We can accept artwork in a wide variety for formats. We recommend the following…
Bitmap formats: high-quality .pdf, .psd, .jpg, .gif, .tif, .bmp; please create your imagery at a minimum of 300dpi (ideally 600dpi) at the actual print size required. If sending a .psd file, please ensure that any text is rasterized; we can remove backgrounds if necessary, but if you can send the image against a transparent background, all the better! For .pdf and .psd files, please ensure that Photoshop CS4 compatibility is enabled.
Vector formats: .ai, .eps, .png; please ensure that all text and other symbolic components are converted to outlines. Please ensure that Photoshop CS4 compatibility is enabled.
Hard-copy: we can scan from hard-copy if necessary, but in this instance we recommend that you send a copy rather than the original artwork.
We strongly discourage any of the following:
Word document (.doc / .docx); not appropriate as an artwork source, due to reliance on local fonts (amongst other issues).
Publisher document (.pub/ .pubx); as above.
Mac-only proprietary files; we process artwork exclusively in Windows versions of Photoshop and Illustrator; if you work in Mac OS, please save your files with cross-platform compatibility.
A word on .jpg files: although it’s ubiquitous, the .jpg format is intrinsically lossy; every time you copy and paste, or even open and re-save, using .jpg, image degradation occurs. We therefore caution against its use in image development; it’s fine for deploying a finished image on a website, but as a medium for artwork creation it’s too volatile. If you can’t work in a vector format, we recommend Photoshop .psd as a stable image-development format. (For flat file manipulation. .tiff is excellent, but – being lossless – the file size tends to be prohibitively huge.) If you do have to use .jpg, please ensure that all files are saved at the highest quality (12).
A word on image resolution: we process artwork for output at a minimum of 300dpi (dots per inch) at the actual print size. We therefore request that you create your artwork at that resolution or higher (or, if appropriate, create vector artwork). Please also bear in mind that we colour-separate and sharpen all images to solid spot colours; any anti-aliasing (blurring of edges, particularly text, to make them look smoother on computer screens) present will be eliminated, and this can lead to unpleasant effects in low-resolution artwork. It’s therefore sensible, if at all possible, for you to create your artwork with no anti-aliasing present; we recommend working at 600dpi, as the resulting cleaner curves will make the absence of anti-aliasing on the screen less distracting.
A word on gradients/shades: the screenprint process approximates colour gradients by use of halftones; gradiented imagery is converted into patterns of tiny dots which, while comprised of solid-colour ink, give the impression (from a distance) of a colour gradient. On white shirts, we can print most full-colour imagery using a simulated process (CMYK) separation; for other colour-gradiented jobs we use custom spot-colour halftone separations. It may therefore not be obvious how many print colours will be required to print any particular job; if in doubt, please send us your artwork (at the highest resolution you have it) and we’ll do a test separation.