Even if your design is incredibly beautiful, it will not translate into a screen printed graphic if you do not follow basic art guidelines for screen printing. Each screen printing company has established standards to guide their customers. By following those standards, the company will be able to create acceptable and attractive graphics. The guidelines typically include supported file formats, size restrictions, color suggestions, minimums and placement options. As you begin exploring your options for screen printed garments, be certain to contact your preferred screen printing company for their guidelines and specifications. The following is a review of our specific art requirements as well as a few general tips and tricks.
Create and save your design in a supported file format.
At Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery, we accept vector artwork saved in the following file formats:
- Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
- Editable EPS (.eps)
- Acrobat PDF (.pdf)
We will accept non-vector artwork saved as an Adobe PhotoShop file (.psd) or an image file (.jpg) for recreation. Be certain to contact us before you create your final design so you can save it properly.
- If at all possible, use vector artwork
Vector art is composed of paths, lines, curves, and shapes. These elements are controlled through points with definite locations on the x – and y – axes of the work plane. This process allows you to increase or decrease the size of the graphic without distortion. Vector artwork that is saved correctly is easily transformed into an acceptable screen printed graphic. If you do not use vector art, the screen printer’s graphic designers will have to completely recreate your design.
- Choose high-resolution photos. Remember to include any links.
Photographs are not composed of vectors. If photos are not high-resolution they will become blurry and unusable when they are enlarged. Use photos that have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. If your design includes linked photos, be certain to include the photos or embed them when you submit your design.
- Convert all fonts to outlines or paths.
If you are including a font in your design, it is crucial to convert them to paths or outlines. If you do not do so and your designer does not have the font you selected, they will not be able to use that font. When you convert fonts to outlines or paths, you are assured that your font shape will be preserved.
- Want to save money? Use fewer colors
In order to transform your design into a screen-printed garment, each color requires its own film positive and its own screen. Those cost time and money. To reduce your overall cost, use fewer colors to limit the total number of screens.
- Have questions? Don’t be afraid to ask.
We will be happy to explain both the process and why certain file formats are necessary. To make it even easier, our talented graphic designers will be happy to create a custom design just for you. Best of all, there is no charge for the first hour of your design time!
You have now passed Art Guidelines 101. To get started with your custom screen-printed apparel, see us at Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery in Springfield, MO. We offer full-service screen printing including free art service. We would love to work with you on your next tee shirt, bag, hoodie, short, and screen printed sportswear order. Call us at 417.865.8011 or get a free quote today.