Art Requirements for Screen Printing
Let's start by saying that the details mentioned on this page about art requirements for Screen Printing may seem confusing or intimidating. Please DO NOT let that worry you. There is nothing to worry about.
Basically, you do either one of two things:
1. If you have a finished, ready-to-print art file, then just skip to the section at the bottom of this page titled: IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A FINISHED READY-TO-PRINT ART FILE and follow the detailed information about art requirements.
2. You can forget about needing to know anything about art requirements or file types and just let us know what idea you want done and we will take care of everything for you.
For example: a customer may bring in an image of a soccer ball, another image of a goal, another image of a sample layout of a shirt they saw online somewhere, another image of a particular background they like, and then tell us what words/text to put on their design.
- We have customers who bring in sample sketches on scrap pieces of paper that we redraw and clean up to their liking.
- Some customers have an idea in their head that they just describe to us and we bring what they see in their mind to a tangible professional printed image on a shirt.
- And, some customers bring in multiple images of different things and tell us what words/text to put on their design. They want us to combine all of the different images and their words into a finished design that becomes their own creation.
We take all of the images and redraw something similar (or use our own clip-art), lay all of the design elements out on a page the way the customer wants, add their words, and then show the finished design to the customer who is usually amazed that we took so many of their ideas and made it into a finished design.
IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A FINISHED READY-TO-PRINT ART FILE
For Screen Printing, we do require finished art files to be provided as a VECTOR image in either one of the following supported file types: .svg, .eps, .pdf
Also, when providing a Ready-To-Print art file, make sure to export with the "outlines" or "curves" box checked and, if necessary, embed the "font" into the art file. This is just in case we do not have the current font that was used for any text within your art file.
And, be sure each different color in your art file is specified as a Pantone Solid Color.
It is VERY IMPORTANT to always send another file of your artwork as a regular .jpg or .png file. The reason for this is so we can be absolutely sure that the vector file (.svg, .eps, or .pdf) that we open on our computer looks exactly the same as what you see on your computer. Sometimes, opening a vector file with different computers and/or software can change the layout, position of elements, or may even substitute a different font. The only way to avoid this becoming a problem is if we have a .jpg or .png file of the same artwork to compare it to, because a .jpg or .png will NEVER change no matter which computer or software is used to open it.
(We still can't screen print or do color seperations directly from a .png or .jpg file which is why we would still need the vectorized .svg, .eps. or .pdf art file.)
Please remember the following when sending us ready-to-print vector files
And, once again, if you are not sure about the art requirements, just let us handle everything for you. All you need to do is let us know what you want created and we will make it happen.
- Send as a .svg, .eps, or .pdf VECTOR file
- Export as outlines and/or curves
- Embed any fonts (this is usually not necessary when exporting as outlines or curves... but it is good to do just in case we need it)
- In the art file, identify each different color using colors from the Pantone Solid Color chart.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
Honestly, that is pretty much all you really need to know.
We could go into details about the difference between a vector image (.eps, .svg) and a raster image (.jpg, .png), and how a vector image can be enlarged as big as a billboard or reduced to a size as small as a thumbnail without loosing any detail or clarity, while a raster image would get distorted, fuzzy, and pixelated if the size were to change.
We could also go into details about the meaning of and the difference between the different color charts and scales like Pantone Solid Color, RGB, and CMYK.
But, we prefer to not bore you with too many details when you probably just want to order printed t-shirts and not learn Graphic Design 101. After all, that is why you put us in charge of your apparel printing needs.