Current Lead Time: 10 days

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

All orders placed after 8th Dec 23 will dispatch when we open on Jan 8th 24

Artwork Guidelines

If you’re like us, you probably don’t have time to read a whole book on how to create files for print. We know you’re busy, so we’ve prepared this handy guide to help you understand some of the most common problems that can cause delays in printing and how to avoid them.

If you have a specific problem that is not covered below or have other questions, please feel free to contact us.

We founded StickEm with one goal in mind: to make life easy. Whether starting a new business or topping up your supplies, it can be daunting.
But not for us. It’s what we do!

Quick Checklist

Before sending your files please
check the following:
  • Is your image and/or wording crips, clear and legible?
  • Is the page laid out correctly with images/wording at least 3mm from the page edge?
  • Did you include everything you need, for example website/social links?
  • Have you proof read it to ensure spelling and information is correct?
  • Have you checked that the artwork matches the size you're ordering?
  • When you designed it, to avoid colour discrepancies did you design it in CMYK mode?
Is your image and/or wording crisp, clear and legible?

You need some logo stickers printed ASAP. But where the bloody hell did you save your logo files?

There’re many reasons your design isn’t crisp, clear and legible. 

To be honest, there are too many to mention, but we’ve detailed our customers’ 2 most common reasons below.

The location of your logo files is anyone’s guess. Don’t worry, you have the logo on social media, don’t you?

And that’s the issue! You shouldn’t use a social media image when sending it to print.

BUT If you find yourself in this situation (and we all do), then don’t panic! Get the best quality out of your files with these tips.

1) Ensure high resolution. If it looks fuzzy or pixelated on your screen—it’ll look even worse when printed. Make sure it’s as clear as possible before you proceed!

2) Never and I repeat NEVER, EVER, screenshot the image to use… if you have to use an image from social media, save the image. DO NOT SCREENSHOT the image.

So why avoid social media saving? 

Imagine buying an XL jumper, with the chorus from your favourite song on the front. Then you load the jumper (pic) to the tumble dryer (social media).

To buy the printed stickers, you nip to the “dryer” and grab the “jumper“, only now it’s not XL, it’s shrunk, and it’s the perfect size for a barbie doll. And that’s basically what happens to your images.

Now if the above doesn’t apply, then chances are it’ll be down to resolution. We mentioned in point 1 above about having a high resolution, but what is it and how do we make it high?

Before we explain resolution, let us briefly explain a pixel… everything you see on screen is made up of little dots (pixels) strategically placed to create an image. The printer prints those teeny little dots too.

If you don’t have enough pixels in your design, it becomes too vague and blurry —imagine trying to draw a house with 10 pixels or 1000 pixels… which has the best chance of looking like a house?

Ok, so back to resolution. 

Resolution is the number of pixels used to display an image or video. 

You can increase resolution in a few different ways; the easiest is increasing the size of the image file. 

If you’re designing the file yourself, make the size of the image larger.

Image Resolution:

  • All images and pictures should be 300 dpi minimum.
  • Rasterized text or logos should be 1200 dpi.

If you’re still struggling, reach out and we can advise further or we can design them for you.

Is the page laid out correctly with images/wording at least 3mm from the page edge?

There’s nothing worse than designing something and realising that some of it will be cut off when you send it for print or that there’s a thin white line on your full colour design. 

To ensure your design is laid out correctly, if you can’t add bleed options automatically in your design software you can do it manually. 

For example – if your design is going to be 80 x 80 mm you can set the canvas to be 83 x 83 mm – then by adding colour to the full background it will prevent any thin white areas when we cut it at 80 x 80mm.

It’s also important to keep text and images at least a 4 mm away from the paper edge or the trim line to prevent accidental cropping when printing. See image for example.


Did you include everything you need, for example, website/social links?

We don’t have the time or manpower to go hunting around the web for your information. 

You need to include the relevant information.

Adding phrases such as “Facebook link here” will result in that being printed in the final prints. 

You need to ensure your information is accurate and ready to print. If you wouldn’t press print on how you see it on screen, then don’t submit it.

Have you proofread everything to ensure spelling and information are correct?

Proofreading is your responsibility. It’s as simple as that.

Asking us to proofread is pointless… English is hard enough without trying to second-guess someone else.

I say, Auntie, you could write Aunty. I say, Grandad, you could say Granddad. 

Sometimes people want to spell things “wrong” because it works for them. eg Framily is used to signify friends that are family.

Have you checked that the artwork matches the size you’re ordering?

Ordering a rectangle-shaped design like a business card, and sending a pre-designed file that’s a square is going to cause lots of unnecessary white space. 

Re-design your files to fit the shape you’re buying if you want a professional finish.

When you designed it, to avoid colour discrepancies did you design it in CMYK mode?

What is CMYK?

CMYK is an abbreviation for the four colours used in printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (Key).

This colour model is used in the printing process to create all the other colours you see in print, such as orange and green.

CMYK is also known as the subtractive colour model because the colours actually subtract from the white of the paper to create the desired colour.

Screens are not a safe and sure measure of colour accuracy as screens get their colours using RGB (Red, Green, Blue).

To achieve the desired colour on print, digital files should be designed using CMYK. Designing in RGB can give you a muted version of the colour you’re trying to achieve.

Finally, Digital Proofs… are they sent as standard?

When requested we will provide PDF files as electronic soft proofs.

These digital proofs intend to show you the layout and design elements of your order but cannot be guaranteed colour accuracy.

If colour accuracy is of extreme importance to you, we suggest ordering the smallest quantity available for that product to minimise your financial exposure and then make your larger order once you are happy with the colours you have used.