One of the most common problems with supplied images is poor quality files. So we decided to whack together an artwork guide for folks to follow / reference when designing for screen print. We'll touch on raster files first (guide based on Adobe Photoshop) & follow with a guide on vector files (guide base on Adobe Illustrator). 

Regardless of which program you use, your basic settings should be as follows:

Resolution: 300dpi

Format: RGB

 Size: (A3) 34cm x 42cm  (300dpi)
(Oversize) 40cm x 53cm (300dpi)

Photoshop:

Make sure you set up your canvas to the following specifications before starting your design:

Settings for an A3 print

Settings for an A3 print

Settings for an Oversize print

Settings for an Oversize print



If your design is not sized correctly before you start, you may have to redraw it or pay for it to be redrawn. If you're unsure what size your print will be before starting it's best to go larger rather than too small as we can scale down without losing image quality.

Correctly sized artwork should have sharp edges when viewed at 100% zoom (left). If the artwork is low resolution (right) this will be shown in the final print. Remember your image must be 300dpi & at print size when checking this:

Correct resolution

Correct resolution

Low resolution

Low resolution

 

This doesn't apply as much to hand drawn images as computer generated graphics, a "rough around the edges" hand drawn image will often add to the effect. One thing worth mentioning with hand drawn graphics is often they need tidying up due to smudges / rogue dots left on the paper when scanned. If you have Photoshop then make sure to give your scan a touch up before sending over as we may have to charge to clean up rough scans. Here's an example of the original scan (left) & after touching up (right): 

Original scan

Original scan

Cleaned up scan

Cleaned up scan

 

When scanning a hand drawn image, make sure you use an actual scanner rather than a camera for best results. Having said that, if you have a tripod & decent camera this may be OK. Make sure you scan the image at the highest resolution to be safe, tidy it up (as above) & save as a jpg. If you don't have a scanner then you can often use one for a small fee in a local print / copy shop or library (among other places). 

When your design is done,  save the artwork as a .jpeg with quality set to maximum (12). Make sure you save your original .psd file also in case you need to make changes later. 
 

Illustrator:

When starting your design your settings should look like the following based on an A3 print size:

Settings for an A3 print

Settings for an A3 print

Settings for an Oversize print

Settings for an Oversize print

 

When your design is finished, you should size it to the exact size you want the design printed & crop the artboard close to the edges of the artwork like the following example:

Cropped Illustrator file

Cropped Illustrator file

 

Make sure all fonts are converted to outlines by right clicking on fonts & selecting "Create Outlines". This will prevent fonts being substituted for the wrong font if we don't have it in our library. Example below:

Create outlines

Create outlines

 

Then save your file in ai format (default).


A word about colours:

The industry standard colours used in screen printing are "Pantone" colours. Pantone is a guide (typically a book) which has a large number of colours we reference when mixing ink. If not supplied with Pantone colours our art department will pick the closest Pantone colour to match the colour they see on their monitor. Due to the variation in the way different monitors display colours we recommend that customers obtain a Pantone book to check colours against. What you'd need to check colours is a "Pantone Solid Coated Guide" 

 

That pretty much covers everything, if you have any further questions please give us a call!

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