Art File Requirements Guide


.ai – Adobe Illustrator Document (CC) .eps – Encapsulated Post Script
.pdf – Portable Document Format

Image Resolution: 300dpi – 450dpi


Die line, graphics, white, and all other specials (Hot Stamp, Emboss, Spot Varnish) should be set up on separate layers.

Tip: Creating and naming layers in your document keeps all graphic elements organized. This eliminates any confusion with the Art Dept. when files are reviewed.


All files must have fonts created to outlines or include all fonts when submitting final art.


All files must be in CMYK color mode, not RGB.
Note: Files supplied in RGB mode will be con-verted to CMYK. This changes color values and we can’t guarantee color accuracy.

  • Files can be created using CMYK or PANTONE Spot Color inks.
  • PANTONE Spot Colors must be called out as swatch “PANTONE XXX C”. Convert all “U” and “CVC” inks to “C”.
  • Select PANTONE colors from the PANTONE + Solid Coated swatch book ONLY
  • Any random spot color names such as “Logo Blue”, “PMS 367”, etc. will be converted to CMYK
  • Any metallic inks from the PANTONE + Metallic Coated book will be converted to CMYK


These are our most commonly used swatches for special inks. Create Spot Color swatches with these names and values in your file when necessary.

Any swatch name and value can be used to represent a “Hot Stamp” swatch. For example, if you are using a gold foil, create a swatch color that looks like gold and name it “Gold Hot Stamp”.

If two Spot Varnish inks (plates) are required, create two swatches with different names and values. For example, “Spot Gloss” and “Spot Matte”.


  • Images must have a resolution of 150 dpi or higher. The recommended resolution is 300 dpi.
  • The final file submitted for print should have all images in the package (in a folder) with the project files.


Large-scale digital printing processes create images by depositing toner directly onto on a surface, while flexographic presses use rubber or plastic plates to press ink onto a substrate.

This makes digital printing an inherently flexible process, yielding a number of advantages including:

  • Quick turnaround: Setup is fast and jobs can be completed quickly, as there are no plates to create nor images to change or distort.
  • Low-volume jobs: Thanks to the quick turnaround, digital printing is also ideal for low-volume work.
  • Increased consistency: Computers manage the job in digital printing, leaving less room for human error. This means that “[when going] label to label, job to job, the colors are consistent and repeatable with no variation between operators,” explains FLEXO Magazine.

However, digital printing still comes with a number of disadvantages:

  • Ink limitations: Digital ink fades more quickly than flexographic ink in direct sunlight, though this is usually only noticeable on items used outdoors over a long (or indefinite) period of time. Digital inks are also thinner, making them less opaque than flexographic inks.
  • No in-line processes: Add-on processes such as cold foiling and lamination aren’t possible with digital printing.
  • Lower durability: Labels created on a digital press don’t last as long or stand up to the elements as well as those created using flexo.

What are the main benefits of using Flexographic Printing?

  • Better pricing on volume print runs.
  • Better ink performance
  • Ability to have add-ons like cold foil and different finishes.


Digital – Print

  • Positive Minimum Line: .007” (.5 pt)
  • Reverse Minimum Line: .01” (.75 pt)

Flexographic – Print

  • Positive Minimum Line: .01” (.75 pt)
  • Reverse Minimum Line: .02” (1.45 pt)


  • Since most barcode scanners utilize infrared light, avoid creating barcodes using red, light pink, orange, light brown, yellow, and metallic colors.
  • To ensure scan-ability, it is recommended that barcodes are dark colored (black ink only scans best) on a white or light colored background.
  • Allow enough room for a “Quiet Zone” or no-print area of at least 1/8” to the left and right on the barcode bars.
  • Set the Bar Width Reduction to 80 microns. Any barcode below 70% is not recommended and will reduce the chances of it scanning.

Note: It is the Client’s responsibility to ensure that the barcode will scan.


This is an extremely important part of the production line where an incorrect roll of labels can cost everyone precious labor hours and unnecessary expenses.

What is Unwind Direction?
Unwind direction is simply the way in which a label unwinds from a roll. This is most easily explained by looking at the unwind diagram.

  • The orientation of the letter “A” represents which side of the label is coming off the roll first.
  • “Wound Out” means the labels are on the outside of the roll.
  • “Wound In” means the labels finish on the inside of the roll.

What will we accept?

SDC Nutrition Inc. will only accept labels that are provided to us in Wound Out Left (aka #4)