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What is a design proof (2022 update)

A design proof is a digital representation of your sticker or label. In other words, it shows you how your stickers or labels will look once printed and you have them in your hands. Every good sticker manufacturer will send you a design proof before printing your order.

Digital design proof exist so you can see what your stickers and labels will look like before printing. It gives you the chance to ask for changes if you are not happy with the positioning of your design, the cutline or any other concerns.

We send you design proof to ensure you have peace of mind and are 100% sure that you will get what you want.

Here are some examples comparing the digital proof to the final printed sticker:

Example for a digital design proof for a rectangle label
Rectangle biodegradable paper stickers applied to three amber spray bottles
Clear oval waterproof sticker with raffael's logo applied to a glass door with rain dropping off
Design proof example for oval clear logo sticker

What’s so important about design proofs?

You may have seen us refer to design proofs but you might not know what this means and how you benefit from it.

The design proof stage is an important step in your custom sticker ordering process.

It allows you to confirm that everything looks perfect before printing. It’s much easier to make changes before printing.

It’s important to check your proof thoroughly!

We will print the image we’ve shown you, exactly. If there is a spelling mistake or another error in the proof, expect it to show in the final printed sticker.

How long will it take to get my design proof?

We won’t keep you waiting; our designers work quickly and accurately so you can get your stickers as soon as possible. Within 12 working hours (Monday to Friday) to be exact.

We are working on an instant proofing tool – stay tuned for updates.

What do I do with my proof?

Now you know what a design proof is, you may still be unsure what you need to do once you get one. This is your chance to ensure that you’re totally happy with the product that you’re going to receive.

Things to check for include:

  • Layout – is everything in the right place?

  • Spelling – are there any typos or spelling errors?

  • Cut lines – are they placed where you want them to be?

  • Colors – do the colors match what you expect?

  • Size – are the dimensions correct?

An important point about color

The color on your phone or computer screen will not be 100% identical to the printed, final sticker or label.

This is because your sticker is made from ink using CMYK (cyan, yellow, magenta & black) whereas your screen uses light to make color in RGB (red, green & blue). You can find out more about CMYK vs RGB here.

99% of the time this is no problem because both methods can create a range of colors that are the same.

It is mainly a problem with fluorescent colors. We will, however, highlight the issue to you when sending a design proof if we feel the digital, on-screen color isn’t a good match. So no need to worry.

If you need a very exact color, you can send us a sample (or Pantone code) and our designers will match it as close as possible.

Can I request changes to my design proof?

You can ask us to change any detail about your sticker. We want you to be 100% happy with the product you’re going to receive.

If you want the borders to be wider, or to adjust the size, tweak the colours or even switch sticker type, we will do our best to make all the changes you need or want.

Simply request changes against your design proof. Our team will quickly adjust your proof, ready to be sent back to you for approval.

Any change, no matter how big or small, has to be approved by you. We will not send a design to print without you.

Will the pink line be printed onto my design?

When you open your proof, you will see a magenta line around your design. This line will not be printed. It is simply a representation of where your stickers and labels will be cut.

When you order labels or kiss cut stickers, you will see a magenta and a green line. Again, neither of these will be printed. The magenta line shows the edge of the peelable part of your stickers or labels, whereas the green line shows where you sheet or kiss cut ends.

If you find that a little confusing, have a look at our article "What is a kiss cut sticker?". There, we deep dive into all things kiss cut.

Example of what a clear kiss cut sticker will look like on a design proof showing different cut lines

With digital design proofs, there is no risk when you order your stickers and labels online. Instead, you can lean back and let us do the work. Have a look at our custom stickers and custom labels and get inspired.