Artwork Guidelines

It is important that your garments are customised perfectly. You may have a design already made or you might like us to create one for you. Charges are listed below. If you are submitting artwork then it should be submitted in a suitable format as laid out in the artwork guidelines below, otherwise charges may apply. However, this is judged on a case-by-case basis and more often then not artwork is free. The guidelines are quite scary and have been written for professional graphic designers. A Word document, or jpeg may be sufficient. If you are unsure contact our studio.

Prices

Time (Hrs) Price/Hr
Submitted Vectored Artwork Up to 1hr FREE
Artwork Requiring Vectoristaion 1-5 hrs £25
Complex Artwork 5+ Hrs £20

Design Guidelines

Art design for screen printing is very different from any other type of design. This is due in large part to the inherent limitations of the screen printing process. In addition, the size of the designs necessitates the use of vector art as opposed to pixel based art. Blowing up art to fit on the full back of a t-shirt, or similar garment, (13.5″ x 18″) requires crisp and exact lines.

General rules for submission: The general rules for submitting artwork are as follows:

  • The art must be submitted in Adobe Illustrator (if submitted as Photoshop min. resolution must be 400dpi)
  • The art must contain not more than four different colours
  • The thinnest lines cannot be less than 0.25 point
  • There can be no gradients, shadows, or colour tints
  • All text should be converted to outline

File Programs and Format: Designs for clothing require the vector art format due to the necessity to blow up and resize art work. Since there are a variety of vector art programs, we
have chosen the industry standard; Adobe Illustrator. If we had to get every vector art program and convert different versions of each file sent, we would have more trouble opening the files than we do already. We prefer the files to be sent in the .ai or .eps format (.pdf is also okay).  We run Adobe Illustrator CS2 to CS5. If the file is bigger than 1 Mb it should be zipped

No greater than four colours: It is important to understand the actual process of screen printing in order to understand why multiple colours’ cause problems. Each colour requires a separate screen to be created that corresponds to that colour. Then each screen must be perfectly registered over the other so that no overprinting of colours occurs. The more colours you print, the more likely you are to have a registration problem. If the colours overprint, or the fabric moves or stretches, the shirt is then unsuitable for sale.

Thinnest line can be no less the .25 point: Screens are made by putting a chemical emulsion on a mesh surface. Since the screen mesh is of a certain finite size, only lines over a
certain line can actually hold the emulsion. So you are limited to about a .25 point line for screen printing.

Gradients: It is extremely difficult to accurately produce gradients when screen printing. This is because of the way they are produced. If you want to have the background of your design to go from navy blue to aqua blue by gradient, the only way to print it would be to use half tones. What this means is that the screen would be outputted from the computer with dots, which would increase in size as you went from one colour to the other. The navy blue would fade when printed because the dots would get bigger thus printing less of that colour. Then the Aqua screen would be just the reverse. Gradients are difficult to print. The printer can spend days with the art, testing garments and inks before producing a good product.

Text converted to outlines: Because there are thousands of fonts, and we could not have all of them installed in our computer, it is necessary for all text to be converted to outlines. This will allow us to view your files as they were designed, instead of having our program convert your font to one that is installed. If you don’t know who to convert text to outlines, please make sure you email a copy of the font you have used. In Windows, you can ‘copy & paste’ the font you used from the ‘fonts’ folder found in the control panel.

Useful artwork pages

  • Need some good fonts? Try AbstractFonts for 10, 000 great free fonts.
  • For help with colours and Pantone matches try our Pantone Colour help page.

Useful Adobe sites

Featured Tutorials

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