Graphic design, and graphic design for clothing printing can be two very different things, so to save time spent on changes later down the line, here’s some handy tips for you on how to prepare your artwork for print.
Use the Correct Colour Mode
When designing for print we always recommend using CMYK colours or PMS colours. These are the 2 systems we (and all printers) use for print.
When digital printing we’re only able to use CMYK colours, however with screen printing we’re able to use both Pantone and CMYK colours, depending upon your requirements.
If you need an exact colour matching we always recommend using Pantone colours and providing your printer with the PMS reference before printing.
Provide Files in the Correct Format
We typically accept 2 types of files - vector files & raster files.
We always suggest using vector artwork when possible. Some of our processes such as vinyl printing require it, others such as screen printing or digital printing just come out better when working from vector artwork, especially complex designs with intricate or small elements. Additionally files of this type can be scaled or altered easily without loosing quality.
Vector File Types Include: Adobe Illustrator (.ai) or vector-based .pdf/.eps.
Please note - Saving a raster graphic from the internet or another program in Adobe Illustrator, will not make the file a vector graphic. If an image pixelates when zoomer in it is a raster graphic.
Raster Files / Image Files:
If you are requiring a photographic image, a raster graphic / image file is going to be required. In most cases unless, for files of this type we will use digital printing, as this is better value and delivers greater results. We advise all files of this type should be at least 300dpi and the size you want them printed (this should be done at the beginning of the creation process).
Image File Types Include: psd, .jpeg, .tiff, .png, .gif, .bmp.
File types that are not suitable for print include: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Publisher files.
Please always send the original artwork file where possible.
Convert All Text To Outlines
If you are using non-standard fonts within your artwork, please convert these to outlines in order to avoid a substituted font in your design. By converting the text to outlines, any computer that opens the artwork will view the text as an image, ensuring you don’t have to worry about whether your printer has the correct font.
Text should be converted to Outlines in vector artwork, or rasterized (converted to pixels) within software such as Photoshop. Flat image files (.jpg, .png, .tiff, etc) won’t have this problem.
You can find our guide on how to convert text to outlines here.
Want your artwork a specific size?
If you need your artwork to be a specific size, let your printer know, otherwise they will print to the size they feel is either most appropriate or is closest to the digital mockup. If you don’t know what size to use, put a ruler on the t-shirt you are wearing, it’s simple, but works.
Please always remember, unless specified otherwise (on your invoice and jobsheet), your artwork will not be scaled on different sized products. This means that when ordering large prints and you have smaller garments in your order, the print size will be limited by the smallest item. If you need the front covering on both XXL products and XS ones, let us know so we can quote you accordingly.