Insufficient artwork files require varying degrees of pre-production work to ensure a high-quality print. Luckily for all involved, we’re design experts! No matter the state of your source artwork, we can make it work, but that doesn’t mean its ideal. We’ve worked with everything from photographs to children’s drawings.
Although we can make poor quality files work, they are not recommended. Often times if simple enough we can clean things up at no extra charge but depending on the complexity of the artwork, there may be an added charge. The best thing to do is be certain your artwork is created to these specifications. Creating print-ready artwork on your own is actually quite simple, with the right design applications and knowledge.
All artwork is preferred in vector format at full size as Adobe Illustrator or Illustrator pdf files with all fonts outlined. Raster graphics must be created at full size and at 300 dpi or higher. We accept the following hi-resolution file formats: eps, ai, svg, pdf, psd, tiff, and hi-resolution jpgs.
***Vector file format artwork is strongly recommended.
All fonts must be converted to outlines or the font file(s) must be included with artwork. If you have questions regarding the print readiness of your artwork, please contact your graphic designer or our art department. Please do not send any Microsoft documents for printing. There are no Microsoft programs that allow users to create hi-resolution graphics for professional printing.
Please also note that simply placing a low-quality image into Illustrator and re-saving it does not by any means turn your design into a quality, print-ready design file.
Illustrator = vector based art
Illustrator can utilize pixel-based graphics from Photoshop, but not edit them with the same ease. Instead, Illustrator creates vector graphics. These are graphics that are NOT resolution-dependent—like pixels—and instead, are comprised of points and lines that connect in a variety of ways to create line art. This line art can then be filled with, or outlined with color. Since most screen-printing is a print method that utilizes spot colors and not much process printing, vector graphics are the perfect source file type.
Vector graphics are extremely versatile and very simple to manipulate. Their size can be changed without any concern about pixelization or loss of detail. This is definitely the preferred method for creating artwork for screen-printing as it also gives us a nice hard line edge, resulting in crisper images on screen and ultimately on the garment. Common file types for vector-based graphics are .ai, .eps, .cdr, and some—but not all–.pdf files.