File Setup Requirements
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 Transfer 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 the 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 to zoom in and review your graphics at 100%-400% and scroll around to spot potential problems.
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 an 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.
Always check your file image resolution before submitting by zooming into 100% and examining for yourself. This allows you to see pixel resolution at the same size as it will be printed. 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 on a certain scale with lower dpi settings. This is described below (WALL MURAL FILE SETUP section).
Ink LayeringWe print on clear decals with two layers of ink. There is a base layer of white ink that will be laid down underneath the color inks. This is to provide a more opaque printed graphic on clear decals. Rather than just one layer of CMYK ink. To print with the best opacity and crispness of your graphic. It is recommended to submit vector graphics. This allows us to create proper separations for your vectors and apply exact layering of your printed graphics. If you are only able to submit raster (pixel) based artwork we can generate the white layer, but may not print with the best opacity. See below for full description.
Graphics With Full Color (No White Artwork)We can print full color graphics on clear decals with all file types. Both raster (pixels based) and vector artwork is acceptable.
Graphics With Full Color + White ArtworkWe can print full color with white artwork, but require vector graphics for this print type. This allows us to assign the white ink areas correctly. Also, please make sure all fonts have been converted to vector outlines.
- Please allow .125″ (1/8″) of bleed to extend past the cut line
- .125″ (1.8″) inside of the cutline as a safe area
When taking or choosing photos for photo cutout decals make sure your subject is at least larger than 50% of the photo area. Photos that are too small will only look good when viewed from a distance.
WALL MURAL FILE SET UP
If you are installing any of these murals flush to any edges or corners of walls, floor, or ceiling. You will want to add at least 2″-4″ of extra design on each side that may be touching an edge or corner. This allows for the print to be installed with the excess and then trimmed off after installation. This is to accommodate for uneven walls left to right or top to bottom.
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.
For large murals, we provide the prints in multiple panels to create the overall dimensions. Our software will automatically add the overlaps and sections. By default, we set up your final prints with a 1″ overlap at the seams to help with installation. The panels can be provided as long vertical panels (similar to wallpaper) or long horizontal panels. These parameters can be customized if need be for your prints.
We require that you design your large-scale graphics be set up to a scale. This is mainly due to file sizes for very large layouts. You may select any scale just indicate this in your order notes or in the file.
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 smallest 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 very low dpi setting. DPI settings should be 300dpi or above. If your file is viewed from a distance you may go lower.
If you are working with vector graphics or low-resolution raster graphics. We will accept full-scale designs.
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 you 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 your design is completely made up of vector graphics. You are safe to design at any scale.
DPI for large-scale wall graphics/murals
After you have chosen the appropriate scale you can then choose your project’s 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.
.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: 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).