On an average day, how many stickers do you see, in windows, on cars and on products? Chances are, you see quite a few every time you step out the front door.

If you’re looking for a way to promote a business, a band or even just a great idea, custom vinyl stickers can be a low-cost, versatile solution. For those of us not so artistically inclined, however, the process can seem daunting.

What follows is a basic guide to designing your very own custom sticker that looks great anywhere.

1. Know the Printer Requirements

Printers have different requirements in terms of size, quality, etc., and it’s important to know what elements the stickers needs to have. For Custom Sticker Makers, these are the basic requirements:

  • 300 dpi or vector file for the final size of the stickers
  • Artwork in RGB format
  • .125″ bleed for stickers that have color to the edge
  • All texts converted to outline (if using Illustrator)

If you’re not sure where to start, try using one of our free templates to get the size and shape you want.

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2. Get the Right Program

Sorry, but MS Paint just won’t cut it!

If you don’t have Photoshop or Illustrator on your computer, a friend or relative most likely does. You can also look for Microsoft’s Picture It! that may already be installed on your computer.

If you don’t have access to any of these programs, Photoshop offers a free, ad-supported format online at www.Photoshop.com. You can also look to YouTube or other website for tons of free tutorials.

If you have a hard copy of the image you want (i.e. hand-drawn or previously printed), you’ll need to scan it, making sure the settings are set to 300 dpi. Copy centers such as Kinkos and Staples can help you scan it if you don’t have a scanner at home.

3. Get Technical

Image quality is the most important aspect of getting a good custom sticker. As a rule of thumb, don’t pull an image off the internet. Why? Because it most likely won’t have the right resolution. Even if the image looks fine on your monitor, it may not print well. If you have to get a sticker online, try printing it on paper at the size you want to check the quality.

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4. Put it All Together

Make sure your image quality on your graphics program is set to 300 dpi or greater, and that your color profile matches the one specified by your sticker printer. Create a new file on whatever graphics program you’re using, making sure it’s the size of the dimensions you want your finished sticker to be.

Open any pictures you may want to use, and cut and paste or drag them into your open file. Add text, effects and any other graphics that may be part of your design, and make sure you save it in one of the formats specified by your CSM.

5. Ask the Experts

Before you send your sticker design to the printer, send it to us first! Custom Sticker Makers will review your design for free before placing an order. We’ll send back suggestions, options, or give it the “OK.”

If you have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re happy to answer any questions you may have!