Artwork Guidelines for DTG Printing
Direct to Garment Printing (DTG) is a highly versatile form of printing. Digital printing gives us the ability to print almost anything. Anything including photographs from your phone, your child's stick portrait of you, a recipe written 75 years ago by great, great Grandmother, a business logo or other corporate event graphic or any other thing you might imagine. With so much versatility comes the challenge of making sure your image looks great once it's reproduced on a garment.
Remember garbage in = garbage out.
Yes, we can print almost anything, BUT... we want to make sure you are proud of the end product. To do that we need to start with a high-resolution image or a vector image. I know its confusing for anyone not intimately familiar with pixels, vector, raster lossless and lossy formats, so here are a few pointers. Or, pick up the phone and we can help!
Vector - Preferred format. If you created the art yourself or worked with a designer to create it for you, please send us the original file with text converted to outlines. Typically .ai, .eps, .pdf (with layers). A transparent .png at desired print size will work as well, but we won't have the ability to tweak if the image if needed.
- Hi-Res Raster File. If the art was created in Photoshop or similar program, then ideally the image will be 150 dpi or greater at the desired image size to be printed on the shirt. We can print 72 dpi and do it every day, but the art needs to be large in actual size (like wallpaper). If you have questions, just sent us the file and we'll help.
- Transparent PNG. If submitting a transparent png, please make sure the image is saved at the size it will be printed on the shirt or larger. If you're unsure, then save it to 13" wide. Please make sure to save as transparent. We cannot print from JPG unless printing on a white shirt.
- Other. We know all of this is confusing for anyone other than designers or printers, so if you have any questions or doubts, just give us a call and we'll help!
A Few Pointers
Company Logos. If you're with a corporation or small business, its very likely someone has a vector image of your logo. We need that. Please don't send us the 1-inch x 1-inch logo from your companies website. We can print it, but you won't like it. Ask your art department or designer for either a Vector image or a hi-res logo (150 dpi or higher).
How to Make sure your Image or Photograph will Look Great when Printed?
Try viewing your artwork on screen at 200% or greater magnification. Remember Garbage In = Garbage out!
What is a Transparent Background and why is it important?
Some image formats, like jpg, automatically save the background as white even if it was transparent in the editing software. That white background will print on your shirt, so to avoid this, be sure to send us the original file or a transparent .png. The gray and white checkerboard as shown below indicate a transparent background.
Converting Text to Outlines or Rasterized Type
To make sure there are no issues with missing fonts, you can convert your text in Illustrator to Outlines.
- In Illustrator: Select your text and choose: Type > Create Outlines
- In Photoshop: Select your text layer, right click and select “Rasterize Type”
That's it! Again, we're here to help, so please call us if you have any questions about your artwork. 256.427.7065