Print Specs

Hello Printers!!!

This Print Specs info was gleaned from industry where we would send out info or a link to a similar page in order to help designers and artists understand the bridge between their art / computer to being able to print it. In the world of promotional T-shirts it’s all about time it takes to service customers so it’s designed to help people help themselves to get the best and fastest way to print. ENJOY!

The easy version…

* You preferably need to create your artwork at the size you want it printed.  If your logo is 20cm x 20cm, create it at that size. 

3 cool hints

1. Nipple to nipple on a guy is 30cm (length of a school ruler) wide and is a good size / girls about 28cm. A chest / breast logo is usually about 12cm wide (and high if you like) 15cm is getting very big for the breast area so never go above that. A full on skater style massive print would be 30cm wide x 50cm high.

2. You need your design to fit well on all your sizes so make it so it dosen’t look silly on your smallest shirts or biggest shirts (generally even the biggest brands find one size print to fit all size shirts).

3. The best way to judge size is print it out on any printer (don’t shrink to page) and hold it (or a ruler) up in front of you in a mirror (this is how we do it!).

* Save your artwork as a PDF file.

Other files work – pdfs travel well via email (PDF = Portable Document Format) – we can generally take anything you’ve got psd / tiff / jpeg / ai (Word is crap but still workable if it’s all you’ve got).

* Change fonts/text to outlines or rasterise if you know how — this way we know we’re seeing what you’re seeing.

Fonts / Typefaces can change when opened in a different computer as my computer will use my version of the font you nominated. If that sort of detail matters to you — outline or rasterise the type.

* When emailing artwork, your file should be no larger than 12mb (This is still big for many printers if you sending it out).

Apparently the human eye can’t see more than 150 dpi – so your artwork dosen’t need to cover a bus side or be 600dpi before going to film. You can use a file transfer service like RapidShare / Sharefile/ DropBox / YouSendIt. You can easily get a free trial if you need to send it to printer but really your ultimate goal should be the size you want to print at 200 – 300dpi max.

 

The more in-depth version

 

All of the above, plus:

* For multi-colour artwork, prepare different colours on different layers where possible.

* Iy’s also great to create an artwork mock up for placement, so you know how you want the finished print to look.

The below template is a great place to work. It’s an Adobe illustrator pdf which will open in either Illustrator or Photoshop at actual size. So any artwork you drag in will be at the actual size.
Download Our Mockup Document

“ONE COLOUR” ARTWORK

The one colour print is the easiest print. You can go very fine with detail or very straight forward with words on the front (and possibly back or sleeves) of a t-shirt.

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Simple text gets your message across.

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Transparent inks on lights, or opaque inks on darks.

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Create a graphic to make a mock-up like this – show us what you want!

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One solid colour art by Blair Sayer & Ben Brown, printed as one colour black, and printed as one colour blue.

You can use really complex shapes and combinations and still do a one colour solid print. It’s cheaper to a one colour print and many brands use it as a design rule. What we are after is solid lines to make a film from.

If you are working in Photoshop, work at 200 – 300 dpi in your correct size. My best hint for creating artwork is to work on the piece in the colour of ink you are thinking, on the background colour of the t-shirt you are thinking of printing on.

The same rules apply: 

* You want your artwork at the exact size you want it printed.  If your logo is 20cm x 20cm, send it to us at that size.

* Save your artwork as a PDF file.

* Change fonts/text to outlines or rasterise if you know how — this way you know we’re seeing what you’re seeing.

* When emailing artwork, your file should be no larger than 12mb.

* PLUS — Complete your artwork mock up for placement, so we know how you want the finished print to look. 

“MULTI COLOUR” ARTWORK

Multi Colour work becomes more complex, especially if colours overlap.  If you are working in Photoshop, create different colours on different layers at 200 – 300 dpi.

As a rule you screen-print light colours first, then darker layers.  Your darkest layer is normally your last layer down (usually the key layer is black) but there are always exceptions.

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The first two colours of a three colour print.

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The two above layers combined (left), plus the third layer to go on (right).

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The complete three colour piece (left), and close up section (right).

The same rules apply: 

* Create your artwork at the exact size you want it printed.  If your logo is 20cm x 20cm, send it to us at that size.

* Save your artwork as a PDF file.

* Change fonts/text to outlines or rasterise if you know how — this way we know we’re seeing what you’re seeing.

* When emailing artwork, your file should be no larger than 12mb.

* PLUS — Use the Template download to drop your art into or use as a guide.

“PHOTOGRAPHIC & HALFTONE” ARTWORK

Photographic work can be tricky.  The most important thing to know is that the t-shirt fabric is not complex enough for a 300dpi photo–quality like you see in a magazine.  Therefore most screen printers work on approx 45dpi — 90dpi – this in turn will tell you that it won’t be a perfect photo.  If you can accept that, then keep reading.

All photographic work created in Photoshop should be created at 300dpi — we will translate it as 45dpi through our software when making your films.  We ask you to create at this resolution (300dpi) so we are starting with the best image available.

A colour photograph is created as a CMYK file and printed as a 4–colour print. This can be expensive so you should look at that as it is four films and four screens to set-up.

If you want to create a photo as a 1–colour, convert to grayscale and flatten.

The biggest key to effective printing of photographic work is contrast.

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The print on the left will print better, it has more contrast and will convert to halftone better than the one on the right.

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What are you trying to show? At full size the portrait will appear to show more detail as it’s larger in comparison to the same canvas size.

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An image changed to 1-colour can then be printed in any colour…. think sepia or grey.

Vector Halftone Work

Sometimes a multi-colour vector needs to be converted to halftone for either speed or cost, so a 3-colour might be done as a 2-colour or 1-colour, whilst achieving alot of what was intended with the 3-colour.

The way to do this is with transparent values of black.

The first is 100% black.

The second is 30%  black.

The third is 60%  black.

The forth is 45% or 80%  black.

If you look back in the multi-colour section of this page, the vector there is 100% black – 30% and 60% …. The idea here is again contrast — we are always looking for the most contrast between shades.

See the finished example here again:

609Multi-3ColZoom

The complete 3 colour piece and close up section

and the basics:

* You want your artwork at the exact size you want it printed.  If your logo is 20cm x 20cm, send it to us at that size.

* Save your artwork as a PDF file.

* Change fonts/text to outlines or rasterise if you know how — this way we know we’re seeing what you’re seeing.

* When emailing artwork, your file should be no larger than 12mb.

* PLUS — Complete your artwork mock up for placement, so we know how you want the finished print to look.  

Vector Rock, Screen, Paper artwork by Blair Sayer and Ben Brown.

Photographic pieces’ ‘Sofy’ by Ben McCloghry.

 

 

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