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Preparing Your Files for Print

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As a new clothing company, one of the first things that you should know is designing for print (the 4-color process) and making designs for t-shirts. These are entirely two different worlds. Always make sure that you or your designer make it as easy as possible for the printer to print out your shirt without having to compromise on design. This will make it easier for you in the long run and will give you a better product for your customers since you did not have to make last minute changes during the process.

Make sure that you convert all of your texts to outlines, create your artwork to size, use Pantone colors, , use vector artwork whenever possible and expand all the stroked lines to at least 0.5 points.

What you need to know before talking to your printer.

● Where is the final print is going.

● How many colors are going to be used.

● What are the Pantone color codes for all the colors used.

● What type of printing method you are using.

● Are you going to use specialty inks?

● The total number of units you are printing.

● The type of ink that you are going to use.

Where the final print is going.

The easiest way to indicate where the print will be is by creating a line sheet. This will show if there are multiple print locations and if the designs will go over seams (waist, neck,etc.).

How many colors are going to be used.

The line sheet you create should also clearly indicate the total number of colors that are going to be used. You can do this by creating a shape and filling it with that color. Having a visual indicator will be very helpful.When you are using multiple colors and halftones, check to make sure that your printer can print halftones and ask how he will prepare for them depending on the printing method being used.

Have the Pantone color codes for all the colors used.

Where do you find the pantone color codes you may ask? Your designer should be using a Pantone swatch book. If you don’t have a swatch book, then buy one. Most design softwares such as the Adobe Photoshop come with a Pantone library built in. You can use the color picker tool in the software to sample a color from your design. Once you have picked the color sample, double click on the foreground your tools pallet. The color you identify will be the one that you tell your printer to use. If the process of finding the color codes is confusing to you, find a more in depth tutorial online. Very many tutorials are free.
The printing method used.

The standard type of printing t shirts is screen printing. It is most often used with water based ink or plastisol ink. Simply put, water based ink soaks into the shirt giving it a very soft hand while plastisol has a thicker feel on the t shirt.
Are you going to use specialty inks.

Traditionally, most designs were printed using plastisol inks, some with a chino additive and a few with discharge or water based inks. Nowadays, designers can now use up to 8 different colors, specify suede, puff, highdensity e.t.c

Author is an expert article writer who has written many articles related to Designs for t-shirts. Currently, he is writing content on T-shirt Printing Singapore.

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Jeff Belden, MD and lead author on the EHR Design Guide, reveals a Move More tshirt under his dress shirt!

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