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Optimal Design File Preparation

July 28, 2020

Designs often look great as digital images, however once printed on the product the image can look much different. Preparing the art file for the specific medium you are printing on is essential to providing your customers the quality product they expect. When creating a design keep in mind your garment colors, gradients, and color choices.

Remove garment colors from your design: When the main colors of your design resemble the color of the medium it sits on, your design immediately becomes difficult to view. For example: If you are printing on a black garment always make sure to remove any black portions of your design (leaving those areas transparent). This allows the garment to replace the black area giving you a higher quality print as printing the garment color on the garment creates unattractive color variations. Use contrasting colors to make your product really “pop” to potential buyers.

Gradients: Gradients never print well and should always be avoided. In place of a gradient we suggest utilizing half tones to achieve the same color fade effect while ensuring proper print quality. When using halftones (which creates a gradient effect), it’s best to keep the style consistent and avoid mixing a continuous tone gradient in the design.

Color choices: Designs with a basic color palette can have a tremendous impact on the success of your designs. Our research shows that 47% of the merchandise from our top 100 campaigns featured two colors or less. Printers utilize CMYK color spectrums to print your design. Using colors outside of these spectrums leads to color changes, substitutions and variations that can adversely effect the look of your design. Make sure you are using CMYK when designing and save your file as sRGB to make sure the color you choose is the color that prints.