Preparing Your Artwork
Here’s where you’ll find practically everything you need to know to prepare your files for submission to QRST’s.
If you don’t find your question answered here, give us a call: 617-625-3335.
The Basics: how to send your art files
- Submit all files at the actual size you wish them to be printed.
- Make sure the artwork is on a transparent background.
- Image resolution should be at least 300 DPI.
- Ideally we would like vector files (AI, EPS, PDF) but we do accept bitmap (photo) files (PSD, JPEG, PNG,TIFF).
- Please keep in mind that images you find online are most likely low resolution and do not print well.
If you are unsure about how to create your artwork, please feel free to use our online designer. If you’d like more detailed instructions on preparing and sending your files, keep reading the guidelines below.
Please submit all files at the size you wish them to be printed. If you are unsure of what size and placement will be best, our customer service rep will be glad to help out.
Generally, screenprinted images on the full front or back of a shirt print are between 10 and 12 inches wide by any height up to 14 inches. Left chest prints are approximately 3.75″ wide. We can print as large as 14 x 15 inches.
For digital printing on the Brother GT-541, standard size is up to 8.5 x 11 inches but we can print oversize up to 13.5 x 17.5 inches. For best results, make sure your files are the actual size you would like them printed and in RGB format (and a minimum of 150 DPI).
For digital printing on the Kornit Breeze, standard size is 8.5 x 11 inches but we can print oversize up to 13.5 x 17.5 inches. For best results, make sure your files are the actual size you would like them printed and in CMYK format (and a minimum of 300 DPI with a transparent background).Left chest prints are generally 2.5 to 4 inches wide. Sleeve prints are usually 2 to 3 inches wide. Sizing is a matter of taste so these are not to be taken as strict guidelines. Give us a call if you’re thinking of something bigger.
Embroidered artwork is generally at or under 4 x 4 inches. We can embroider up to 4 x 11 inches.
Left chest prints are generally 2 1/2 to (and never more than) 4 inches wide, and sleeve prints are usually 2 to 3 inches wide. Sizing is a matter of taste so these are not to be taken as strict guidelines. Give us a call if you’re thinking of something bigger.
Illustrator EPS, PDF, etc.
Here are a few guidelines for the best results:
- Do not apply any trapping to the image.
- If appropriate, submit files with all colors converted to spot, and all unused colors deleted from the document.
- Unless there is a large body of text in the file, please convert all type to outlines. As most t-shirt designs are not text intensive, this will prevent confusion and save you the time of loading fonts onto the disk.
- Use PMS numbers for color names. Even though the generic “red” that the software gives you might look perfect on your monitor, all monitors display differently, so use a standard way to designate colors, like the Pantone Matching System. Refer to the uncoated colors if possible. (There are no “coated” shirts!) Be sure to check the PMS book for color accuracy as the on-screen versions are often misleading.
Note: These instructions relate to screen printing only. Digital print files are simply digital print files. Submit them to size and we’re all set.
Bitmap (Photo) Files
Photoshop, PNG, TIFF, etc.
Submit all full color, photographic files in RGB format. We can guarantee the best color fidelity if the file is in these “unadulterated” formats. If you are having an image scanned just for your t-shirt design, request RGB from your service bureau or scanner operator. Many high-end scanning units will scan images in CMYK. This is great for offset, but not so hot for screen printing. Some places will simply convert the file from the original CMYK format to RGB. This is acceptable but not the best way to do things. The key issue here is that when an image is in CMYK mode its palette of colors has been reduced for the offset printing process. If the image is to be spot color separated, we can often reproduce a wider range of colors than offset printing. Giving us the image in CMYK will limit the possibilities. Also, when a CMYK image is displayed on your monitor, the appearance of the image is controlled by a number of preferences you have set up for dot gain and printing inks. In RGB these factors will be ignored.
Photographic color and grayscale files should be to actual size, at least 150 ppi. The optimal dpi is 300.
IMPORTANT: For embroidery, we recommend 300 dpi minimum. Please make sure the file represents the actual size to be embroidered.
What if your files are detailed and your resolution is below 150? You’re likely to be disappointed with the result. There are a number of techniques we can employ to compensate for a lower resolution original, so please do not try to raise the resolution by plugging in higher numbers. It’s best to contact us early in the process for help resolving this issue. (Note: if there is type in your image, it should be set in a draw or layout program. Small, anti-aliased type looks too soft when printed on a t-shirt, even if it is 150 ppi at printing size.)
Sending Artwork Files
Sending your artwork via email is easy and convenient. QRST’s can also accept different types of media, including USB flash drives and CDs/DVDs. We recommend Dropbox.com for extremely large files.
If possible please compress all files to a .zip when sending through e-mail to protect the data. All files that travel over the internet are converted to text somewhere along the line. Zip compression protects your files from data corruption and makes them more easily accessible.
We can receive up to 8 megabytes of files per email. If your images are larger than 8 mb, please send your files in separate emails with your name in each of them.
Send us your files @ firstname.lastname@example.org
or send them via Dropbox.com
Please call or email us for our username & password.