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Art Guidelines

GREAT PRINTS START WITH GREAT ART.

Your printed apparel can only be as good as your original artwork – so it’s worth spending the time to prepare your files properly.

Want expert help? We offer a discounted design rate of $50/hr for printed apparel projects if your artwork needs some love.

Vector File Formats:

ai, (vector) pdf, eps, svg

We strongly encourage vector artwork for the highest print quality. Ensure line weight does not fall below our minimum of 0.8pt wide, and have all text converted to outlines, or include font file(s) with artwork.

If you have questions regarding the print readiness of your art, please contact your graphic designer or our client reps.

Raster File Formats:

psd, tif, eps, DCS 2.0, pdf, bmp

Raster art files must be provided at print size (or larger) at 300dpi & saved as an uncompressed file type. Multi-color designs should have separate layers or channels for each print color. High-resolution .bmp, .png, or .jpg can be used as a last resort for 1-color images.

Original artwork should be made and saved solely within a professional design program.

Files created in smartphone apps or Microsoft programs are not professional quality, and are difficult to make print ready, even with extra pre-press work. Saving a low-quality file into one of the formats listed above will not result in a vector or high-resolution file.

To eliminate our pre-press design costs, we urge you to create to the following specifications before submitting your artwork:

  • Fonts should be kept at 8pt size or higher.
  • Important line weights should be kept at 0.8pt width or larger (for both positive & negative space) to maximize print detail.
  • Small text is best served by a simple font with consistent line thickness, in a middling weight such as regular, medium, or semibold. Avoid font styles that are oblique/italicized, thin or lightweight, decorative, for display, or heavily condensed for small text.
  • Be strategic with application of distress/texture, as it may negatively impact the readability of small text & detail.

 

 

VECTOR VS. RASTER

Vector (path-based)

Illustrator, Affinity, CorelDRAW

Vector software uses mathematical formulae to create points, lines, and curves – called “paths”. Unlike raster graphics, vectors are NOT resolution-dependent, meaning they can be infinitely re-sized without quality loss. Think: quarter-sized logo to roadside billboard! In addition to their extreme versatility & simple manipulation, vector graphics offer crisp linework and edges, which are perfect for screen printing.

Raster (pixel-based)

Photoshop, Procreate

Raster graphics are comprised of hundreds of thousands of small, colored squares (aka pixels). More pixels technically means higher resolution – but high resolution doesn’t guarantee high quality. Raster graphics can only degrade from their original state: you can save a print-quality 300ppi image at 72ppi for web use with a little quality loss, but saving a 72ppi image at 300ppi will only increase pixel count and file size (not quality) by duplicating what’s already there.

Art Guidelines

MY ART LOOKS GOOD, WHAT’S NEXT?

Now’s a good time to check out your ink options! Picking the right ink colors is important to the success of your design.

INK COLORS PAGE