- What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?
RGB, which is an additive colour, stands for Red, Green, and Blue. All three colours mixed together produce White. Screens on your computer, TV, and phone use RGB pixels to produce images. CMYK, which is a subtractive colour, stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. All three colours of CMY mixed together produces K (black). CMYK is the colour mode is used in the printing world. Due to these colour differences, the images you see on screen are different than images you see in print. To ensure a better result in your printing, always work in CMYK mode.
- What file types do you accept?
Here at Altro we accept pdf. ai. and eps. files.
- Do you offer design service?
Whether it is a minor tweak to your art work or a brand new label created from scratch, our expert design team will help you with your print design needs.
- What are the label stock types available for my custom labels?
Our printing technology is a UV cured inkjet, which is protected against abrasion and fading. However, varnish or lamination can be used for extra protection and/or if you want a different look for your label. Having said that we would like to provide you with a simplified introduction to the options you have on selecting the best fit to your pressure sensitive adhesive label materials.
Facestock or the top surface of the pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) label can basically be a film or paper or a combination of the two. Paper facestock is usually a prime paper material that can come in Semi-gloss, high gloss or matte finish. Additionally, metalized paper is available if required by your label application and artwork. Depending on your artwork and industry, coated papers, or uncoated prime papers such as Estate papers can be recommended by our design team.
Film materials are typically Biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP), PET or Vinyl films that are usually more appropriate for the application where the PSA label will be subject to extreme weather conditions, exposure to water/wet conditions and where durability is of the essence.
The adhesive for PSA labels can be permanent or removable; we also offer some grades that provide the mid point – repositionability properties for applications where temporary repositioning of the PSA label is required. Adhesives for PSA labels can be rubber-based or Hotmelt adhesives which usually exhibit very high tack, strong initial adhesion properties and are well positioned for low temperature/deep freeze applications. Acrylic-based adhesives may be permanent or removable and are available in different grades depending on your service or application temperature range, or application requirements (requirement for a low tack, repositionability properties, application temperature range or exposure to high temperatures upon storage) Please let our expert technical support help you with the selection of the adhesive most appropriate for your PSA label material needs.
Basestock or liner
This liner is the siliconized liner material that you usually dispose of upon application of the PSA label. This liner can be either paper, which usually is denoted as SCK (super calendared Kraft) paper, PK (poly-coated Kraft paper) or BG (bleached glassine) paper. Film liner is typically a 1.2mil PET. (1.2 mil refers to the thickness of the liner being 1.2 milli inch). The choice of paper versus film liner depends on your label applicator speed and your sensor sensing ability (laser sensors tend to perform better with paper liners as opposed to PET liners, whereas Ultrasonic sensors can work as fine with PET liners at high press speed). Usually PET liners are preferred as they are less bulky compared to paper liners and therefore more labels can fit into a label roll of the same OD (outer diameter) sized label with paper liner.
- What are bleeds, safe areas, and die line?
This is the area where any text, important photos, and other critical parts of the design should be kept. Anything outside the trim may be cut off.
This is the final size of your label. This is where we aim to cut your labels.
This is the area outside the dieline that will get cut off. Even though it gets removed, it’s still important to the overall production of your product.
For more information, please read our guidelines.
- How do I outline text in Illustrator?
Convert all fonts into outlines. We may not have your fonts, and the printer may also not have your fonts. As a result, you need to convert your fonts to outlines so that when they are opened, they are not replaced by another font. Note: once you have converted your text to outlines, they are no longer editable.
Insure all fonts are created in vector drawing software such as Illustrator. DO NOT use a photo editing software like Photoshop to create your texts.
For more information, please read our guidelines.
- How do I embed images in Illustrator?
Please refer to our guidelines.
- How do I check my image size?
If you are providing a raster image, you need to make sure the quality of the image is high. You cannot expect a high quality print from a low quality image. To make sure your image is high quality, in Photoshop go to Image > Image Size and make sure your resolution is 300 dpi in its actual size. Keep in mind that increasing the resolution of the image does not increase its quality and might lead to inferior quality and more problems.
For more information, please read our guidelines.
- What is your recommended image size?
Anything higher than 300 dpi is good for print.
- Can I get a proof of my label?
Our art department will lay out your labels in a proof, and our sales department will email you a pdf file to inspect and approve. You can even request a sample print of your final label on the substrate of your choosing prior to actual ordering labels print.
- Do you generate barcodes?
Yes, all you need to do is provide the type of barcode you use with the code.
- Spot UV, cold foil, hot foil, screen printing and embossing file prep:
You need to create two separate pdfs: one for your design and one for your special finish element (black and white vector only). The spot element will denote which part of your design we apply the special finish to. The position and size of your finish must be aligned to your design file.
- Typography and text for special finishes:
To ensure the best results for your design, you will need to follow a few guidelines: Fonts – please use 10pt or larger. Knocking out of smaller text is not advised. After converting them to outlines, make sure their line weight is greater than 1pt because lines too close together may pool. Please also note, the accuracy of the finishing layer is good, but not always perfect. These elements may shift ever-so-slightly.
- Line art recommendations for cold foil and Spot UV:
Use lines that are at least 1pt thick, or leave at least a 1pt gap between elements. Simpler designs print better, so use Spot UV and Cold Foil as an accent. Use a vector file to ensure clean, crisp lines.
To sum up:
- Thick lines look clean and solid, while lines that are too thin break up.
- Large gaps give the cold foil space, while small gaps cause cold foil to pool.
- Tips for embossing and debossing:
- Emboss and deboss common features on your label that won’t change every year so you can use the same emboss dies for multiple SKUs, which will be more cost effective.
- Combine emboss and deboss designs to add dimension to your label and make it visually intriguing.
- Avoid embossing elements that are prone to change such as alcohol percentage, unless you are willing to purchase tooling for every production run.
- Do not add textured emboss to an already textured stock. Textured stocks have variations, so adding more would result in the different textures fighting one another to stand out.
- Too much embossing and debossing on a label can cause application issues. The more raised the emboss is on a label, the less contact it has with the actual product.
- Beware of adding too many emboss and deboss elements on the same die. Combined emboss/deboss plates do not allow as much control over the depth of the deboss or height of the emboss. You may need to order two separate dies. One for the emboss and one for the deboss.
- What is silk screening?
Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in the areas made impermeable to the ink. A blade is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh with ink. Screen printed labels provide a number of great advantages. They are highly durable, even outdoors, with no bubbling or peeling, and they are moisture resistant making them a great fit for beverage labels. Screen printed labels provide a high degree of area coverage with precise details and strong colour intensity. It will provide a crystal clear text definition. Keep in mind that you cannot use more than one or two colours when screen printing, unless a high tooling cost is not a problem for you.
- What is variable data?
Variable data simply means each label or unit is printed independently. Each label can have a unique number, alphanumeric code, bar code, or image. For example, wineries may want to spotlight the limited availability of their product by displaying a unique element on the label.
- How is the file preparation for variable data jobs?
Prepping your variable data labels are slightly different than regular labels. There are a few things you will have to provide us with:
- Your labels ai. file.
- File containing variable images all in jpg. format (if applicable).
- File containing pantone colours (if applicable).
- File containing fonts.
- For variable QR codes, you must provide us with all the links to the websites.
- For variable barcodes, you must provide us with the type of barcode and the code.
- How do you indicate you want a pattern?
- In Illustrator, create a separate layer for your pattern.
- Place your patter in you design.
- Select your pattern and set any spot colour to it, but name it “White”.
- While your pattern is selected, go to Window > Attributes > Over Print Fill or Stroke (depending on if your pattern has a fill or a stroke).
- Make sure your pattern layer is the top layer.
- How to create texture:
Textures don’t require a separate embellishment tool purchase. We create these textures using our opaque white. By layering the white ink under the coloured ink, you can create all kinds of textures. Keep in mind that these textures can only be created when printed on white stock. We cannot create eye-catching textures on metalized or clear stock.
- Where do you deliver to?
We deliver anywhere in the world! In Canada, we use UPS and FedEx for our deliveries. In the U.S. we use USPS and UPS, and for international deliveries we use UPS and DHL Express services. Please note that depending on where you live, additional customs and levies may be applicable (such as provincial/estate taxes, custom fees and levies).
- I need my order ASAP, can I pay extra for faster shipping?
Yes we offer, regular and expedited delivery options; upon checkout you will be provided with available delivery options and the respective estimated time of arrival for your shipment along with associated shipment cost.
- Can I check the progress of my order?
Yes; all your orders will be populated and stored on your account at Altro’s database; you can check the status of your order as “processed”, “approved for print”, “printed”, or “shipped” respective of where your order is at. If you have selected registered mail, you will receive an email with a tracking number for your shipment as soon as your material shipment label is issued; in addition you can find the tracking information under your order section of your account profile on Altro’s website.
- Can I get a sample of your works?
Yes you can request a print of your order sample, both in sheet format (printed on your exact selected order substrate) or in rolls (printed and die cut rolls).
- What is your production and turnaround time?
Most orders placed before 2pm can be delivered the next business day. Please note that this is subject to standard die sizes and standard label substrate. i.e. 4” x 4” label in semi gloss paper PSA label order will be produced and shipped the very next business day. 1.985” x 3.725” label size in Metalized thermal transfer film with removable adhesive is not considered a standard order and will practically require 3 to 5 business days turnaround.
- Can you help me with a price quote?
You can request your quote online including uploading your custom artwork through altrolabels.com/quote. You can also chat with our specialized sales team, or our design team in real time through our website. Therefore, regardless of whether your artwork is ready to print or you need our in house design services, you will have a customized quote almost instantly!
- How can I pay for my order?
We accept almost all methods of payments, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Interac, Apple Pay, Google Pay. We would even love to meet you in person accept Cash/ Cheque payments.
- Is my payment secure?
100%. We have partnered with Square for our online and point of sale payments, and all the processed payments are fully encrypted, so you can rest assured your identity and payment credentials are kept fully confidential.