Artwork Guidelines

Dielines Trapping TIFF Files
Colors Text File Review
Spot Colors Drop Shadows Proofing
Gradients Fonts vs. Outlines File Transfer
CMYK Images UPC Bar Codes

Quick Specifications Reference Guide

Maximum Number of Colors 10 (Including White)
Line Screen 100 lpi - 160 lpi (133 lpi Standard)
Trap Size .008" - .02"
Minimum Type Size (Postive Text) 4 Points
Minimum Type Size (Reverse Text) 5 Points
Minimum Rule Size (Positive) .25 Points
Minimum Rule Size (Negative) .5 Points
Bar Code Size 85% - 120%




Beginning with an accurate dieline that clearly defines the printable area in the artwork is the key to good placement of elements in a design. We supply all dielines in Adobe® Illustrator® format unless otherwise requested. Please make sure to verify all detailed specifications with your Custom Printed Products' representative.

Contact CPP for more information.


Up to ten color printing (including white, excluding varnish) is available. Please include a color legend on any proofs or mockups, and clearly label the design colors in your files. Contact your Custom Printed Products representative for any color-matching issues.

Contact CPP for more information.


Spot Colors:

Utilizing the Pantone Matching System (PMS) is recommended for maximum consistency when spot color printing. The use of spot color printing should be considered under the following circumstances:
• When consistency of a specific element, such as a logo or background color, is important in the entire product line.
• In order to maintain optimal legibility. In most cases, black text should be printed in 100% K.
• When elements require vibrant color. Please note that converting custom colors to CMYK may result in a loss of original brilliance or hue.

Contact CPP for more information.


The smallest dot etched onto a flexographic printing plate is 1%, but may grow to as much as 8% due to the nature of flexo printing.

This effect becomes more obvious in gradients intended to have a soft gradation to 0%, which will stop gradating below 8% and can end as a hardline where the gradient drops to 0%.

Contact CPP for more information.

CMYK Images:

When including photography or other CMYK illustrations into the label design, please note that images on the computer monitor or output device displays are not suitable for color matching. Monitors and color printers are calibrated differently and are not an accurate representation of color. For all designs that include CMYK elements, we have the ability to produce a color match proof that will reflect the expected printed label.

Adobe® Photoshop® images should not be embedded when placing them into Illustrator® files. Instead, place them as a link in the file and supply the CMYK Photoshop® file separately, as it may become necessary to adjust the image for flexo printing. Photoshop® image files should be sized at 300 dpi when saved in the final file in order to preserve the resolution of the photo when enlarged. Please avoid compressing the layers in Photoshop® files.

Contact CPP for more information.


Trapping refers to the process of compensating for misregistration on the printing press. Please do not set traps in your files. Custom Printed Products will set these as a part of the prepress process.

Contact CPP for more information.



Positive Text:

Minimum type size for positive text (dark text on a lighter background) is 4 points, as type below this size may not be legible when printed. Consider this requirement for registered and trademark symbols.

Ideally, small text should be created in one solid color. Please consider that screened text can be illegible and is easily affected by a slight misregistration on the press.

Reverse Text:

Minimum type size for reverse text (light-colored text reversing on a darker background) is 5 points. Type below this point size may fill in and become illegible when printed. Custom Printed Products does not recommend using light-style or serif fonts for reverse text, as some letters will fill in at press.

Avoid reversing out of more than one color if possible. One option is to utilize a solid, single color keyline (minimum thickness of .5 points or .01”) to outline the text that reverses on a multi-color background. This ensures better registration and produces a cleaner, crisper label.

It is advised to create text in vector format. Unlike vector-based graphics, text created in Photoshop® or any other raster-based program runs the risk of having jagged edges, making smaller text particularly difficult to read.

Contact CPP for more information.

Drop Shadows:

When possible, please avoid any shadows employing a blur effect that will be printed across any light or white areas of the label. For more detailed information, contact Art Director Paul Miley at or (318) 747-7460.


Fonts vs. Outlines:

Custom Printed Products recommends that two versions of the text file be supplied: one with text converted to outlines and one with live text. Converting text to outlines limits our ability to edit or resize text to accommodate content or layout revisions. Note that any fonts that are incompatible with an Apple® Macintosh® platform must be converted to outlines.

Contact CPP for more information.

UPC Bar Codes:

Custom Printed Products serves many industries, each having individual labeling requirements. It is the client's responsibility to verify that packaging meets any requirements set forth by regulatory agencies governing its industry.

Important Bar Code Tips:

  • It is recommended that bar codes be printed in 100% black if possible and appear on a white background. If you choose to print your barcode in a color ink, you run the risk that the code may not scan.
  • Make sure to allow a "quiet zone" or no-print area of at least  18 inch on either side of the bars of the code.
  • Bar codes should be no smaller than 85% and no larger than 120%.

Additional Bar Code Resources:

  • Establish a new bar code number by visiting the GS1 site.
  • Access the FDA Food Labeling Guide here.
  • Access the USDA Meat and Poultry Labeling Guide here.

Contact CPP for more information.

TIFF Files:

If printing from TIFF files, Custom Printed Products will provide information regarding how your job will run on our press, as well as provide cylinder size, the number across, the number around, and the distortion factor for the item that will print. You will also be provided with CPP internal part numbers that must be included inside the bearer bar or runner on the production setup. CPP can create these bearer bars or runners if necessary.

Along with receiving the project TIFF files, Custom Printed Products will also need to receive a color match proof - either a continuous tone proof or a Kodak® dot proof.

Before finalizing your TIFF file, please send a low resolution PDF to Art Director Paul Miley at You can also contact him at (318) 747-7460 for more TIFF file and dot gain curve information.

General TIFF Information:

  • 133 Line Screen preferred
  • Provide TIFF files as 2540 resolution
  • Distort correctly for .067" plate material
  • Include outside source part numbers and CPP internal part numbers in the bearer bar
  • Include a solid, 50%, and 1% dot block for each color separation on the bearer bar
  • Trim each TIFF file down to ¼" area around entire bearer bar

File Review:

Custom Printed Products encourages you to forward your art files to us for review in a low resolution PDF file before the artwork process begins. Our professional review will give you the opportunity to make any adjustments that might be necessary in order to produce the highest quality design at print.

It is preferred that Custom Printed Products receive files in Adobe® Photoshop® and Illustrator® CS - CC®. Please note that Custom Printed Products does not print from Adobe® InDesign® or QuarkXpress® files, but does accept your design from these files once it has been exported to a high resolution PDF.

Contact CPP for more information.



After artwork is set, a PDF proof is sent via e-mail for review and approval. This proof is mostly for copy and placement purposes and is not for color accuracy. For high resolution color match proofing, an EFI can be sent. Please send any questions regarding art to Art Director Paul Miley at or call (318) 747-7460.

File Transfer:

Files can be transferred by sending them in an e-mail, CD, or DVD, or by uploading them to our FTP site.

Host name:

username: cppflexo

password: c44f3x0!

Please use Fetch or Cyberduck or your choice of upload/download software that works best for you.

Before transferring files, please review all specifications on this page to ensure you are sending the files in the proper formats. Always include either a PDF or hard copy proof for your final file so that the design can be verified. Remember to include any support files for all images, including those that are embedded. Once the file transfer is complete, contact CPP to confirm the delivery.

Contact CPP for more information.