Art Guidelines

Many common questions about our art guidlines are answered here. If you have other questions or need further assistance, please email our art department, or call ( 800 ) 234.6264.

Contact our art department

File Types

Lustre-Cal prefers files saved in Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, or Corel Draw (with file saved in Adobe Illustrator format), although we can work from almost anything. Files should be single layer with all types converted to outlines. If all type is not converted, then copies of all fonts must be included. Include copies of all placed graphics and indicate die-cut, trims, etc. CAD files are accepted for dimensional and die-cut purposes only and should be submitted in DFX format.


It is best if artwork is created to scale (with the scale clearly marked) to dimensionally match any existing drawing or blueprint. If no drawing or blueprint exists, please specify the dimensions of any critical areas and fax or mail them to us. The basic items that should be spec'd include perimeter cut of the label including the radius of corners, internal cutouts, and LED windows.

Color Separation

We find it best if your file is sent to us as a single layer, color document with no trapping built into the artwork. Please leave all trapping of colors and color separation to us.

Ink colors

Please assign colors clearly in your artwork by using any of the commonly used ink matching systems ( Pantone, ColorCurve, etc ). Do not assign colors in your art file as combinations of CMYK unless you clearly mark your color choice based on one of the commonly used ink matching systems. If you have not picked specific colors, work with your Customer Service Representative to determine the exact color(s) your label will be printed. We have the ability to color match from a color sample or previously printed part.

Hairlines and small print

Small print and fine lines represent two different problems, depending upon the method your label will be printed. If it is to be silkscreened, we find the smallest type that prints well is about 4 pt. as a positive image ( if it is about the weight of Helvetica Bold ). If it is reversed out of the background, it should be no less than 5 pt. ( if it is about the weight of Helvetica Bold ). Silkscreened line weights should be no less than .010" if reversed and .005" if a positive image.

Our anodized and etched aluminum printing process requires a whole different approach. The one hard and fast rule is that any reversed image, whether text or line work, should be no less than .01" to hold well. The best results we've obtained with small text have been with sans serif typefaces along the line of Helvetica Black and Arial Black. Reversed serif typefaces below approximately 12 point should be avoided.


When creating your artwork with borders, a few things should be taken into consideration. The minimum thickness of a bleed border should be .05" and the minimum distance from the label edge for the inset border should be .05". The same applies to the relationship of graphics and text to the label edge. Try to keep a minimum free space of .05" all around your graphics.