Follow these guidelines when preparing your art to get the best results on your screen printed apparel. If you’re working with a graphic designer, you can send them to this page so they can prepare the artwork from their original files.
We only accept artwork in digital formats. If you need your art scanned, we recommend that you have it done professionally for best results. If you have a high-resolution scanner, then please see the section below on preparing bitmap files.
Whenever possible, we prefer that you send us your art as a vector file. This is a file that’s created as lines, rather than pixels. That means that the image is completely scalable. There is no loss in quality no matter how big you scale it up. File formats we accept are:
Adobe Illustrator (CS5 or older)
- If you simply export a bitmap file as a PDF or EPS file, this does not convert it to vector. True story.
- If you have fonts in your design, you need to convert all text to outlines. Yes, even Arial.
- If you used transparencies, SVG filters or raster effects in your vector art, we may not be able to see it. Convert it to raster or expand the effects so they are true vector.
Also known as a raster file, this file is made up of pixels. Unlike vector files, they are not scalable. They will only get worse in quality the bigger you scale them up. So the best way to send them to us is at 300 dpi at a larger size than the print will be. If you don’t know what size that will be, go with 11″ wide. File formats we accept are:
- Convert file to CMYK if you can.
- Use a transparent background if you can. High five if you do your own color separations.
- That 50 x 50 pixel logo from your web site is not ready for screen printing. If you don’t have the original art, ask your designer. If your designer escaped to Paraguay after a bank heist and you cannot contact them, it will need to be recreated. Yes, we can do that for a fee.
- You cannot take a 72 dpi image and convert it to a 300 dpi image. Well, you can. But we can’t use it.
If you want to avoid any design or art charges at all, use these guidelines:
- Set up the document size at either 81/2″ x 14″ or 13″ x 19″.
- Create a 1 point center line just above and below the design.
- Make sure the background is white or transparent.
- Convert all text to paths, or include font when submitting your files.
If the design is multiple colors:
- Follow the steps above.
- Make each color its own layer. Make each layer black. Label the layer the color it’s supposed to be. Make sure each color is in the right place, according to your design.
- Place registration marks in all four corners of the design. Put the marks on their own layer, so they’ll be in the same place no matter which color is visible.
- If your design will be printed on dark shirts, you need to include a layer for a white underbase for each color (except white) (see templates):
- On a new layer, merge the entire design
- Offset the design by -1 pixel.
- Place any design elements that will print in white on the same layer as the underbase.
Use these templates as guides:
When in doubt, please ask. We would much rather answer your questions early on then be up against a deadline with questionable artwork.