Big Brother is Watching

As you probably already know the Federal Government has to approve each and every wine label on the market. They have a very large and complex set of rules, too big to list here. But what we can list here are some of the basic rules.

Please note that it is our policy to ensure you have TTB approval prior to the printing process. This allows the process to proceed with the fewest number of hiccups and last minute changes.

The Big Seven

The TTB has a list of seven things that must be on every label, and there is a minimum size for most of those items, here goes:
• Brand Name – Must appear on the “brand label” and must be at least 2mm tall.
• Varietal Designation – Must appear on the “brand label” and must be at least 2mm tall.
• Vintage – Must appear on the “brand label” and must be at least 1mm tall.
• Alcohol – Must appear on the “brand label” and must be at least 1mm tall.
• Produced and Bottled by Statement – Can appear anywhere and must be at least 2mm tall
• Government Warning – Can appear anywhere and must be at least 2mm tall, and cannot have more than 25 characters per inch.
• Contains Sulfites – Can appear anywhere and must be at least 2mm tall.

Saving JPGs for the Government

The TTB has a very specific way it wants you to save your jpgs for submission. We’ve outlined the steps below, here goes:
1. Open your label file in Photoshop
2. Set the Resolution to 150 dpi
3. Set the Color Space as RGB (if it’s CMYK it will instantly get rejected)
4. Crop the image so there is no extra white space around the edges.
5. Use the “Save for Web” option not “Save As” or “Save”
6. Select JPG, Preset Low, Compression LOW

It’s instruction #5 that is key: use the SAVE FOR WEB, not SAVE or SAVE AS option in the pull down menu. The TTB web site is band-width challenged and when you SAVE or SAVE AS, it doesn’t get the file small enough. When you use the SAVE FOR WEB at low compression, it greatly reduces the file size.

You will see some artifacting (pixelization around the smaller details) but this is OK as long as the type is still readable. Your file size should be around 20k.