Though we can print just about any high-res file you throw at us, we prefer vector graphics, generally saved as .ai and .eps. If you are submitting a Raster file (generally .psd, .jpg, .png, etc) please note the “RASTER TIPS” section. We use ADOBE CC products. If you are using COREL products, or freeware (GIMP / INKSCAPE), please export as one of the above file types.
GENERAL ART FILE TIPS
Expand / Outline your fonts, or include the font file you’ve used in your artwork. This keeps us from having to find the font or bug you for it. Font problems delay a good amount of our orders, so tell your designert that this is important! Check out our how to for embedding images and expanding typefaces.
If you’re in PSD, simply right click your text layer (in your layer panel) and select “Rasterize Layer.”
If you know what pantones you’d like used in your prints, specify the PANTONE numbers in your files, or in the related emails.
Make sure you’re using an up to date, physical, PANTONE SOLID COATED Color Book when choosing colors.
Keep in mind that PANTONE colors can vary in appearance from the final result when on-screen.
Send us the biggest, unmerged file you have. Whether you’re working in raster or vector, The more we have to work with, the better your print will come out. Try to work in layers, and avoid flattening (psd) or merging(ai) your final designs, even if you think that’ll help.
(.ai, .eps, .svg, .pdf)
Avoid clipping masks Clipping masks use a ton of system resources, and compatibility is a nightmare when importing from previous versions of Illustrator. Try getting to know the Pathfinder tool. Avoid raster embeds Embedding raster graphics (whether textures or otherwise) in illustrator files does NOT turn these files into vectors, and in such, keeps the images subject to their initial resolution. Try the Live Trace tool if you’re looking to convert rasters to vectors.
(.psd, .jpg, .png, .gif) Avoid upscaling low-resolution graphics. Raster files need to be CREATED in 300dpi or they are generally too low of quality to print reliably. This does not mean to use Image Size to upscale your image; it means a different, larger file is needed. Often times we’ll tell clients that we need 300dpi images to print well, and they’ll send previously 72dpi images upscaled (with image size) to 300dpi. This does not make the file printable! If you designed your shirt in 72dpi,we’re sorry! Stop in and we’ll give you some quick tips to make sure you feel confident designing for screen printing.
When creating a new file in photoshop, set your DPI to 300 or 600, and your image size to your desired final size in inches. After setting this, don’t use the Image Size tool unless you’re going to resize SMALLER. This solves 90% of the print problems we encounter with raster files!
Design on a transparent background.
Another big problem that pops up are PSD designs flattened onto the ‘Background’ layer. To avoid this, set the background color to “transparent” in the “New File” dialog.
Working in layers allows us to quickly separate your file, and find errors that could lead to costly printing problems.