You are probably a rock star designer. However, consider the garment and method of printing of your design before finalizing it. Your design could look amazing on your monitor, but screen printing it on a t-shirt can create challenges monitors don’t show.
We prefer files formatted as .ai, .cdr, .pdf, .png, .tiff, or .psd. That said:
.ai or .cdr: If you send us a vector file, please make sure you create outlines of all text (or include all fonts).
.pdf: Make sure all fonts have been embedded on export. Please, no security passwords.
.psd: Please label all layers so they make sense to other humans. Rasterize any effects or adjustment layers. Make it easy for us to work with!
Vector Art and File Formats
The best and most usable artwork is called Vector Art, which is completely scalable and transfers to screen printing the best.
File Formats (in order of preference)
- Adobe Illustrator files that were originally created as vector files and end in .ai
- Vector files saved as a PDF and end in .pdf
- Vector files saved as Encapsulated Post Script files and end in .eps
Other formats that can work but must be at least 300 dpi
- .jpg and .jpeg
Most rasterized graphics such as bitmaps will NOT work. Other file types that generally will NOT work:
- Word Documents
- Files of less then 300 dpi
- Files that were originally less then 200 dpi and were then “up sampled” to 300 dpi. Up sampling is when you try to make a small or low resolution image bigger or increase the resolution. This will generally lead to pixelated and blurry images.
Graphics of this type will likely need to recreated and require some graphic design time.
All files must be at least 300 dpi or Vector Format. If your file is not 300 dpi, you cannot just increase the resolution of the file. This is called “upsampling” and will result in a blurry image. If you are creating your file in Adobe Illustrator or another Vector-based software, just size your image to the size you want it to print.
Creating your artwork
Here are a few tips when creating artwork to be screen printed:
- If possible, create your artwork in Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw as a vector file. This is not a requirement but it will ensure compatibility with our systems.
- Creating the image in the size you want it printed will ensure that we print it correctly on your garment as we will not need to do any resizing. Be sure to use the specific spot colors that you would like printed in your design.
- Using a specific Pantone number for each color will help us properly match your needed colors.
- If you are ordering a garment that is porous, such as a mesh fabric, you may want to keep your design details to a minimum since the fabric has holes that cannot be printed on.
- If you have text in your design, including custom last names or numbers, you will want to convert that text to an outline in your vector program. Why? If you are using a font on your computer that we do not have, when we open the file on our computer the font will not match the original. By converting the text to outlines the image will open correctly on our computer.