All about pre-flighting: a standard print procedure and important step in the label creation process.


What is a pre-flight?

A pre-flight is a standard print procedure and the point of completing pre-flights is to ensure the art files are print-ready. We pre-flight all new and rerun with change labels. This explains the little extra charge added to your order when you make a brand new order, or update an existing label we have on file. It takes our trusted team a little longer to get those files prepped and ready for print. So, this cost accounts for that extra time and work.

Pre-flighting for print production focuses on examining the submitted art file and comparing all necessary elements against a checklist of required components, common errors, or potential known issues. This is done by our handy Prepress team, who are adept in proofing art files for print. If the art files meet all of our requirements and are error-free, the job can proceed to print.


Pre-flighting for print production is the process of examining submitted art files and comparing all necessary elements against a checklist of required components, common errors, or potential known issues.

We check all:

  • New files
  • Rerun with change files


Benefits of pre-flights

  • Efficiency: Ensuring the files are print-ready before printing eliminates errors that could occur further down the line, helping with the efficiency and the speed at which you will receive your labels.
  • Quality Control: Pre-flighting acts as quality control and ensures the files will print correctly, and serves as a second checkpoint before the label print. Often clients will submit artwork with spelling errors or forget to include items. So, this extra stage helps identify those things and gives you the additional opportunity to correct your materials and verify what you’ve provided us with is exactly what you would like printed.
  • Cost: Pre-flighting can save time, effort, and materials by catching errors before the print stage, saving hours of potential labour, and in turn, saving you money and time.


What is checked during a pre-flight?

Still curious as to what exactly pre-flighting entails? Below are some of the things we check for:

  • Checking the artwork size.
  • Adjusting and/or adding a die line.
  • Checking safety and bleed margins.
  • Adding or updating a universal product code (UPC), also known as a barcode.
  • Adjusting colours to match the previous revision.
  • Ensuring that we have all necessary file elements (images, fonts, etc.) in the file.
  • Checking the colour profile - making sure colours are set to CMYK, so that the print will remain consistent with the file that we’ve been sent.
  • Verifying if indichrome inks are needed (or would be recommended).
  • Making sure that all elements are 300+ pixels per inch ( PPI), dots per linear inch
  • (DPI) or Vector for resolution purposes. - "imagery has the resolution it needs (matches Summit standards)" --> link to artwork guidelines
  • Checking the viability of any requested embellishments.
  • Checking the viability of any stock-specific requirements (white plates, etc.)
  • Checking the viability of any process-specific requirements (shrink sleeve, Variable Data Print (VDP), specific sheeting styles, etc.)

Pre-flights are an important step in the label creation process. It minimizes issues down the line, helping to ensure you get your labels correctly, efficiently, and at a reasonable cost.