Art design for screen printing is very different from any other type of design. This is due mostly to the inherent limitations of the screen printing process.
If you cannot submit your graphics in the formats outlined below, please contact us as soon as possible. We can design your graphics for you at an additional charge.
Designs to be screen printed must be created in vector art format (instead of pixel based art), because the graphic must be blown up and resized.
Vector is art created in a program such as Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw or Freehand. In this format, each object can be selected and individually manipulated, independent from the rest of the images in the design. Since most screen-printing utilizes spot colors, vector graphics are the perfect source file type.
Our preferred vector format is the industry standard – Adobe Illustrator – version C6 or lower.
Please do not send any Microsoft documents for printing. There are no Microsoft programs that allow users to create hi-resolution graphics for professional printing.
Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (and other text-editing programs) may be used to create rough compositions, or to communicate rough design ideas. However, they are not suitable for creating print-ready artwork.
Microsoft Publisher documents are not acceptable in any capacity. They are created and saved in a locked format by default, and can only be viewed on a PC with an installed copy of Microsoft Publisher. We use Mac computers, and are unable to open or view these files.
If you do submit your artwork as low-resolution graphics, it will be subject to design charges necessary to re-create your artwork as a print-ready graphic.
It is very important when saving a vector file to convert the text to outlines. This is an option in vector-based programs that changes fonts used in the design into an object. If we don’t have a specific font used in your design, we will have to make font substitutions that could change the appearance of your artwork. In Windows, you can “copy & paste” the font you used from the Fonts folder in the control panel.
Each color in your design requires a separate screen to be created that corresponds to that color. Then each screen must be perfectly registered over the other so that no overprinting of colors occurs. The more colors in the design, the more likely there might be a registration problem.
Picking the right ink colors for your design is important to the success of your design. Please take some time to choose your ink colors wisely. We can make recommendations or help you with choosing the right colors.
The thinnest line in your design can be no less the .25 point. This is because it is difficult to hold a line that is too thin when the screen is exposed and the line might disappear.
Gradients are difficult to screen print. If you have a design where one color like navy blends into another color like aqua without a distinct separation, the only way to print it would be to use half tones. This means that the screen would be outputted from the computer with dots, which would increase in size as you went from one color to the other. The navy blue would fade when printed because the dots would get bigger and print less of that color. Then the Aqua screen would be just the reverse. The screen printer could be required to spend a lot more time with the art, testing garments and inks before producing a good product. This could increase the overall cost of your product.
Recommended Art Dimensions (Adult Apparel)
*Shirt sizes should be taken into consideration when deciding on art sizing. We reserve the right to make any adjustments to art provided to create the best quality print we are able to provide.