ARTWORK GUIDE FOR SCREEN PRINTING
The final print quality is almost entirely down to the quality of the artwork you supply us. If you send us a low quality image it’s likely to either reflect in the print, or cost extra for time spent working to get the design up to scratch. This guide outlines everything you need to know about getting your artwork print ready.
a little bit about the screen printing process
Screen printing involves making a screen for each colour in a design. In short, screen printing is a technique where a piece of artwork is split into separate colours and then ‘burned’ onto screens.
A screen is a device whereby mesh fabric is stretched across a frame and secured to it. The screen is coated with a light sensitive emulsion and left to dry. Each separate colour in the artwork is printed out onto a transparent medium with special highly opaque black ink. These are called ‘film positives’. Once the film positives are printed out, they are lined up onto the screens in a darkroom and then exposed to UV light to ‘burn’ the design into the screen. This process is called ‘imaging’. The UV light basically hardens all the emulsion in the screen everywhere except for where the light is being blocked by the design.
Once the screen is burned, the design is washed out of the screen mesh with a pressure washer. This leaves the mesh open and allows ink to pass through the screen leaving only the desired design, effectively leaving you with a stencil. Sounds fairly simple, right? It’s actually a little bit more complex, but you get the general idea. Now that you have some idea of how the process works, there’s a few things you should think about when designing your artwork to give us the best possible chance at getting top notch film positives of your design.
This is where it all begins! Great artwork = great prints! If the source file is distorted or blurry, so will the final print.
Please send us print ready artwork. If you need additional artwork preparation, we offer 30 minutes of artwork help. This is generally enough time to add text, move objects around, and to do minor changes. If you need further artwork assistance, we offer design services at an hourly rate.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SUBMITTING A DESIGN:
1. How many colors are in the design?
The lower number of colours in your design, the cheaper price will be. If you are unsure of the amount of colours, go ahead and email us the design. Please look over our Standard studio Inks for colour choices. We can also mix custom colours for an additional charge.
2. What are the dimensions?
If you have a specific dimension, please let us know. Otherwise, we will use our best judgement. Our maximum print size is 15W X 18H inches.
tip: Take a ruler to some t-shirts you have already, and measure the prints to get an idea
3. Print placement?
Please let us know if this is to be printed on the front, back, pocket area, upper back, right sleeve, or left sleeve.
4. File Type
Please email the file to: email@example.com
Preferred files: Adobe Photoshop files, Illustrator files, EPS, PDF, TIFF, or high resolution JPEG files. For those of you who are design savvy, please set your artwork to the final print size (300 DPI) and outline/rasterize all fonts and shapes.
Low resolution images will not be printable (although you may send low resolution images to give us a general idea of the design for quoting). Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files do not transfer well and are not recommended
The left image is a raster or pixel-based image and the image on the right is a vector image. As you can see, vector images have much more crisp and defined lines, which makes for a much better print than images supplied in raster formats. We always prefer to work with vector files whenever possible.
When opening a new file in Adobe Illustrator, make sure you set your colour mode to CMYK and raster effects to 300 ppi (pixels per inch). You should always make sure your artwork is provided at the correct size, so make sure your artboard is big enough to fit it on there!
When opening a new file in Adobe Photoshop, make sure you set your colour mode to CMYK and raster effects to 300 ppi (pixels per inch). You should always make sure your artwork is provided at the correct size, so make sure your workspace is big enough to fit it on there!