September 24, 2020

Understanding the importance of DPI

Getting your artwork formatted correctly is critical to delivering your customers the quality products they expect. Formatting includes making sure the resolution of your image is properly sized to be correctly processed and printed. The pixel dimensions of a digital file will determine the clarity and resolution of the image you can print from the file.

Pixel dimensions:
This refers to the total number of pixels (dots) that an image is made up of. For apparel products, we recommend using 3600×4800.

Digital Image Size:
This refers to the size in inches of your digital image. For apparel products, we recommend using 12”x16.”

DPI (Dots per Inch):
This number is calculated by using the image’s pixel dimensions and the digital image size. In Photoshop this number is displayed as “resolution.” We recommend using 300 DPI.

Example: If we have a digital image that is 1800×2400 and 12”x16” we will have a DPI of 150 which is too low to be printed on apparel.

(1800px wide)/(12” wide) = 150 DPI

We need to use our photo editing tool to increase the pixel dimensions to 3600x4800px to result in 300DPI.

The same digital file can produce prints that have many DPIs because when you use the same file to print a smaller product (such as a t-shirt) and a larger product (such as a poster), the print areas are very different and you are using the same number of dots to fill different sized spaces. This will make the print appear pixelated. Follow our guide to ensure you have the correct dimensions for each of the product types.

Below are two images that show how DPI can make a huge difference when you are printing. The top image represents appropriate DPI while the bottom image represents DPI that is too low.

The process of printing Direct to Garment (DTG)

Direct to Garment Printing (DTG) is a process of printing on textiles using specialized inkjet technology. DTG printers hold the garment in a fixed position and use specialty inks that are applied to the fabric directly by the print head and are absorbed by the garment’s fibers. These features prevent the distortion seen with some other textile printing techniques.

DTG printing injects the color into the fiber, unlike other printing techniques that apply ink or vinyl on top of the material. Injecting the ink results in its bonding with the fabric and producing a print that is vibrant with a soft-to-the-touch feel that is more fade resistant than other print techniques.

DTG printing works with the artwork as a whole. There is no need for color separations and layers as with screen printing. As a result, one can reproduce the full-color spectrum with no limitation on the number of tones and can achieve excellent clarity on detailed artwork.

DTG printing allows for customization and color profiling to achieve better color representation and matching. We can calibrate and profile for printing on different substrates and colors.

Inks used for DTG printing are water-based, eco friendly, and safe.

Because DTG printing is a new technology, there is constant innovation for improvement, and GearLaunch’s printers are always at the forefront of this innovation.

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