Vector vs. Raster
One of the first places to start is with the type of art either being created or submitted. There's two types of files commonly used for screen printing and both will work but to achieve the best results we recommend vector based artwork.
What is vector artwork?
Vector art is created using vector illustration software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. These programs use mathematic equations and geometric primitives (points, lines, and shapes) to create art that is clean, camera ready, and can be scaled infinitely, without any loss of quality or fidelity.
The graphic below displays the difference between the two types of artwork when they are scaled to a different size than what they were created.
GUIDELINES FOR BEST RESULTs
Making sure that our customers are happy with their orders is important to us, that's why we take great pride in our process. We believe that to have great results, you have make sure that each step is just as important as the the next. Our process involves custom creation of art for specific events, organizations or even personal projects. We also accept customer submitted art and try to help our customers understand the requirements for the most successful representation of that art in the final result.
Below are our general steps and guidelines for best results. Take a quick look through how we do what we do.
You’ll notice how, in the Raster art file, the edges of the art become distorted when the picture is enlarged. You’ll also notice how there are hundreds of shades of white in the Raster file, but only one shade of white in the Vector file.
Raster Graphics, such as photographs, and graphics files created in Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and other Raster editing programs, can be used for some screenprinting applications, such as printing one-color pen and ink drawings. But in most cases, especially with art such as logos, we will need Vector art to achieve the proper print.
is my art vector?
How can you tell if your art is Vector Art? One way is by the file type. Vector art is usually created in Adobe Illustrator, and is commonly saved with certain file extensions. The four most common Vector file extensions are .ai, .pdf, .eps and .svg.
However, just because a file is saved in one of these formats, does not mean that it is truly vector art. Sometimes, people open raster files in Adobe Illustrator, and re-save the file in a vector format, without recreating the art using the vector editing tools. Only art originally created in a vector editing program, such as Adobe Illustrator, is truly vector art.
So, how do you really know if your art file is a vector art file? The only way to know for sure is to open the file, and check to make sure that it was created as vector art. If you have a vector editing program, open your art file, and use the selection tool on an area within the art. You might see something like this:
See the nodes surrounding the letterform? Those are vector editing nodes. If you see those, congratulations! You have vector art.
Easy enough, if you have the proper software. But most people do not own a copy of a vector editing program. In which case, you will need to find someone who does, and get them to check the file for you. We provide this service, free of charge. Use our contact page to get in touch with us if you need help.
bucket colors vs. pantone colors
We deal with a ton of colors and we want your design to have the exact color you want so we try to be as specific as possible to eliminate any confusion. We have designated over 30 'bucket colors' that we can use at any given time to print your design. If your design requires a custom color, we can do that too, for a small fee. We use the Pantone Color Matching System, 'coated' book and can mix to your exact Pantone for $20 per color.
Download our bucket color list here.
shirt type & print style
What's an underbase?
WHat kind of shirts do you have?
We offer an extensive range of shirt styles and cuts. Running from a standard Gildan athletic fit to Alternative Apparel light weight fashion fit we can find the garment your looking for and get it in our hands. Our in house and preferred brand of garment is Bella Canvas. They offer a wide range of colors, styles and feels with both men and women's cuts available.
how do I get vintage look and feel?
Our printers are skilled in the best ways to achieve the desired look and feel for your design. We primarily use plastisol ink and try to minimize the plastic feel when we can. When sending your design to production, we select the appropriate screen mesh and ink viscosity to create the right color intensity, value, softness and overall feel of your art to assure the comfort in the wear.
Often when a design needs bright colors, a white underbase is needed. This means that to obtain a bright yellow color on a black T-shirt, the yellow layer needs to have the same design in white printed first for the yellow to go over in order for the color to appear bright and true to the color intensity.
If there’s more than one color to the design, then it’s done in layers. You can see in this graphic to the right that this design is made of four ink colors; white, bright blue, bright yellow and magenta.
First, we would put down white as an underbase to make the colors stand out against the black shirt. Once the white ink is dried, we apply the bright blue ink directly on top. With the bright blue ink dry, we can apply the beautiful bright yellow ink and repeat this process with the magenta as the final layer.
We believe that education is part of our process and if you have questions about whether your design should have an underbase or not please contact us and we'll give you the best option for what you need.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org