We prefer vector files (.ai, .pdf & .eps) for a majority of our projects. It will also produce the fastest turnaround time for your project. We’re very flexible at Sticker Genius though, and will accept almost any file type. Some custom products require different file types (see chart below).
|General Stickers||.ai, .pdf, .eps, .psd, .psb, .indd, .jpg, .png & .tif|
|Exact Cut Vinyl Decals||ai, .pdf & .eps (must be vector graphics)|
|Photo Stickers||.ai, .pdf, .eps, .psd, .psb, .indd, .jpg, .png & .tif|
|Photo Cutouts||.psd, .psb, .jpg, .png, .ai, .eps & .tif|
|Wall Murals||ai, .pdf, .eps, .psd, .psb, .indd, .jpg & .tif|
|Life Size Standups||ai, .pdf, .eps, .psd, .psb, .jpg, .png & .tif|
|Skins||.ai, .pdf, .eps, .psd, .jpg, .png & .tif|
If you are unsure whether your files meet our guidelines, please contact a stickologist. We’ll be more than happy to help you get your project in motion.
Due to variations in acceptable standards with raster based prints. We cannot guarantee print resolution will meet your qualifications unless you supply us with a high resolution raster graphic or vector graphic. We will do our best to warn about potential pixelation. Vector graphics will also make sure your cut lines are 100% accurate for custom shaped stickers.
It is always a good idea zoom in and review your graphics at 100%-400% and scroll around to spot potential problems.
If working with artwork that extends past your cut path. Please add a minimum of .125″-.25″ bleed to your artwork.
Also, allow .125″-.25″ of a “safe area” inside of your cut path. This way important text and/or design elements are not trimmed off during our cut process.
All final design files must have fonts or text converted to outlines before submitting. This video will demonstrate how to outline in Adobe Illustrator. This method is similar in Adobe Photoshop, but is referred to as “Convert to Shape”. You will find it in the menu bar by selecting “Type” then “Convert To Shape”.
To prevent any scaling issues. Make sure you expand appearance and expand strokes.
Files that are not saved correctly can sometimes lead to color issues. Since RGB (what you see on your monitor) has a different overall color gamut range than CMYK (printer colors). It makes sense and is fine to create your files in RGB mode, but when saving your final file create a CMYK color mode version to submit to us.
Menu Bar: File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color
Menu Bar: Image > Mode > CMYK Color
If you link a lot of your artwork within your files. Please make sure that you embed anything that might not be attached to the final file when uploaded.
Otherwise, use the InDesign or Illustrator feature of “packaging” your project files. Submit packaged folders as zip files. If you choose this method please email files to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us about other file sharing methods.
A minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch) should be used as a general guideline for your raster based files. Sometimes referred to as ppi (pixels per inch).
We will accept all levels of dpi just be aware that if you submit a file with low resolution it will most likely have some pixelation and/or blur. We will analyze your file the best we can to let you know how well it will print.
Always check your files before submitting by zooming in to 100% and examining for yourself. You can check your documents dpi level in Photoshop by clicking on “Image > Image Size” in the menu bar. DPI or PPI is referred to as resolution.
When dealing with large format prints such as photo stickers and wall murals. We recommend designing to a certain scale with lower dpi settings. This is described below.
Often designers believe that black is created using this default CMYK formula C0, M0, Y0, K100 (which will work). To achieve a rich black for your prints, please use our CMYK formula of C60, M40, Y40, K100. We’ve found that this formula works best in most cases. If rich black is not used your prints could show banding lines.
Do not use registration black in your designs C100, Y100, M100, K100.
Some printers may request that your blacks have a different formula such as C75, M67, Y66, K90. This is a very common formula as well. We will accept this.
When submitting your files, please save a “flattened” version of your designs. File sizes can get really large when there are multiple layers of raster artwork. When layers have been flattened you can be sure you have the smallest file size and will eliminate any conflicts when we print your order.
Make sure you always save a backup version of your original artwork with layers. Otherwise, you will not be able to edit your file once it is flattened.
If you are submitting a JPG or PNG that will automatically flatten your file, but not always the recommended file type to submit due to resolution.
When setting up files for wall quotes or exact cut graphics with really intricate cut paths. There are a couple guidelines to follow. Since this type of graphic is cut exactly to the graphic element and/or lettering. Therefore, leaving no outline to make the sticker one piece. We require a minimum width of .07″ for stokes & fine lines in your graphics. Also any gaps between letters and shapes must be at least .07″ thick.
Be careful with Chalkboard, Distressed, Handwriting & Sketch type graphics. This style usually creates very erratic shapes and thicknesses. For best results try to make more solid shapes when setting up files for exact cut graphics. If you are creating an outlined sticker as one piece. You can skip this guideline.
If you choose to add sharp thin elements to your artwork. We cannot guarantee the quality for your decal. For best results, we suggest rounding your shapes or making thick solid lines that are greater than .125″.
If elements in your design have sharp points, small cuts, or really fine lines unexpected results may occur. Also, files setup for exact cut may not contain any clipping masks.
We also try to stay away from tight lined patterns. If you are looking to have a pattern cut that has multiple lines less than 1/4 inch we could experience problems. As you can see in the pattern above these lines would be very difficult to install from transfer tape, because they are so thin.
If you absolutely need it smaller or don’t know how to check. Please send your file to us, and a professional graphic designer will take a look to see if we can make it happen.
This type of graphic is shipped with transfer tape for installation. Instructions on how to install transfer tape vinyl graphics.
When using our design templates or when uploading your own:
- Please allow .125″ (1/8″) of bleed to extend past the cut line
- .125″ (1.8″) inside of the cutline as a safe area
This will ensure that your graphic will cut without problems.
When printing restickable photo stickers, please make sure you upload the original file. If you’ve saved the file from your digital camera or phone camera it should have high dpi and pixel count. Files that have been saved from websites have been compressed to 72 dpi and will not have great results due to pixelation (as shown below).
Saving photos from the websites such as Facebook
If you are looking for a photo sticker, and are not too picky about the final resolution. You would be fine printing 4×6’s or 8×10’s with photos from Facebook. They are most likely not the ideal dpi level, but for small prints you should be just fine.
How to check the pixel count of a file
Select photo file, right click and select “Get Info”
Select photo file, right click and select “Properties”
How to check the resolution of a file
You can check your documents dpi level in Photoshop by clicking on “Image > Image Size” in the menu bar. DPI or PPI is referred to as resolution.
We require that you design your large scale photo stickers or wall mural to a certain scale. Common scales to design to are: 1/2 Scale, 1/4 Scale, 1/10 Scale or 1/12 Scale. If your print will be viewed up close (office, lobby, etc.) you will want to design to the largest scale and high dpi setting. For wall graphics that are viewed at distances greater than 10 feet you will be fine designing to a smaller scale, and will most likely get away with a lower dpi setting.
If you are working with vector graphics or low resolution raster graphics. We will accept full scale designs.
For large scale wall murals that span from one edge of a wall to another, or from floor to ceiling. Please add 2″ – 4″ on each side of your print as bleed for installation (excess will be cut after installation). For example, if your wall is 120″ x 96″. Make your final dimensions for this design 124″ x 100″. If the extra bleed has been applied, be sure to let us know what the actual wall dimensions are before bleed.
Why do we design to a scale?
The main reason we do this is due to the file size. With a smaller file size it will be easier to make edits to your file and not overload your computer. Also, sending us your file will be a lot easier with a manageable file size.
The other reason is due to how the human eye perceives these graphics. For example, when you look at a billboard as you’re driving you would think that the print is perfect. In reality if you were to walk up to a billboard graphic your would notice heavy pixelation (unless the design is completely vector). When viewed from a distance the human eye will not notice the pixelation. This same thing applies to wall graphics that are viewed at even a closer distance than billboard graphics.
If you’re design is completely vector graphics. You are safe to design at any scale.
DPI for large scale wall graphics/murals
After you have chose the appropriate scale you can then choose your projects resolution. With large prints you will want to choose a dpi that is below 300 dpi. This may sound crazy considering most graphics are printed at 300-600 dpi. The reason we choose a lower dpi is for the same reasons stated above. Manageable files and how the human eye perceives large scale prints.
You can indicate a custom path for a photo cutout. Photoshop users (preferred method) please create a work path using the pen tool. Save your work path by double clicking on the working path to save and name path. Save your final file as a .PSD file. Illustrator users please save final file (.PDF or .AI) with a 1 pixel stroke indicating your cut path. We will add appropriate bleed. Do not crop out background if you wish for us to add bleed to your final printed graphic.
Paths window in Photoshop – Menu Bar > Window > Paths
Price Modification Due To File Setup
Files that are setup incorrectly, or ganged to layout multiple designs on one print may be subject to price modification from the original purchase price.
Due to the cutting process. It is recommended to save your designs with borders no smaller than .125″ thick. This will prevent your sticker from having a border that can appear to have some sides thicker than others.
.jpg or .jpeg (Joint Photographic Expert Group)
.png (Portable Network Graphics)
.ai (Adobe Illustrator)
.psd or .psb (Photoshop Document)
.pdf (Portable Document Format)
.eps (Encapsulated PostScript)
.tif or .tiff (Tagged Image File Format)
.indd (Adobe InDesign Document)
Answer: A vector file is a graphic that is made up of nodes, shapes & paths (not pixels). Vector graphics can be scaled to any size without losing quality, and normally are very small in file size. Vector files are made with graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc.
A raster file consists of pixels (little squares). Every photo or raster based graphic is made up of pixels and the resolution of images are measured in ppi (pixels per inch) or dpi (printed dots per inch). The higher the ppi or dpi and larger dimensions for your image or design the better it will print.
Our graphic designers can vectorize your logo or design if you need a file in a more scalable format.
Answer: Yes! We can take pretty much any graphic and turn it into a print ready vector file for as low as $35. We have a very fast turnaround on all graphic design projects. Please send all inquiries to email@example.com
This fee is often waived or reimbursed for large orders.
Answer: If your files exceed our 12MB upload limit, or have multiple files you want to submit at once. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to send files via email.
We are also open to cloud based file sharing websites such as Dropbox, Hightail, Box, Copy, Google Drive, etc.
Just send your folder or file invites to email@example.com
Beginners Guide To Understanding File Types
Need assistance with your file? Call us at 855-784-2553
Graphics that are not set up according to the setup guidelines listed above and require additional editing/setup, are subject to additional production fee(s).