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How do I set up artwork for my screen printed T-shirts?

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2013 01:10PM EDT
Unless you're printing Full color, Direct-to-Garment t-shirts that you've gotten custom quoted, the t-shirts you order from BandsonaBudget.com are going to be screen printed.  We use quality plastisol inks that will make your design look professional and last a really really long time.  

Screen printing requires art to be set up in a specific way.  Each color in your design requires its own screen, so your art needs to be prepped accordingly.  Think of each screen as a stencil, where solid ink gets spread over it to print what we call a "spot color".  This is the reason that we can't print different shades of colors, and why each color requires its own screen.  We can however, use a process called halftones which is a series of dots that are printed in one solid ink color, but gives the effect of shading.  

In order to print spot colors, we'll need to have a color separated art file to print from.  If your'e not super comfortable with photoshop or Illustrator, or need help color separating your art file, the BandsonaBudget.com Art Department will always do their best to prep your file for printing.  If you ARE comfortable with design programs that allow you to create a file with layers, it is ideal to send your file over already color-separated. 

This is what a color separated file in Photoshop looks like (note the layers on the right side)




Again, if you're having problems color separating your artwork, our Art Department will do our best to do the separations for you.  

The overall size of the image should be 300dpi (dots or pixels per inch) at the size you want the image to be printed on the shirt.  We can print up to 13" wide or 16" tall, whichever is greater.  If you set your art up in Photoshop, please submit the art as a .PSD and please be sure that you don't flattened the layers if you've color-separated the image.  Other formats that are accepted are .pdf, .ai, .eps, .jpeg or .png.  The important thing is that the resolution and sizing are correct, and that it's a format we're able to open. 

As far as the ink color, we match colors in your design to the closest Coated 3-Digit Pantone color (for example, 625C).  If you have a very specific color you'd like used for the ink, you can send us a swatch or the pantone number.  Please remember that all monitors display color differently, so the proof may not give you a completely accurate gauge of the color.  We do our very best to match the ink colors to your original artwork as closely as possible.

Here's how you can pick a pantone color if using the program Photoshop:

Double click on the color swatch (bottom of tools window) to open the Color Picker window.   To select a pantone color, click "Color Libraries". 



From the PANTONE solid coated library, select whichever 3 digit pantone you'd like to use for the ink color.  You can name the layer the pantone number, or just submit it to the Bands on a Budget Support Team when placing your order.

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