What type of file format can be uploaded?
We recommend using Adobe Illustrator for designing your files. The files have to be uploaded as PDF format. Files that are made in Microsoft Office cannot be used. Formats such as EPS, AI, JPEG, TIFF and PNG are unable to properly upload.
What is meant by height and width?
How do I make a cutting line?
The die-cutting line is, in most cases, also the net size of your label. You can make this punching or cutting line in a new layer, which you place as the top layer. You make this line with straight or rounded corners (radius 2 mm). To make a cutting line (what we call a "stans") you would have to make a New Swatch. The new swatch needs to be in the spot color C: 0, M: 100, Y: 0, K: 0 and with the name 'stans'. The line needs to be 0.2mm in thickness. In your toolbar, under Window, you will find Attributes. Here you can put the cutting line, or in this case the "stans" line, on Overprint Stroke.
Your labels can be created in any shape because we work with a laser cutter that allows us freedom to punch out any shape, unlike the die-cutting molds.
Note: The net size of your label should be the same as the ordered size.
Note: There is a possibility that through laser cutting, the edge of the material may be visible with designs with bleed. In such cases, it is advisable to request a printed proof prior to placing a final order.
These are examples of possible shapes. Other shapes are also possible.
How do I use white ink in my design?
Labels can be applied to labels printed on metallic, fluorescent or transparent materials. In areas, where the white is indicated in the file, a layer of white is first printed beneath. The color that is then printed over the white, it is 'colorfast' and thus more defined. In Indesign or Illustrator, place an extra flat white under the desired color element and set the overlying element to 'overprint fill'. It is important that a white print on our indicated materials has white ink. To do this, choose 'Full color + white' in the configurator specification as “Print” on the website. Would you like more information about the placement of white ink? Read below.
White Ink: What and How?
When you place a printed order at Zolemba, you will probably come across the question of whether you want to place white ink on the label. What does that mean? Below we explain what white ink is, where it can be used for and how you can add it to your design.
What is White Ink?
White ink means that a white layer is printed under the color print of the label. You can choose to use white ink in your design in order to maintain color fastness.
How does it work?
A layer of white is first printed on the label. The color will then be printed over this white ink layer. With the white underlay, the colors come across more pronounced on your label. It is also possible that you do not want to use white ink your design; that choice lies entirely with you. Depending on the label, material and your design, you can choose whether to apply the white ink underlay or not.Without White Ink With White Ink
On which materials can be used with White Ink?
White ink underlay can be printed on the following materials;
- Paper silver/paper gold
- Paper fluorescent orange/paper fluorescent yellow
- PP silver
- PET transparent
Do you prefer to not have a white ink underlay print on a silver or gold material labels? This will then give a 'metallic' effect on the colors.
Do you prefer to not have a white ink underlay print on a fluorescent yellow or orange label? The printed colors may vary greatly from the original colors of your design.
Do you prefer to not have a white ink underlay print on a transparent label? Then the colors on the label automatically become transparent. The white layer is then not printed.
How do I add a white ink underlay in my design?
To ensure that the white ink is printed on your label, you must add it to the file. Follow the next steps in Illustrator:
1. Place an extra surface with white ink under the element. For this, you need to copy the element, for example, a text.
2. Copy the element to create a new color swatch
a. Name this swatch 'white_ink', choose color 'spot color' and color mode CMYK, like the rest of the file. Set all values to 0%. Give the copied element this color.
3. Place the copied element exactly under the color element again. Mark this element as 'Overprint Fill'. If 'Attributes' is not in your Illustrator window, go to 'Window' and click 'Attributes'. The panel is added:
Everything that must have a white ink underlay printed, must have the fill color as 'white_ink'. Keep in mind that this also applies to white text. The areas that are white will not be printed on colored or transparent labels unless indicated otherwise by it containing white ink.
For example, suppose your label is made of PET transparent material and you want on the label a blue surface with light blue text on it. To get the colors to stand out, first place a flat white, above the blue surface, above it the text in white and above it the light blue text. This results to your label having 4 layers. Be sure when ordering the labels online with intended white ink, choose 'Full color + white' in the label configurator.
Do you have questions about white ink for your label? Contact us via telephone at +31 (0) 53 73 70 160, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the picture requirements?
Photos and other bitmap-files have to have a minimum resolution of 300 PPI. Pictures with lower resolutions will appear blurred and/or pixeled.
I have ordered more than one model. Is one file enough?
If you order multiple designs for your label order, we also need multiple files. We need one file per design/model.
How do I flatten transparent designs?
If your design contains transparency, it is important that it is flattened in the proper way. To do this, use the setting 'PDF / X-1a: 2001' (Compatibility Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)) when saving your PDF. The transparent effect that is used is retained. If this is not written in the right way, there is a chance that elements may fall away.
If your design contains transparency, it is important that it is flattened. This can be done in Illustrator by selecting all and selecting 'Flatten Transparency' via 'Object'. Then choose the 'High Resolution' option.
Convert font to outlines
Always convert your texts to letter contours or 'outlines', to ensure that nothing goes wrong with the fonts. The program that controls our printers will automatically convert a font that they do not recognize (that is not installed on our computer) to another random font. The final result then deviates from what you had in mind.
Convert font in Adobe Illustrator through the following steps:
· Open the file and click on 'Select all', then go to 'Text' and choose 'Create Outlines'.
· In InDesign you do this in the same way, only it is called here 'Create outlines at text'. If you choose to do so this way, keep in mind that you save the document under a different name. If you do not do this, you can not edit the text afterwards. After converting the text to outlines, it is no longer a physical text, but vector objects.
Minimum Font Height
The minimum letter height is 1.32 mm. If the letters are delivered smaller, they will not be legible on your label. This corresponds on average to the large 5pt group.
Can you make my file print-ready?
Yes, this is possible for Zolemba to make your file print-ready. Zolemba's prices are based on your design and order specifications through the supplied file/artwork. If we have to prepare a file, costs will be calculated and discussed prior to printing. Contact us via phone at +31 (0) 53-7370160 or via e-mail to email@example.com.
I have crop marks in my file. Is this acceptable?
Unfortunately not. With crop marks, we only see how the corners of the file look like. Zolemba needs an indicated die-cut line to properly cut the shape of your labels. The way this works is that the laser cutter will recognize the exact shape of the file and then use cutting line to cut precisely.
When is my file ready for approval?
We always check and review your files prior to printing. You will be notified via email whether your file meets our print specifications and is ultimately ready for your final approval. You can also view this on your Zolemba account at the top right that says "Dashboard". You can see the current status of your file here.
What does Winding mean?
Delivered legible NOT delivered legible
The Winding determines the placement of the label on the roll, for example, an inner or outer wrap, the direction of the image and readability of the label. Keep in mind that the winding is an important factor when the labels are used with an automated labelling machine.
NOTE: When producing the labels, the readability of the label together with the selected winding determines how the labels come from the roll unless otherwise stated.
My file is too big. What now?
If your file is too large for uploading properly, send us your file(s) via WeTransfer. Email this to us to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please inform us when you have done so to know which email/WeTransfer belongs to which order.
Is it possible to print variable data?
Yes it is possible to print variable data and serial numbered data. Variable Data Printing is the printing of variable data on labels. Variable data can consist of numbers, letters or from codes. For variable data, it is not necessary to provide a special file. It is, however, important that you provide us with an Excel or CSV file with the desired data, which you want to be the first to have at the bottom of the list. Preferably also specify the desired font and font size.
Various applications for variable data printing are:
- Serial number ranges
- Unique product codes
- Bar and or QR codes
Combinations of the above applications are also possible with variable data printing.
For more information, contact our service department to clearly indicate the wishes regarding variable data printing.
Providing files with a barcode
If you have a barcode on your label, it is important to ensure that this barcode meets the quality requirements. With providing a good quality barcode, you will prevent any issues regarding illegibility after printing your label.
When submitting barcodes in your design, please note the following factors:
Do not shorten the height of a barcode. The ratio between the height and the width of a barcode always remains the same. By shortening the height of a barcode, it is possible that it is no longer easy/able to properly scan from different angles.
The dimensions of EAN-13 and EAN-8 are precisely specified. For the EAN-13 barcode, keep the barcode at 100% with a size of 22.85mm x 37.29mm. For the EAN-8 this is 18.23mm x 26.73mm.
It some cases, it may be that the barcode must be displayed larger or smaller. Use a magnification factor for this. Do not reduce the barcode by more than 80% and do not increase the barcode by more than 200%. The ratio between the width and the height must remain the same.
Always choose a barcode with a resolution of at least 300dpi, this ensures that the barcode remains legible. Preferably use a vector file as the barcode, with this it is even possible to reduce to 60%.
To be able to properly scan the barcode, high contrast is important. Preferably place the black barcode on a white surface. We also recommend giving the bar code the color 100% black.
With the format of a file, you must consider that this is the made in the same size that you have ordered. This will be the same size that we will cut the labels to. A properly made file has the correct image settings of a 2 mm perimeter, also keep in mind the safety margin of 2 mm. Always save your document as a PDF.
It is important that the files are formatted in CMYK colors. PMS and RGB colors must be converted to CMYK. This sometimes results in an inevitable color difference. We recommend formatting black text in C: 0, M: 0, Y: 0, K: 100. If your design contains a white ink underlay, use white as the spot color with the name: 'white_ink'. For the die-cutting line, use the spot color C: 0, M: 100, Y: 0, K: 0 with the name 'stans'.
How do I convert my file to CMYK?
You can specify CMYK with Photoshop and Illustrator when creating a new document with color mode. It is also possible with InDesign; however, it only works slightly differently here. Here you must define the intention on prints, then it automatically jumps to CMYK.
Do you already have an existing document, but are you unsure whether it is in CMYK? Then you can check this by clicking on 'document settings' at InDesign. This is with Illustrator under 'document color mode' and with Photoshop under 'mode'.
How can I make something deep black in my file?
We recommend making black in C: 0, M: 0, Y: 0, K: 100. If you want to use an extra powerful black, choose C: 20 M: 20 Y: 20 K: 100. Please note, if you use a powerful black and you have a small/thin font, this can be closed when printed.
We no longer need nor use crop marks when printing. We can recognize the net size when the bleed box is set correctly.
Making your file print-ready
Which software will I use?
We advise you to use reputable software when creating your files (Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop). The files must be delivered in PDF format. Files that are formatted in the Microsoft Office package are not suitable. Other file extensions such as EPS, AI, JPEG, TIFF and PNG also cannot be processed.
My design is ready, now what?
After you have finished designing and placed the cutting line, you can continue the file as a print-ready file. Save your file as a PDF document.
Below we describe for each program how you can best create your PDF file.
1. Export your file.
2. Under "Presets," select "Adobe PDF: PDF / X-1a: 2001" (Compatibility Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)). This is the only PDF variant that smooths transparency in the right way and embeds fonts.
3. Check the next option 'Characters and bleed area' -> 'Use document expiration settings.
4. If you have used 2 mm bleed around, you have a PDF that we can use for printing. Export PDF (InDesign) Export PDF (InDesign).
1. Save your file by 'save as'
2. Select 'Adobe PDF'
3. Under 'Presets', select' Adobe PDF ': PDF / X-1a: 2001' (Compatibility Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)).
4. Check the next option 'Characters and bleed area' -> 'Use document expiration settings
5. If you have used 2 mm bleed around, you have a PDF that we can use for printing.
Photoshop (ATTENTION! With this program you cannot place a cutting line or white ink)
1. Save your file with 'save as'
2. Select "Photoshop PDF"
3. Under 'Presets', select' Adobe PDF ': PDF / X-1a: 2001' (Compatibility Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3
4. Check the next option 'Characters and bleed area' -> 'Use document expiration settings.
5. Now all you must do is place a punch line with Illustrator.
Applying bleed and cutting margins
We can also print your labels with bleed added. It is important that the result is 2 mm around. Make sure that all objects are within the bleed of 2mm.
From the edge of the net (ordered) format, you must ensure that there are no important texts or (parts of) images within 2 mm. This ensures the prevention of the chance that these objects being cut off during the punching process.
Defining bleed in your file
It is very important that the bleed box is well defined in your document. You can indicate this when you create a new document in InDesign or Illustrator.
· You will see the 'New document' window on both programs.
· You now must set the Bleed box (bleed area) to 2 mm around. When you open the document now, you will notice that a red border appears around your Art box (drawing area).
· If you are going to use objects that must run off, pull them up to the red border. Here, you have created a 'bleed' on your image directly.
Do not forget to save your PDF with 'Characters' and 'Expiration area'. 'Use document expiration settings'. This now automatically sets the defined size. If you forget this essential check, the bleed then is not generated.
You can also define the bleed box in an existing document, you can do this in document settings. Setting the finishing area for a new document and use the document wrapping settings (when exporting PDF).
If you use line work in your document, we recommend that you maintain a minimum line thickness of 0.2 mm in order to achieve the best result. When this is still smaller, the lines can partially fall away at the pressure.
Indicate in the comments when they deviate and what diameter you want. The radius of standard rounding is 2 mm. The advantage of this rounding is that the labels stay on the label roll better and attaches better to the surface of your product.
Always check whether your file contains overprint. Overprint in your file is not necessarily right or wrong but may equate an unwanted result. It is therefore important that you never overprint a color/object in your design when this is not necessary.
When does it go wrong with overprinting?
The overprint is only visible in the final end product; when the file is already printed. Overprinting in the wrong areas of your design results in a bad outcome. Overprint cannot be seen in the online Preview. Therefore, once you have given your approval on the file, it is no longer considered the responsibility of Zolemba if the result is not desired.
How do I detect overprint in my file?
With Adobe Acrobat (not with Adobe Reader) you can easily detect overprint in your design. Go to Output Example and tick Simulate Overprinting on and off.
In order to achieve the best result, we ask for the ISO Coated v2 profile. You can define this in 'Assign profiles'.