Answering Every
Print Sample Question You’ve Ever Had


Let’s talk about samples. The first thing you need to understand is this: they are wildly different from the PDF proofs we provide (more on those here). When we talk about samples, we’re referring to in-hand printed samples. We know you have questions (print terminology and processes can be downright weird), so we’re going to review some of the most common questions we hear about in-hand printed samples.

CAN I GET A SAMPLE OF MY LABEL BEFORE GOING TO PRINT?

Of course! We’re happy to supply samples of your labels before you go into a big print job. There are several considerations for sampling:

  • Samples can extend your timelines. Our timelines start after we’ve received your PDF approval. So, if you have a tight turnaround, you may need to forgo sampling this time around.
  • There is a cost associated with samples, and it varies depending on the amount you are ordering and your materials (more on that below).
  • Samples aren’t die cut. So, if you would like your samples cut to your exact specifications, say for a presentation or a prototype, you’ll need to crack out those safety scissors!

HOW DO THE LABEL SAMPLES ARRIVE?

After you’ve ordered your samples, your fantastic account manager starts hustling to get it to you. They send your order to processing and get it printed. Then they cut it out by hand based on your artwork (it does not arrive die cut) and personally stick it in the mail. It’s a pretty hands-on system. What can we say? We just can’t keep our hands off your labels.

WHAT DOES A SAMPLE INCLUDE?

That’s an easy one. All samples include:

  • Your chosen finish and materials.
  • Specialty material (if requested).
  • Your full-colour artwork.
  • Shipping.

They do NOT include die cutting. If you really want a die cut sample, we can cut it for you at an additional cost.

HOW LONG DOES A SAMPLE FOR YOUR LABEL TAKE TO GET?

Sampling can take anywhere from 2-5 days. It depends on when you place the order, the quantity, your location, and how long it takes you to approve the PDF proof. Our best guess?

  • For standard material samples: 2-3 days.
  • For specialty material samples: 4-5 days.

ARE THERE SAMPLING LIMITS?

Yes and no. (Clear as mud, right?). While we don’t have an official limit, we recommend keeping the sampling to a minimum (1-2 versions max) for smoother, shorter production. It also keeps you from getting lost in the weeds. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and we’ve seen those details cost customers time and money. Between sampling fees, extended timelines, and your own graphic designer’s fees, it’s pretty easy to rack up costs--and we don’t want to see that happen to you!

HOW MUCH DOES A PRINT SAMPLE FOR YOUR LABEL COST?

This is a pretty tricky question to answer. The short answer is that, like labels, it depends on the job. But we’ll do our best to give you a basic understanding of what goes into a sample’s pricing. Here it goes:

  • Our base fee for over five samples is $120.
  • Higher quantities of samples may have an extra fee depending on how many you need and what material you’re using.
  • Die cutting is extra since our samples don’t come die cut. This cost depends on whether we have your dies in stock or you need custom builds, as well as the quantity of samples.
  • Any specialty materials (foils, high-build, custom plates, custom dies, spot UV, etc.) cost more depending on the product, size, and quantity ordered.
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