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Submitting Print-Ready Artwork Saves You Time and Money

The importance of proof-reading and sending print-ready artwork:

Here’s the bottom line (even if it is the opening comment) - if we receive artwork files that aren’t up to standard and not ready for printing, we have no choice but to reject them and request replacements. This obviously involves delays and extra work at both ends – and extra costs as well.

Our Artwork Specifications are displayed prominently on our website at

It’s critical that your graphic designer (or whomever creates your label artwork files) reads and follows those specifications – which aren’t published for fun or to make your life miserable. They are intended to ensure that your files are created in a way that allows us to print them properly on our high-tech digital presses – so if they’re ignored we both end up doing unnecessary work. And keep in mind that each time you send us replacement files, we have to repeat the entire pre-flighting process and that incurs extra costs for you ($5 per file for each time we have to repeat the process).

Why do we have to charge for replacements? Well, the sad truth is that a frustratingly large proportion of files we receive have been ill-prepared, and the problems are usually nothing we can fix – the designer needs to correct them or we run the very real risk of ending up with labels that don’t match the designer’s (or your) intentions. So our pre-press team has to go through the same processes every time they receive a replacement file – which consumes excessive amounts of time when the designer could (and should) have simply followed the specs and checked their work before sending it to us.

To put this into perspective, we receive hundreds of artwork files every day – and on an average day have to reject about 75-100 files for very simple mistakes. We’re not talking about typographical errors here (we do not proof-read artwork), but common preparation errors such as fonts not being outlined, missing bleeds, insufficient clear space, even a large number that are simply not sized correctly for the order you placed. And it’s quite possible that you’ll end up paying the designer as well for their time to fix the issues – when it would be much more efficient to get it right the first time.

It also amazes (and frustrates) us to realize that many designers (and customers) don’t even bother to proof-read the content of their artwork before submitting it to us. In effect they use us as a proofing service and only then check the content. Sure, it’s possible (indeed preferable) that your designer is working in Adobe Illustrator and you don’t have that software – but your designer can very easily create a PDF version for you to check in advance and save yourself the delays and costs associated with submitting erroneous or incomplete artwork.

In addition, it places undue pressure on our industry-leading 2-day turn-times, which can only be maintained if we don’t have to waste time going through multiple iterations of the same artwork. In short, it makes so much sense for you to understand the challenges and insist that your designer follow the rules (and have you check the content) BEFORE sending them to us for printing – otherwise everybody ends up repeating work and incurring unnecessary costs.


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