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FAQ

About DLS

How long has DLS been in business?

DLS was started in 1991 and we have continued to grow into a leading custom pressure sensitive label and tag manufacturer in our area. Our production facility is located in Ooltewah, Tennessee, just outside the city limits of Chattanooga. We have a 32,000 sq. ft. label plant outfitted with some of the latest technology available today. We pride ourselves in our attention to detail and our desire to “out service” all other label convertors.

Do you have a label catalog, or label samples you can send me?

We’ll be happy to send you samples of our work. Please contact our Customer Service department to request samples. So we can send samples that best represent the type of labels you’d like to receive, please give us some details about your order when inquiring.

Do you guarantee my labels?

We are so confident in the quality of our labels, we offer a 100% money back guarantee. Our label experts will do whatever it takes to ensure your satisfaction with your labels.

Label Artwork

Can I send you a label design created in Word or other programs?

You can create your label design on a word processor or basic art program. However, these files cannot be converted to usable label artwork, but will decrease the time it takes to recreate your label. Art is billed at $75/hr for time required to recreate your label. See our label Artwork Specifications for more details.

How should I prepare my label text?

If your label includes text, we recommend using Adobe® Illustrator® or Macromedia Freehand® and converting the label text to outlines. See our label Artwork Answers page.

How can I send you my label artwork?

The easiest and fastest way to send label artwork is to email or ftp transfer your artwork. Please use a utility like Stuffit or Zip your files before emailing or uploading the our ftp site. After you’ve sent your label artwork, please call your Customer Service rep to alert them. You may FTP transfer your label artwork to us by following this link DLS ftp site. Mailing your label artwork to us on CD is also an option. If you’re mailing label artwork, please include a printout of your label.

Will I receive a label proof?

All label orders receive a digital pdf proof for copy review. Differences in computer monitors mean the label colors you see on your screen may not match the printed labels. All label orders receive a color proof if requested.

Will the colors in my label proof match what I see on my computer screen?

Because monitor displays vary, some colors in your label proof may not match the monitor color of your labels.

What if my label image file is not high-resolution?

Our customer service team can help you make decisions regarding your label artwork. Our Art Department can work with you to improve the quality of your label image. If you need high-resolution images for your labels, you may select images from iStockphoto.com. Let us know which images you want to use for labels, and we’ll download them for you.

What does dpi mean?

DPI stands for Dots per Inch, which is a measurement of the scanning resolution of an image. DPI is the number of dots a printer can print per inch, or that a monitor can display. Most images on the web are 72 DPI. These images will look good on your monitor but are not suitable for printing labels. If you need help finding high-resolution images for your labels, you may also select images from iStockphoto.com. Let us know which images you’d like to use, and we’ll download them for you.

What kind of label artwork files do you accept?

We can accept almost any type of professional graphics files for label designs. Our preferred file formats are vector type files, from design programs like Adobe® Illustrator®, Corel Draw®, and Macromedia Freehand®. If you’re unsure, please call us at 1-888-854-7144 to talk to our Customer Service team. For more information about label artwork requirements, see our Artwork Answers page.

What’s the difference between vector art and raster art?

Common raster file types include .jpg, .gif, .tif. and .bmp. Raster artwork is made of small dots. Most pictures on the web are low resolution (72 dpi) which has bigger dots, and prints poorly. High resolution images (300 dpi) have very small dots to create more detail, and better quality. We recommend high resolution images only for label artwork. Vector artwork is made of scalable rendered lines. All vector art is high resolution. Some examples of vector file types are .ai, .cdr, .fh, and .eps. You can place rasterized images in vector art. We accept these files for label artwork, as long as the placed images are high resolution.

Label Design

What are the parts of a label?

Labels are generally made from 4-5 components.

  • Release Liner: The label is attached to a release liner, generally made silicone coated paper for easy label release during application.
  • Adhesive: There are a variety of label adhesives available, permanent, temporary, removable and repositionable are a few. Label environment and the type of surface the label is applied to are important when choosing an adhesive.
  • Label Material Substrate: Choose your label material based on the application and environmental conditions your label is exposed to.
  • Artwork/Printing: There are a variety of label printing methods; each has advantages and disadvantages in terms of quality, durability and cost.
  • Laminate: Laminates add protection to a label. Label application and environment are factors in choosing laminate.

What is Corner Radius?

Corner Radius is the measurement of the amount of curve a corner has, expressed in decimal form. The higher the corner radius, the more curve.

How do I get a barcode if I need barcode labels printed?

If you need many barcodes (for example, multiple products), contact the Uniform Product Code Council. You can contact them at (937) 435-3870. For a fee they will issue a set of numbers which can be used for your product barcode labels. We use these to produce barcode artwork for your label. For single barcodes, you can order from Simply Barcodes.net

Label Materials

What are the different types of adhesives I can use for my label projects?

The type of label you are quoting will determine the adhesive(s) available. The most common adhesives are permanent, removable or cold temperature. DLS has a wide selection of adhesives for your labels.

What are the most common label stocks?

Semi-gloss paper is the most widely used label material because it has a great printing surface and it is very cost effective. DLS also offers a wide selection of label stocks.

What is the difference between coated and uncoated label stock?

Coated stock is super-shiny paper produced by pressing the paper against a polished metal drum while the coating is still wet. Uncoated stock has a matte or dull finish and will absorb the inks printed on the paper, making them appear slightly duller.

What materials can labels be made from?

There are hundreds of label materials. Generally, labels are made from paper, vinyl, polyester, and polyethylene and specialty materials like films.

What type of label is best for outdoor/industrial applications?

Vinyl is ideal for outside application. Flexographic inks are water-based, so they will fade if they are exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. Please consult with your Customer Service representative regarding your label.

What are UV coated labels?

UV coated labels have an aqueous finish put on them to protect the inks. Flexo inks are water-based, so UV coatings protect the label artwork in damp conditions.

What are the benefits of label coating?

Labels can be UV coated or laminated. The coating process protects the inks against water damage.

Label Printing

Does DLS charge for bleeds?

DLS can print die cut labels with bleeds, at no additional charge.

What is a die?

A die is similar to a cookie-cutter. A die cuts the shape of the label out of the label stock. The label stock is shipped to us in large rolls. The ink, uv or laminate is added to the label material before it is die-cut. Because DLS has been in business for 18 years, we have developed a large die library. We will most likely have the die shape you are looking for, however, we can create a custom die for your label application.

What if the shape/size of my label is unique?

If you have an outline of your label shape or a sample label, we can create a die line. If this is a small quantity label order, we can die cut your labels on our digital label presses which do not require hand tooling. For longer label runs, permanent tooling needs to be created.

Can you print the back of my label?

Yes, we can print the adhesive or liner of the label. This requires an additional plate at an additional cost.

What are color separations?

Label artwork with color separations break down a color graphic into the four basic ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). Each color layer of your label is printed separately, one on top of the other, creating the full-color label.

What types of lamination is best for my label?

DLS offers many different label laminations. Lamination provides protection for labels against abrasion, chemicals, weather and solvents. Call Customer Service to learn more.

We use a special color. Can you match my labels?

In most cases we can match your labels PMS color by mixing ink colors.

What’s the difference between 4 color process (CMYK)” and “spot” color printing?

4 color process printing is used in printing labels with photographic images. The four colors are combined to recreate color. Spot color printing is generally used for text and simple graphic printing in single colors. Pantone Colors are frequently used for spot-color label printing.

What are pressure sensitive labels?

A pressure sensitive label has an adhesive glue on the backing. When pressure is applied to the label, it will adhere to most surfaces.

What is flexographic label printing?

Flexographic label printing is high resolution printing using polymer plates which image your label artwork directly on to the substrate (label material). Flexographic label printing is fast, economical and widely used in the label industry. Nearly all of the label printing presses at DLS are flexographic presses.

What is the maximum amount of colors that can be printed on a label?

DLS can handle up to 8 color labels without uv coating and 7 color labels can be printed with a uv coating.

What is label unwind direction?

Unwind is the direction the labels come off the label roll.

Label Pricing

How do I get a custom label quote?

Click on the Quote tab for an instant online label quote.

Is there a discount if I re-order my labels?

Reordered labels cost less than new label artwork. If you reorder your labels, without changes, there are no plate charges or art setup fees.

What determines the price of custom labels?

The price of custom labels is driven by quantity, label colors, and material selections. Higher quantity labels orders receive volume discounts. Label set-up time is the same regardless of how many labels you order – this is a fixed cost and will not change. Once you’ve ordered your labels with us, ordering more labels is more cost effective because there are no art setup charges for a reorder of the same label. Colors on your label affects price because a plate is required for each color. A 4-color process label requires more set-up time than a 1 color label. Label material is the final factor. Film is more expensive than paper because film can adapt to specific custom factors, and carries a much longer life-span.

Are label sheets less expensive than label rolls?

Label sheets are typically more expensive than label rolls because they require an additional station to sheet the material. Sheeted labels are also shrink-wrapped and placed in stacks, which requires additional inspection.

Are there additional fees?

Art recreation is $75/hr. There is also a charge for each plate required to complete your label. Ask your Customer Service representative for details.

Ordering Labels

Is there a minimum quantity of labels I must order?

For flexographic labels, 1000 labels is the minimum quantity DLS offers. If you’re ordering sheet labels, 1000 sheets is the minimum.

Does DLS offer labels on sheets or rolls?

Labels come on rolls unless you specify otherwise. We can adjust the quantity of labels per roll, just ask your Customer Service representative. A very small number of labels per roll may require an additional charge.

How do I reorder labels?

Contact our Customer Service department at 1-888-854-7144 to reorder labels.

Can you design my label?

DLS can design your label from scratch at the rate of $75/hour. You can work directly with our design team to help create a label design that will add that shelf appeal that draws consumers to your product. If you have your label design elements (text, graphics, barcode, etc.) our art department can put together a layout for your approval. There is no charge for art if it takes less than 30 minutes. For photos to use on your label, we recommend iStockPhoto.com.

Is white considered a printing color?

White is only a printing color when used on colored or clear materials. If you are printing your label on white stock, there is no need or charge for white ink.

Can you print fabric labels?

Yes, DLS does print fabric labels. For fabric labels, contact your Customer Service representative.

How do I know my printing will be of good quality?

We guarantee your 100% satisfaction with our labels. This guarantee covers the quality of the production and materials and does not cover spelling errors that are typed in by the customer. You can also request a Sample Label pack, to see examples of our labels.

Can I order and have my graphic designer upload my label artwork?

Yes! Have your label designer email your artwork to your Customer Service rep or if it is a large file they may upload the art to our ftp site DLS ftp site.

How long will it take to get my label order?

Custom Label turnaround time varies throughout the year. However, typical lead time is about 7-10 business days after we receive the signed label art proof.

What is the maximum label size you can print?

The maximum size label we can print on flexographic presses are 13″ wide (across the roll) for spot colors and 12.5″ for 4/C process labels by 24″ long. 

What are the most popular label sizes?

Because we print custom labels, the choices are nearly endless. Our most popular label shape is a Rounded Corner Rectangle, which is available in many different sizes. The maximum size label we can print on our flexographic presses are 13″ wide (across the roll) by 24″ long.

What does (4 over 1) or (4 over 4) mean?

This refers to how many colors printed on the face and back of a label. Some labels and liners can be printed on the back, most labels are printed on the face only •. 4/0 in label printing means 4 color (CMYK) printing on the label face/0 printing on the label back/liner.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, a check in advance, or Net 30 terms (with approved credit app only). Contact your Customer Service representative for a credit application.

What is the Pantone Matching System (PMS)?

PMS is for printing spot colors. PANTONE colors each have CMYK equivalents. Use our PMS Chart to determine the colors for your label.

What printing process do you use?

We print labels using flexographic presses.

What’s the difference between die-cut and butt-cut?

Die-cut labels have round corners and spacing between each label on the roll. Butt-cut labels have square corners and no spacing between each label on the roll.

Will I receive the exact label quantity I ordered?

Our label presses run at 10%+/-. If you require an exact quantity of labels, please tell your Customer Service representative.

I’ve placed my label order and/or approved the proof, but I need to make a change!

Because of our quick production turnaround, it may not be possible to make changes to your label order after you’ve approved the label proof. Please contact Customer Service at 1-888-854-7144 if you need to make changes to your label.

Who can I talk to about my label order?

For questions about your labels, please contact Customer Service at 1-888-854-7144.

Label Shipping

Can I track my label order?

You may request tracking information through your Customer Service rep and when your labels are shipped you will receive an email with complete order information.

How does DLS ship my printed labels?

We use a wide variety of shipping venues. If you have a preference please let your Customer Service rep know.

How much is shipping/handling?

S&H is calculated based on total weight of your shipment. Shipping is not included in the price of the labels unless specified. We are happy to ship the labels using your UPS or FedEx account number if provided. Please contact your Customer Service representative for more details.