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Updated by T Shirt Plus on Sep 09, 2021
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6 Tips On How To Prepare Artwork for T-Shirt Printing

Graphic design and graphic design for t-shirt printing are two completely different things, as many of you know. You may have spent hours designing a t-shirt for clients or yourself, only for the printer to tell you it won't print. This is not a common problem. I'd like to share some tips with you on preparing your artwork to print on t-shirts.


Use PMS Colors

Use PMS Colors

Although you can do most artwork in RGB or CMYK color modes, use PMS colors to get the best colors from a silk screener and ensure accurate colors. This makes colour separations much easier and more precise.

Side note: The printer shouldn't charge extra for PMS-color matching. This is an old-fashioned way to make more money. It's also a good way to show your appreciation by being more precise.


Convert All of Your Text to Outlines

Sometimes, your artwork might require a unique font or a custom t shirt printing designed font. You don't want your artwork to be printed with a substitute font. Any computer that views the artwork as an image will be able to convert the text into outlines by converting it to text. No substitutions are possible.
Suggested Read: T Shirt Printing Colour Combinations 2021


Create Your Artwork at Actual Size

Create Your Artwork at Actual Size

Without first discussing the matter with the printer, do not trust their judgment. Why would I say this? I'm a printer. The printer may have a different vision than you. In this instance, it is best to make the artwork at its final size. Do you not know the size of your artwork? Use a ruler to measure the length of the shirt that you are wearing. It sounds simple, but it works.


Use Vector Artwork As Much As Possible

This isn't an argument about raster or vector. It's more of a recommendation to use vector art whenever possible. This makes it easier to separate colours and gives you a cleaner print. This is an average rule that applies to everyday tasks and it's not a universal solution.


Expand Your Strokes

The color separations software should work fine if you have correctly set your colors to PMS swatches. This is more of a human error, as strokes can sometimes be overlooked. This tip is #5 as it can help you avoid making a mistake that could ruin a great project.

Also Read: How To Tie Dye A Shirt 2021 Update


Set Your Half-Tones with PMS Colors

Set Your Half-Tones with PMS Colors

This tip is similar to Tip 1. Half-tones can be used to reduce the number of colours printed depending on your budget and design. This can be done by reducing the colour scale to a percentage from the PMS color. The colour separations software should handle the rest.