How to Set up Files for Clear (transparent) Vinyl Stickers with White Ink
In order to print and trim your stickers accurately, it is important to create a file that is easy to handle for us and our software. When it comes to clear (transparent) vinyl stickers, additional steps must be taken to ensure your sticker comes out the way you want them to. Here are the necessary steps to properly set up your file for submission. Step 1: Graphic Quality Make sure your graphics are of suitable quality for printing. We highly recommend vector files as they allow unlimited resizability without losing resolution. If you are unable to produce a vector graphic, raster graphics are also doable, we recommend a minimum of 150 dpi for the resolution. At Blitz we offer vector tracing services to help you convert a raster image into vector, contact us for more information. Step 2: Die Line and Bleed Create a die line for the sticker, make sure the line is 0.1pt thick and in 100% magenta. It is recommended to be offset 0.125” away from the graphic. Keep this on a separate layer above the image layer. If your graphic needs to be printed all the way to the die line (kiss-cut edge), add a bleed by extending the graphic at least 0.125” past the die line. Step 3: White Ink and Opacity Due to the transparent nature of the clear vinyl sticker, all white areas in the graphic will not have ink on them and will instead be clear, which is why we need to specifically designate where the white ink should go. First create a new swatch for the white ink, name it White_ink, color mode: Spot Color, and set the CMYK values to 30/10/10/0. All areas that need to be white will use this swatch colour instead. Due to the nature of clear vinyl, colour inks printed on the material will be translucent. Unless this is your intention, you will need to use white ink to create an opaque background for the colour to go on top of in order to create an opaque image on the clear vinyl sticker. Create a layer under the main artwork layer labeled White Ink, this layer is where the white ink background will go to provide opaqueness for the sticker. A way to quickly complete this step is to duplicate either the die line layer (if you want a white border around the graphic) or the artwork layer (if you don’t want a white border) and apply the white ink spot colour to the fill (remove any strokes). Once complete, your graphic should look like this: If you are printing white ink only sticker, you can omit the Artwork layer all together: Here is what your stickers would look like after printing: Step 4. Submission Before you submit your file, make sure all unnecessary objects are removed (random points, hidden/offscreen objects, extra hidden layers). Make sure your text (if any) and all lines/strokes are outlined. Save your file as an Adobe Illustrator file (.ai) or Adobe PDF and you are ready to submit.