File Types

Watermark Labels prefers files saved in Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw (with file saved in Adobe Illustrator format), although we can work from almost anything. Files should be single layer with all types converted to outlines. If all type is not converted, then copies of all fonts must be included. Please also include anything else applicable to the job (copies of all placed graphics and indicate die-cut, trims, etc.).


To allow us to create the best product for you, it’s best if artwork is created to scale (with the scale clearly marked) to dimensionally match any existing drawing. If no drawing or blueprint exists, please specify the dimensions of any critical areas, and fax or mail them to us. Please also specify the perimeter cut of the label (including the radius of corners).

Ink Colors

Please assign colors clearly in your artwork by using any of the commonly used ink matching systems (Pantone, ColorCurve, etc ). Don’t assign colors in your art file as combinations of CMYK unless you clearly mark your color choice based on one of the above ink matching systems. We also have the ability to color match from a color sample or previously printed part.

Hairlines and Small Print

Small print and fine lines present two different challenges, depending upon the printing method you select. We recommend at least at 4 pt. font as a positive image (if it’s about the weight of Helvetica Bold ). If it’s reversed out of the background, it should be no less than 5 pt. (providing it’s roughly the weight of Helvetica Bold ).

If you opt for our anodized or etched aluminum printing process, the most important thing to keep in mind is that any reversed image, whether text or line work, should be no less than .01" to hold well. The best results we've obtained with small text have been with sans serif typefaces (such as Helvetica Black and Arial Black). It’s best to avoid reversed serif typefaces below approximately 12 point.

Color Separation

We find the best results are obtained when your file is sent to us as a single layer, color document with no trapping built into the artwork. You can leave all trapping of colors and color separation to us—we are, after all, the experts.

Borders and Edges

When creating your artwork with borders, the minimum thickness of a bleed border should be .05" and the minimum distance from the label edge for the inset border should be .05". The same specification applies to the relationship of graphics and text to the label edge. Try to keep a minimum free space of .05" all around your graphics—that will allow them to really pop.

Artwork uploads

Files can be submitted via email to art@watermarklabels.com. All attached files should be compressed into a single archive, either ZIP (Win/Dos) of STUFFIT (Mac).

TTB guidelines

Wind directions