To the right, you can see our finished artwork: A 2×2″ Inkling sticker with a thick, white stroke provided by the dieline.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Now you’re all set! Click jakprints.com/upload to upload your artwork or place your order. A friendly Customer Service Rep will be in touch shortly.