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I am looking for a company to print a gold seal/sticker for my product. The problem is, all the companies I have tried can not print with the perfect accuracy I need.

It needs to be water resistant, durable and more importantly, the alignment of the print needs to be extremely accurate so I can print words and lines extremely close to the edge of the sticker.

I understand how printers work and that you have to allow room for error but isn't there any type of printer that can print, laminate, and then cut? All with good precision on gold foil? What type of printing/printer can accurately pull this off?

I will attach photos of similar stickers that I have seen other companies use.

Samples: http://imgur.com/a/3b18l#0

Sticker example Printed sticker sheet Printed sticker sheet with outline removed

  • When you'll add the examples for similar stickers, is it possible to also attach a sample of some stickers you already got printed? I'd like to also have details about what kind of printing method was used for your previous stickers, if you know about it (eg. laser, offset) – go-junta Jun 25 '15 at 7:17
  • oops, I did not notice the pictures didn't attach. also, I am not sure how they printed these...sorry .....here are some photos of good examples as well as the ones i had printed for me.(these are the only photos i have with me...but a lot of the stickers were way worse then these ones) imgur.com/a/3b18l – bryan yod Jun 25 '15 at 7:39
  • That does appear to be quite a bump in the die cutting of your stickers. I would hazard a guess that it's the printer you chose that has pretty poor quality control. No printer I've ever worked with would allow those out the door. – Scott Jun 25 '15 at 8:07
  • I don't know if it's the picture's angle, but I'm even wondering if the diecut is straight. On the first sheet, one part seems to have more room on the right and the other on the left... no wonder it's not aligned. You know Bryan, even the diecut (the matrice to cut the circles) is created manually and it could be the culprit too. Maybe you could get a refund for this, the printer should have a perfect diecut... they usually re-use the same ones for standard stuff like this, and this one is not straight. – go-junta Jun 25 '15 at 8:40
  • Hi bryan, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent Jun 25 '15 at 13:31
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First, that kind of layout is problematic as much as any layout using a diecut and a defined border as you used; any tiny misalignment is more obvious. As you know, machines are not 100% precise or consistent.

But it's still possible to get those printed properly, it depends on your budget though.

The only suggestion I can give you is to either modify your design (probably not what you want) or find the best printer possible in your region. You can find an offset printer for this, a quality one will use quality providers for special projects if they don't have the machines for it. You can mention them you want a waterproof label. What might happen is they will get the stickers printed somewhere else and they might diecut them themselves. They will also offer you a guarantee of quality for the work of their own provider if the stickers are not printed on their own presses. And quality printers also often use modern machines; these keep their adjustments better throughout the run.

I don't know if this system exists where you live, but you can find a ISO-9000 certified printer and have on your estimate the specific requirement that the prints and the diecut must be perfect; if it's not perfect, you won't pay or they'll start the job again. You will be shown a proof that will be cut perfectly, and as you will approve this proof, make sure to write that the diecut has to be as perfect.

The quality printers will calculate on their estimate a longer time for more adjustment of the diecut machines and also more stock wasted to adjust the machines. So it will be more expensive for you but this is really the only way you can get a good result. The only other way is to modify that layout and avoid that kind of border.

Do not go to tiny print shop, agents, intermediary, copy centers, online printers, etc. They often don't have their own machines and shop around for the cheapest estimate. Go to a real one, visit the place if you have to.

There isn't much more I can suggest you, this kind of print shouldn't be an issue for a top quality printer. Obviously you got those done on offset and large sheets (unless your stickers are tiny), and the layout isn't that close to the edge. I can only blame the operators for this and yes, you're right to not be satisfied, it's misaligned.

  • Thank you so much for all of the info. I notice you said "unless your stickers are tiny".. each one of the round stickers are .75in How would I go about finding a ISO-9000 certified printer or finding out what printers are the best in my region? I live in "New Philadelphia , Ohio" Thanks again! – bryan yod Jun 25 '15 at 8:44
  • One way is to take the yellow pages, look at the ones mentioning things like 4-6 colors offset printing and call them. Then you can go visit them. If you see presses that look recent, well maintained, clean, and big like 2-3 trucks, you already got a good clue that the printer has invested millions of dollars in his equipment. You can also look for and ask if they have any quality certification or control. That ISO system costs a lot yearly and they're quite proud of it, so you'll know if they have one. Another way: you can also contact expensive designers and ask them who they use! – go-junta Jun 25 '15 at 8:52
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    How exactly does iso 9000 ensure anything? ISO 9000 does not guarantee anything it just guarantees that they have documented their quality standards, if they in fact document that they can not do this then they can NEVER do this because thet would be a deviation of their ISO 9000 certification. Anyway ISO9000 does not help you here, working with the print does. – joojaa Jun 25 '15 at 11:33
  • ISO will guarantee they can print the same result and quality every time. That's really what it is. They also have a method to follow, so yes usually their quality is better. – go-junta Jun 25 '15 at 18:37

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