Send Us Artwork

Before you submit your artwork, check out the guides below to make sure your files are suitable for printing.  If they’re not, we may be able to make modifications, but there are a couple reasons you’re better off making any needed changes yourself:

  • You’re the best judge of your own design and in a better position than we are to make sure any adjustments made fit with your vision for how your print should look.  If we make the modifications for you, we can’t be sure that those alterations will fit your vision.
  • You’ll avoid costly art fees resulting from the time we have to spend altering your files.

A Layman’s Guide to Artwork Stuff

For those who aren’t familiar with design, this guide will help you understand what art file features make our jobs easier, what features make our jobs harder (or impossible), and how to recognize them. If you don’t have access to the original artist (or anyone with design experience) read this before you upload your files!

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Designer’s Guide to Print-Ready Art

This is the short version  of how to make your artwork print-ready. This guide is mainly for those who are familiar with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator or similar programs. So if you had your artwork created for you, or created it yourself, have your designer read this before you upload your files!

Understand Our Print Options

First, you’ll need to know how we print. The vast majority of our printing is spot colors, but we do offer 4 color process printing as well. Click here for a better explanation if you’re not familiar with the difference.

Vector

Vector art is, by its nature, usually pretty simple. There are only a few do’s and don’ts when working with vector graphics:

  • DO convert all strokes and text to outlines.
  • DO pick pantone colors for all your swatches in the design.
  • DO separate gradients into separate objects for every gradient color.
  • DON’T use more than 6 colors in your design.
  • DON’T create important lines or gaps (like the outline of an object) in your design less than 1pt – we can’t guarantee that we can hold that level of detail in a screen.
  • DON’T make your design overly complex.

Regarding that last item, we sometimes receive files that we have to spend literally hours scouring to find a single element we need to select. Help us out by grouping elements together and not burying and locking important objects beneath layers and layers of clipping paths. As far as we can tell, certain programs may create this over-complexity in the export process to create a pdf or eps file.  We’re not really sure at this point which ones, so use Adobe Illustrator to create your artwork if at all possible, since that’s what we use.

Raster

First off, we prefer vector, but if you have to go raster, the do’s and don’ts will change a little depending on whether you’re creating the art or modifying it.

  • DO create spot channels rather than RGB or CMYK channels.
    • If you are creating your artwork from scratch, go to the channels window, create a new spot channel and select a color (preferably using the Pantone color book), then draw in that channel to use that color.
    • If you are modifying an existing CMYK or RGB graphic, convert it to spot channels (this can be a very long and involved process, and you may pay quite a bit in art fees if we have to do it – you can find a guide to this process on our site here).
  • DO make your image at least 300DPI.
  • DON’T use more than 6 colors in your design (unless the graphic will be printed using four-color-process printing).
  • DON’T create important lines or gaps (like the outline of an object) in your design less than 1pt – we can’t guarantee that we can hold that level of detail in a screen.

Design Size Limitations

The largest we can print in a standard screen is 14.75″ wide by 20″ tall. That 20″ height includes the area between the neckline and the design. That means that if you want your design printed 2″ down from the collar, the design itself can only be 18″ tall.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can print that large on your actual shirt. Your shirt has its own print limitations. For instance, you can’t print a 14.75″ wide design on an infant onesie. Also keep in mind that your print does not scale with shirt size - your design must be sized to fit on the smallest shirt in your order. So if you want the same design printed on infant smalls and adult 3XLs, expect the design to be very tiny on the 3XL.

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