September 6, 2017
3 Things To Know About Art Preparation
When designing and preparing your custom artwork for printing on a t-shirt or any other garment you should take a few things into consideration in order to make sure it will look and print properly. Taking a few extra steps in the beginning can save you time and money in the long run. And while every printer is different, these tips should help you across the board.
Start creating your artwork at 300 DPI.
DPI simply means the number of holes (dots) per one inch of an area. The greater the number, the greater the details. It works the same way as pixels on your TV or smartphone. The higher the PPI (pixels) the sharper the image. In screen printing you can get away with less DPI since the screens themselves are less than that, but as a general rule, we ask that when you set up your designs in Illustrator, Photoshop, or whatever you use, you make the the file at 300 DPI resolution for better clarity. Our art team will use Illustrator to vector up your image, so the cleaner the image is to begin, with the better.
Plan out your color palette first.
When you create the artwork for your apparel, it doesn’t really matter whether you start with the garment color or ink colors first. The final product however will be determined by the ink you chose and the garment color you chose. So starting out with a predetermined palette can save you time. You can simulate any ink and garment color combos by creating a mock-up of the design beforehand. If the artwork has already been created, you can check to see if your art contains any of the same colors as your shirt, if it does, use those areas as negative space saving a screen and some money. Usually choosing contrasting colors is the way to go. By choosing the right color contrast you can guarantee your logo can be seen from across the street at events like a 5K. Another common mistake is the improper use of Pantone colors. Unless your monitor is calibrated the exact same way ours are, choosing a PMS color should be left to the printer with the PMS matching book. Printers have ink formulas to match those colors directly and most of the time, these colors will appear completely different from your screen. If your printers does Pantone matching, just mentioning the PMS code number is enough.
Leave the SEPS to us.
For t-shirts, your print shop will create color separations themselves using certain ink formulations and software, so there is no need for you to try and separate ink colors yourself. The color separations that the printers art department will create from your artwork will be specific to the programs and equipment they use and most printers won’t charge extra for simple separation. Attempting to create your own separations can be confusing and create extra unnecessary steps for the printer turning a once simple job into a harder one. If you need to achieve a special or particular effect, just ask the printers art department if it can be done. Remember to include any instructions or questions in your e-mails in addition to your original art file. Also ask for a consultation if you have worries about a difficult piece. Communication is key, often printers will tell you right away if something can or can’t be done before any printing is involved. This way you can confirm that they can produce the results you and your clients are looking for or suggest a printer that can.