. Hopefully, it may also save you some pain and/or expense, so feel free to read it at your leisure.

 

What size and shape should my product label be?

Product label size and shape depends on the type of product you're packaging, what regulations need to be taken into account, how much information you wish to include, what images you want to display on the product label, and so on. Products on the supermarket shelf using the exact same containers often have very different label shape and sizes, so it's important to understand that there's no such thing as a "standard size".

Can I get free product label samples?

You can complete our sample request by connecting with one of our representatives, who will mail you a free selection of printed product label samples. Our free label samples demonstrate how different combinations of material and finish look in real life while showing off the superb color and photo-quality of our digital label printing presses.

What is your turnaround time?

Our normal production time is 3 - 4 working days from the time we receive your approval of the proofs (plus delivery time) for labels. Cartons and boxes will vary depending on size and quantity. 

 

Frequently asked questions

ARTWORK

Can you help me with my design?

Yes, we take pride in assisting our partners in creating the best possible design for their packaging.

How does CMYK vs. RGB color mode impact my designs?

Our digital presses print in “Four Color Process” mode - often called CMYK because it represents the four primary colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black - the “K” stands for “key,” which means black). These four colors are then mixed in various combinations to give you an unlimited variety of color choices.

 

In contrast, RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) is a three-color combination used by computer monitors and TV screens. Since our digital presses use CMYK mode, printing a product label that's designed in RGB mode can result in significant color distortion. It's therefore critical that your designer create your artwork files in CMYK mode to maintain accurate colors for your product label.

What does "Bleed" mean in packaging design?

A bleed is the extension of a background color/pattern beyond the edge of the product label. This ensures that the design isn’t inadvertently cut off during the die-cutting process. 

 

We require 1/16" (0.063") of bleed on ALL sides of your product label. When dealing with circles, ovals, and unique shapes, it is important to size your art 1/8" larger overall to cover the requisite 1/16" bleed at each side.

What do you mean by "Clear Space" on my custom product label design?

If an image or text is too close to the finished edge of your custom label, it may inadvertently be trimmed off during the die-cutting process. To avoid this, you need to keep at least 1/16" (.063") of space between the die line and any image or text. This clear space is what we in the printing industry call, “clear space.”

How do I indicate where to print white ink on my product label?

When using Chrome or Clear material and if white ink is to be utilized, please lay out the white ink on a separate layer with a custom spot color that is obvious and name that layer "white ink". We suggest making the "white" swatch 100% Cyan and 100% Yellow (100/0/100/0) so that in the art the white ink areas appear bright green and very obvious to our pre-press technicians. We will then use that layer to tell the press where to print white ink on clear labels and chrome labels.
 

Also assume that anywhere there is no color defined in the artwork, no ink will be printed and the background will show through - in the case of Clear material this will be the product itself, but on Chrome it will be the shiny silver metallic material.

 

What are your artwork requirements?

We REQUIRE that your artwork is one of the following formats: .AI, .EPS, or .PDF. (Note: we can use .JPEG, however image quality may be reduced).

BUSINESS TERMS

 

What are Prism's invoice terms?

All label orders are placed through our staff and need a valid credit card or form of payment to proceed. We do not start any project until the invoice is paid in full. By operating this way, we're able to keep our costs and our prices as low as possible.

How much does it cost for extra colors on my labels?

Nothing! Unlike traditional printing presses which use printing plates for each color, our digital presses don't use plates at all – so there's no additional costs for extra colors.

 

ORDERING

 

What is the minimum quantity of custom product labels I can order?

Due to the complexities of the advanced equipment we use, there are some limitations that affect the amount of waste involved in printing very small quantities. For this we require the label minimum quantity for each version in an order to be at least 250 labels.

On a multi-version custom order, can I have different quantities per version?

Yes, as long as there are at least 250 labels per version.

What does "Unwind Direction" mean when ordering product labels?

Unwind Direction refers to the orientation of the labels as they come off of the roll (i.e. as you unwind the roll of labels).  The label industry has developed standard descriptions for the various unwind directions to avoid any confusion.  For example, Unwind Direction #1 (Top Off First) indicates that the top of the label will be the leading edge when the roll is unwound.

 

Unsure how your printed labels on a roll should unwind? Contact us and we'll be happy to help!

Can I request a specific number of product labels per roll?

In our experience, the vast majority of such requests are made without understanding the extra work involved during production, so we try to ensure we’re doing it for the right reasons. You will need to discuss your needs with your Customer Service Rep so we can make sure we understand the underlying reasons and recommend the best approach.

 

PROOFS

 

What kind of proofs do you offer?

We offer three different kinds of label proofs, each of which has different uses depending on the circumstances:

  1. PDF Proofs. All normal Production orders receive emailed PDF proofs by default. We never go into production unless you've specifically approved the emailed proofs.

  2. Press Proofs. If you absolutely must see a physical proof of your order before we go into production, you can select that option during the ordering process. There is a charge of $100 for this service. Press Proofs are printed on the same press(es) that your order will be, so they are the most accurate representation of what your finished labels will look like.

  3. Non-Press Proofs. If you're in the beginning stages of a label design project and need to see how various colors or layouts will look in production, we offer a facility called Concept Proofs, where your designer can test various approaches before choosing the final design. There is a $50 fee for us to print an agreed selection of your artwork files (including delivery to you via UPS).

 

SHIPPING

 

How much does it cost to ship my product label order?

Prism is unique in the label printing by offering free shipping to all 50 U.S. states (and DC) via UPS ground. If you're in a hurry, there are other available options. Please speak to your representative for those options. We unfortunately do not offer International shipping to anywhere other than Canada at this time.

How will I know if my labels have been shipped?

After a few days your order confirmation you will receive an email with all the details of your shipment. This includes your tracking number and estimate date of delivery.

 

COMMON ISSUES

 

The labels are not the right size.

We send you a proof that has the die cut size for the label that you need to check carefully. By signing the proof, you are verifying that everything is correct. This part is very important! We recommend that you print out the proof at 100% size and cut the label out so that you can fit it to the bottle or package as a double check.

The labels are the wrong design.

Often, we may receive the wrong artwork file. This is another reason that we send you a proof to carefully review and sign. We recommend that you send us all of the final artwork in one email and please add the date to each file, to make the process more efficient and simpler.

 

The colors do not match.

Our digital press uses a CMYK 4 color process that will automatically convert Pantone colors to CMYK to within 99% accuracy. If you use a RGB color process, we recommend providing us the Pantone color number that matches your desired color, to avoid a “guess and check”. Additionally, we recommend printing the proofs out via a full color printer, as computer monitors may be set to slightly different color temperatures that may distort the actual color.

The images are blurry.

For the highest quality printed image, you need to start with a high quality image file. We recommend using a file with a DPI of no less than 300.

Wrong number of labels per version.

We understand that much business correspondence consists of many back and forth emails, and that needing to change a quantity for a particular SKU last minute may happen. This is why that we require you to submit your final order via a Purchase Order (PO) or our order submission form. We will refer to this PO number during the final ordering stage for you to verify that the quantities per SKU are correct.

No signed proofs.

Every new order submitted REQUIRES signed proofs. This is meant to help safeguard you from mistakes. We cannot place a new order without your signed approval of the size and design.

Core size, direction and quantity.

On the bottom of every proof we send, there is a rolling direction chart. Please review the chart carefully as our chart numbers may differ from others. Also, we print our rolls on an industry standard 3″ core and your labels are divided evenly amongst the rolls. If you require a different size roll or require a certain amount of labels per roll to meet a machine’s requirements, please let us know!

Peeling labels.

Picking the right material for your labels is very important. Different products use different containers and face different environments. For example, if your product comes in contact with water or oil, paper is never recommended. Also, paper may peel off of a small rounded bottle due to its elasticity characteristics. Contact us today for help in determining the best suited material for your product.

 

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503-620-5173

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