Artwork Guidelines

At Xceed, we want your creations to match your vision as closely as possible! Here are a few guidelines to help make sure your designs look their best.

Download the Artwork Guidelines here!

The unique structural template (CAD Dieline) used to build your art has been designed to flow through our system smoothly and accurately. It is very important that this template not be rotated or altered. The printed art is cut out based on the original template orientation. Rotating the dieline in your artwork may yield unintended results.

To ensure your packaging cuts correctly, it is very important that the unique structural dieline is included as part of the print file. The structural drawing will contain Spot Colors for the cut and crease lines in the Swatch menu. These colors are used to tell the cutting and creasing machines how to convert your custom product. IMPORTANT: Do not change dielines to CMYK colors because they will print on your box or label.

All artwork should maintain is original color space. Please do not convert RGB colors and images to CMYK. (remove:, the Fiery RIP will handle the conversion.) Pantone (PMS) colors can be used using the Pantone Solid Coated and Pantone Solid Uncoated libraries.

While transparent objects look great on screens they don't print well as the ink blends in with what is under it. Ensure your artwork does not contain any transparent items.

Too much ink in one area can lead to printing and drying issues, which affect everything from how quickly your project can be printed, to potential issues in the cutting and finishing processes. Too much ink saturation can lead to other problems including ink smearing and smudging.

Here’s an example; black elements built using 100% Black, 100% Cyan, 100% Magenta and 100% Yellow have a total ink coverage of 400% which will not cure properly and result in quality and production issues. Using a 100% Black only will give a similar result without the quality and production issues.

If your art does include black, its recommended to build with a rich black; 30 cyan (C), 30 magenta (M), 30 yellow(Y) and 100 black (K). For best results, include a .5pt stroke of 100% black (K) to avoid print overspray.

It is best to use a vector-based software application such as Adobe Illustrator for building art files, and saving/exporting your native file in PDF format before uploading to Xceed.

We recommend using 10 point or larger fonts, and using a heavier weight for reversed-out text. All type should be outlined in your final artwork file. Fonts below 10 point may not print legibly, especially if a font is thin (or font features are thin, like serifs or cross bars). When reversing type, use one weight heavier than the weight you intended to use. Avoid specifying small trademarks and register mark symbols to print in reverse, as they may fill in when printed.

Check image resolution to provide the best quality print. If images are at a resolution of 150 dpi or lower with 100% scale this can result in loss of sharpness and a “pixelated” look. Straight lines will have a “staircase” effect. For the best results, all artwork and images should be no less than 300 dpi.

In order to ensure your custom packaging prints correctly, we require that all fonts be converted to outlines.

All images should be embedded into your artwork PDF file. Make sure placed images have the correct file extensions: “.tiff” or “.eps” at the end (e.g.,”lmage.tiff” or “Image.eps”). Include only the page layout documents and the supporting files required for your project. Place graphics at 100%. Any graphics placed less than 100% takes longer to output and may require additional time. Placed images and artwork should be in the CMYK color space.

Final artwork files must maintain a minimum bleed of .125″ (18th-inch) on all edges and into glue flap.

Margins, rule outlines, or copy that does not bleed needs to be no less than .25″ (1/4-inch) away from dieline and scores.

UPC-A type barcodes need to be at least 150% size (approx.2.2”wide). We recommend all barcodes to be at least .5” (1⁄2-inch) tall.