Accepted Artwork Formats
Prior to color separating artwork in Photoshop for t-shirt screen printing, its important to make sure the artwork is setup correctly and is of acceptable quality.
We can accept art in many formats including PSD, PDF, AI, TIF, EPS, JPG, BMP and CDR although we prefer a Layered Photoshop image if possible. When saving your Photoshop image, do not “Flatten” it as this adds a permanent solid background to the art which can be difficult to remove. See example below on Photoshop artwork saved as Layers with a transparent background.
If using fonts within Photoshop Layers, remember to Rasterize the Layer(s) containing text set within Photoshop to avoid potential issues.
Its also important that your image be of sufficient resolution. Small 72 dpi jpegs taken from websites for example are not acceptable. The final image should be 175 – 300 dpi at the actual print size. 300 dpi is the ideal file resolution although not absolutely required.
If sending images created within illustration programs such as Illustrator or CorelDraw, make sure to convert all fonts to curves – paths so there’s no issue when opening them here.
If assembling your final art using CorelDraw or Illustrator, its always best to send the file saved as a PDF. This makes the process easier for both you and us!
Example Of Optimal Photoshop Image Format
The top two images have “NOT” been “Flattened”, therefore the artwork is “floating” on transparency. The gray and white checkerboard pattern indicate no color or fill of any kind around the art. This makes generating an underbase very easy. The art to the left contains elements on different Layers. The one to the right has its Layers “merged” by selecting “merge visible” in the Layers Panel. If possible, send your PSD image with all its Layers. Doing so helps us to isolate difficult elements of the artwork if needed.
The bottom image has been Flattened and the art itself is basically glued to a white (or possibly another color) background color. In this scenario, if the art is complex and contains areas that fade into the shirt, soft edges, smoke, flames, etc, removing the background color can be very difficult. In some cases, its almost impossible without spending a tremendous of time with it.
The removal of complex artwork from flattened images or other type of difficult background can be a daunting task and is not included within the basic separation price. Yes, if the removal is easy, we’ll gladly lift the art from a background at no cost. Although if complex and difficult, we’ll contact you with a quote.
If In Doubt, Don’t Get Too Uptight About It!
If unsure about your artwork and really need that separation done, just send us what you have. If there’s a problem, we’ll get back to you and offer a suggestion or two.