Learn all the relevant and necessary details for how to properly format your art file for print production. Below you will find helpful information on our most preferred file types and other helpful tips. Learn what you should do with your resolution, image size, font choices, and more! If any of this seems confusing however, please do not hesitate in contacting us with any of your questions or concerns!
Accepted File Types
We accept a number of file formats but our preferred ones are either a 300 dpi Photoshop PSD file or a fully vectorized/outlined Illustrator AI file. We will definitely accept other vector files types such as EPS or PDF so long as they are properly vectorized/outlined. Additionally we will also accept pixel-based TIFF, JPEG, PDF, and PNG files so long as they are sized properly and have been created at the proper resolution of 300 dpi.
300 dpi or vector-based files
If you are creating your artwork in a pixel-based program such as Photoshop, you need to make sure that your file has been made as a 300 dpi resolution file. If your file is not 300 ppi, you cannot just increase the resolution of the file. This is called “upsampling” and will usually just result in a blurry or pixelated image. Alternatively, if you are creating your file in Adobe Illustrator or another vector-based software, just size your image to the size you want it to print. However, you cannot just import a pixel-based file into Illustrator and scale it up as this will result in the same blurry result as just described. To take advantage of Illustrator’s ability to upscale or downscale a design without loss in quality, the design needs to be created using paths instead of pixels.
File size vs. size of design
If you do end up using Photoshop (or another similar pixel-based graphics program) please ensure that the size of your design actually reflects your desired print size. Do not just make the file’s canvas size to scale and then leave your design layer not properly scaled to the file’s total image size. Additionally, just like the blurriness or pixelation described above, forcefully upscaling the design size to a maximum greater than it was originally saved/created will result in distinct losses of visual information. Lastly, our maximum print size for apparel printing is 14 x 16 inches.
Halftones and Bitmapping
Please do not send your design with a halftone texture effect already applied or save it as a halftone bitmap. We are able to get the best results with screen printing and digital DTG prints when we are able to make adjustments to the dot frequency in halftones. If you pre-halftone or bitmap your image then you take that option away and limit our options to make your print look the best that it can. Additionally, due to the inherent halftoning our printers apply to when outputting the films used to expose our screens, there is a high chance that if you are screen printing your design that your final print will have an unintentional Moiré effect applied (because it will be applying a halftone to a halftone).
Outline font or including font files
If you are sending a vector file that includes text which relies on a font not included by default in the Adobe or MacOS font libraries we need you to either outline the text before sending it, or to include the font file along with your art file. For those unfamiliar with outlining text, to this go into your design file in Illustrator and click “Create Outlines” in the “Type” menu along the top bar.
We will always try our best to match the colours contained within your art file, but there are still things that you should be aware of. If you are having your design screen printed it is best to select and provide us with a PMS colour code. However, please be aware that if you are picking this colour based off of graphic software’s colour sampling tools then there is a strong chance there will be some variance from the screen and the final print. This is because there will always be a difference between how different monitors are colour calibrated. Therefore the only way to get an exact match would be to pick your PMS code from one of the most recent printed Pantone Formula Guides. We have some in our shop or you can also order one for yourself online from Pantone directly. Lastly, if you are printing a photographic image then we might not be able to provide an exact Pantone match for all colours within the design. This is due to the high degree of competing factors in how the the blending ink colours look against the colour of the apparel fabric. For both screen printing and DTG printing it is typically best to save and send your art as an RGB file.
If you are unsure about anything related to your print projects, here are some extra helpful links. These explain a little bit more about our printing processes and apparel pricing. Additionally, you can generate a quote on any product page and we’ll get back to you. Alternatively you can contact us by phone or email and we will happy to answer any questions you may have.