Submitting Artwork To Our Screen Printing Company

Whether you’re an aspiring apparel designer, business owner, little league coach, or simply someone with a great idea for a T-shirt design that you want to rock yourself, you want to bring your creative ideas to life by having a screen printing company develop the exact concept you have in mind.

In order for any custom screen printing company to truly fulfill your wishes and bring your ideas — even the craziest ones — to life, it takes a team effort. What we mean is, while we certainly know our way around a screen printer here at our print shop in Boulder, Goodbye Blue Monday, creating high-quality artwork requires using elements of high-quality artwork.

When we say “high-quality,” we aren’t necessarily referring to the artistic or creative nature of the design — art is subjective, after all. What we’re referring to is the technical process in which a design is formed. Custom screen printing is just like many other types of work, in the way that you get out what you put in. So, if you want your custom T-shirt design to come out off the press looking as amazing as you pictured in your head, the following are some design submission tips to follow when sending your design files to our print shop — or any screen printing company, for that matter.

Use Vector Format

The highest quality screen printing is done by using vector files for artwork. This can be done by either selecting only vector designs online for developing your T-shirt design concept or by creating your own using a vector-supportive software, such as Adobe Illustrator. Another pro tip for if you choose to design your T-shirt in Illustrator: convert your text to vector by selecting the text and choosing “Create Outlines” (Mac shortcut = Shift/Command/O, PC shortcut = Shift/Control/O).

If you’re wondering, “why are vectors so important?” It’s because they give your printer the ability to scale your design to any size — large or small — without having to worry about losing any of the quality, data, or fidelity of the design. In other words, vector artwork will always be printed at its highest possible resolution, whereas other formats, such as JPEG, PNG, and other variants we see used on the web, are easily distorted when brought to print, making it difficult to obtain a high-quality final product.

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What If My Artwork Isn’t Vector?

Just because your desired design doesn’t originate from a vector doesn’t mean it’s impossible. After all, our motto at Goodbye Blue Monday is, “if you can think it, we can ink it.” So we will most certainly give it a whirl with another file format. But be forewarned — in order to reproduce an image or design in high quality, it needs to be a large file size with a high resolution. Images and graphics that are not vector are known as raster designs, meaning they are made up of pixels. How many pixels your design consists of will be the ultimate deciding factor behind how large your design can be printed onto your apparel.

As a general rule, screen printing companies will ask for submitted raster files to be at least 300 PPI (pixels per inch). This is because when they are transferred to print, the resolution is decreased roughly in half (since we can’t make ink dots as small as web pixels). This way, your final T-shirt design is still of great detail at 150 DPI (dots per inch). So when submitting a non-vector file to your custom print shop, ensure that your design meets these resolution requirements when scaled to the size you want it to be on your apparel.

We understand how this might be a bit confusing for those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of preparing artwork for screen printing. If you have questions, reach out to Goodbye Blue Monday! We are more than happy to help you at our print shop. After all, this is a team effort, and we’re in this together.

If you think you have a design file that’s ready to hit the press, or you have one started that you want our designers to help you get to the finish line, fill out the form below to have our custom screen printing shop help!

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