At ooShirts, we review and process hundreds of pieces of artwork a day to ensure that all of our customers’ prints come out perfectly. If artwork doesn’t fit our specifications, the order is put on hold and the customer is notified immediately.
That being said, creating custom artwork yourself can be a pretty confusing experience, especially if it’s your first time using Photoshop or Illustrator. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1) Work with high quality artwork
Preserve the quality of your art regardless of size. The goal here is to make sure that the artwork has not been stretched or distorted in a way. No one wants to wear a pixelated shirt! Even if an image looks great on a computer screen, that might not be the case when it’s blown up 10 inches wide on a shirt. If you have Adobe Illustrator then be sure to get familiar with the Live Trace feature. Or use an online service such as Vector Magic to help you trace the edges of your artwork. Otherwise, high quality non-vector images should be at least 150dpi.
2) Reduce, reduce, reduce
For screen printed designs, reducing the total number of colors in the artwork can help keep your prices low. If the artwork is very complex or has a large amount of colors, you may want to consider a digital print for better results. (Read more about digital printing and screen printing.)
Remember to also identify the custom ink colors you’re using so that our printers can match it. Check with the color swatch you have in your illustration software for the Pantone Matching System color number.
3) Outline and expand
Forgetting to outline or expand elements in artwork is one of the most common mistakes we see here. Not all computers may have that specialty font that you picked out, so place outlines around your text so that all that design effort doesn’t go to waste! In addition to outlining all objects in your vector artwork, expand all strokes and borders so that everything remains proportional.
Hopefully these tips will streamline your artwork creation process. For simpler designs that require a little less customization, check out our Design App, which features thousands of pieces of clipart and hundreds of fonts to choose from!