First you’ll need a Jakprints template. We determine your final print size by looking at the tallest and widest points in your artwork. For our artwork, we’re using the 2×2″ template.

To the right, you can see our finished artwork: A 2×2″ Inkling sticker with a thick, white stroke provided by the dieline.

Step 1 | Setting Up Your File

This tutorial uses Adobe Illustrator CS6, but the process is the same regardless of your version. Also, this tutorial assumes you have your artwork ready to print.

First, Place (File > Place) your completed artwork into the Layer (Window > Layers) labeled Place Your Art Here.

 Step 2 | Creating Your Dieline

Next, we’ll start on our Dieline. Switch to the Place Die-Line On This Layer layer. You can create the dieline with your tool of choice — the Pen Tool is always a solid pick — or by manipulating your existing artwork. Offset Path (Object > Path > Offset Path) is ideal if you’re looking for the classic, thick, white outline around your sticker design. Whichever method you choose, as long as the resulting shape is Vector, you’ll be golden.

A couple things to remember when creating your dieline.

  1. If you want your artwork to Bleed off the edge — as-in, you want your artwork to go all the way to the edge of your sticker — please ensure that your artwork extends a full ⅛” outside of the dieline.
  2. During cutting, the sticker sheet can shift slightly due to a number of factors. We recommend including ⅛” of Safety on your artwork to account for this. What’s that mean? Double-check that no important information or graphics — e.g, logos, web addresses, text — are closer than ⅛” to the dieline.
  3. Want a thick white border, but not sure how thick to go? That will vary based on your sticker size and personal taste, but we’d recommend no thinner than 9 pt. (0.125″).

How Complicated Can Your Shape Be? Fairly complicated, actually. Inset shapes or kiss cutting are available, but are not included in the standard pricing. Please request a custom quote.

Bear in mind that while Vinyl Stickers are durable, it is very thin material. Watch out for excessively narrow pieces that may be easily torn by your customers. But in general, let your imagination run wild. If we see something that we’re concerned about, we’ll be sure to reach out.

 Step 3 | Path Preparation

Make sure that the Stroke (Window > Stroke) of your path is set 1 pt. and that it uses a bold color that can be easily seen on top of the artwork. In our example, we’ll pick something that contrasts with our cyan Inkling, like 100% Magenta.

Just to be super safe, we should convert our dieline into a Spot Color. That will tell Illustrator to treat the dieline as a unique color, instead of a blend of the standard printing inks: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK).

To do this, click on the top right flyout menu of your Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) and select New Swatch. From here, set your Color Type to Spot Color and adjust your color with the sliders to your liking. Set your Dieline path to your new Spot Color.

 Step 4 | File Preparation

Before sending an Illustrator file to print, it’s always best practice to Outline all your text and Embed any Linked files. This helps to ensure that the artwork we see is that same artwork that you see.

  • Outline: Select all of your text and choose Create Outlines (Type > Create Outlines). Note that your text will no longer be editable. If this template file contains your only copy of the original artwork, now’s a good time to Save As… (File > Save As…).
  • Embed: Open the Links panel (Window > Links)Select each linked image with your mouse and choose Embed Image from the flyout menu.

 Step 5 | Illustrator Saves!

Select File > Save As… and choose Adobe Illustrator (ai) as your format and then Save. In the Illustrator Options dialog box, double-check your settings:

  • Version: Select The Newest Version Available
  • Subset Fonts When Less That 100% Of Characters Are Used
  • Check: Create PDF Compatible File
  • Check: Embed ICC Profiles
  • Check: Use Compression

 Step 6 | Upload Artwork

Now you’re all set! Click to upload your artwork or place your order. A friendly Customer Service Rep will be in touch shortly.