Our art department works in Adobe Illustrator CS4 and Adobe Photoshop CS4. We prefer the following file formats:
- .JPG (if the file is at a minimum of 200 DPI at the output size - see resolution for details)
Files from the following programs are generally not print-ready:
- MS Word
If your art is from one of the programs that doesn't produce print-ready art or you do not have the correct file type, please e-mail your artwork to us at and we will take a look and let you know what we can do to make the file printable. Note that we are not able to open Publisher or Paint files, so please save them as .PDF or .EPS files before sending them to us.
Corel Draw: If you work in Corel Draw, please convert your fonts to curves and save your file as a .ai file before submitting the art to us for production. We work in Illustrator CS4.
Fonts: Before submitting art files, convert your fonts to art. Vector files will need to have fonts converted to outlines (or curves, depending on the program), and raster graphics will need to have fonts rasterized. If you are unable to do this, you can send your fonts and we'll install and use them for your design. Note that files that do not pass a virus scan will not be loaded into our system.
Raster graphics should be at a minimum of 200 DPI at the final output size. For 4-color process production, 300 DPI is optimal. Please do not "res up" an art file (increase the resolution), as this will cause interpolation.
Interpolation is the jagged edges and blurring that result from the computer trying to create data in order to increase the resolution of a file. To increase the resolution of an image, the computer takes adjoining pixels, separates them and places more pixels between. That means that if you have a blue and a pink pixel next to one another, the computer pulls them apart, combines the color and inserts a pixel (or several) between them. In this very simplified explanation, the pixels that are added are shades of purple, because the computer has to guess at what it should insert between the original pink and blue pixels. Since the computer had to guess at what data to "fill the gaps," the edges of objects in the photo become blurry and/or jagged.
Here's what a file looks like when it's been res'd up.
To avoid this problem, your art files must be created from the beginning at the appropriate resolution.
Images on the web are generally 72 DPI - much lower resolution than the 200 DPI minimum required for print production. They're also usually only a couple of inches wide, whereas a typical t-shirt requires an 11" wide imprint. That makes images you find online generally a bad choice for printing on tees.
If you need help figuring out how to make your art file print-ready, please contact our customer service department. We have years of experience working with art files, and we'll be happy to work with you to provide the information you need to make your project a success.
If you are not certain whether your art files are the right resolution, e-mail the file(s) to us and we'll take a look for you.
Vector vs. Raster Files
Raster graphics are art files that are created using rows of pixels. This type of art file can't be enlarged without compromising the quality of the image (for more details, see our section on file resolution). Raster files are generally photographs and illustrations.
Vector art is created with shapes instead of pixels. This type of art can be reduced or enlarged to any size without losing image quality. Vector art files are generally for logos, lettering and cartoon-type images.
The typeface you select has a dramatic impact on your design. Each font has its own unique characteristics and can contribute to the overall look and feel you're trying to achieve. To help you find the perfect font for your design, we have included over 200 fonts for you to use in our online designer. Want to browse the fonts to see what's available? No problem. You can view a sample of the fonts in each category before you begin designing.
If you have a special font you would like us to use and you don't see it on our site, just e-mail it to us and we'll use it to make your art proof before we begin production.
Add Distressing to a Design
If you would like us to apply a distressed look to your design, just make a note in the comments box when you place your order. We will add the distressing to the design, and you will see what it looks like when you approve your art proof.
This is a piece of art that is created by using black ink on a white background. The black ink creates the shadow areas, and the image relies on the white of the shirt or substrate to create the appearance of highlight.
This is how the image looks when printed using light-colored ink on a dark background. The image looks inverted because now the ink is light (highlight color) and the substrate is dark (shadow color)
We can remedy the situation by redrawing the image. This image has been modified so that the gold ink outlines the original graphic. The gold imprint area is also manually inverted and manipulated so that it prints on the areas your eye expects to see as a highlight. This service is available for a small fee. Contact our customer service department for details.
Please keep in mind that the screens we create to print this image on a dark garment cannot be used to print the image on a white garment, as in the black and white image above. Separate screens will be created to be used on light garments and on dark garments (should you wish to print both lights and darks) to avoid the inverted look on either garment color.
Colors On Your Computer Screen
Remember that each computer monitor is calibrated differently, so colors look different from one monitor to the next. Additionally, computer screens use RGB colors to create the images you see, but in real life, you are looking at light reflected off of the object. That means that colors on your monitor will rarely look the same as they do in real life.
Your computer monitor will give you a general idea of the item and decoration colors. If you need an exact color match, please contact our customer service department for details.