PLAN OUT YOUR DESIGN
Think about what you want your design to say and what message you are trying to get across. It’s a good idea to begin creating your artwork with your target audience in mind. Don’t be afraid to collaborate with others as this may spark some pretty awesome ideas.
If you do not have experience in creating designs, it is a good idea to work with someone who does. Creating artwork for screen printing is a little different than designing for media print (business cards, flyers, posters, etc).
WHAT ARE YOU PRINTING ON
First thing’s first …. What do you envision your design printed on? This is a good starting point as this will give you the dimensions you need for the artwork size. If you are designing for a hoodie for example, you need to take into consideration there is a pocket on the front – so that large design you just created for a t-shirt may not fit on the hoodie.
Ok, now that we have determined what we are printing on, let’s set up our page in our graphics software. Programs you will need to create your artwork include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. These are industry standard graphic programs and you will need to create your design utilizing one of these.
Begin by creating a blank page in 300 DPI and scaled to size. What does that mean? 300 dpi is the hi-resolution needed to print your artwork. Scaled to size means, create the design in actual size. So for example, if you want your logo to be 12”x9”, your page settings should be DPI of 300 and page size of 12”x9”. Pretty simply huh!
Ok, well hopefully at this point you’ve taken our advice and are collaborating with others on your design and have a good idea of the general concept. Things to consider when designing include:
– Keep it simple. Don’t include elements in your design which are confusing to people and take away from your message.
– Don’t use copyrighted images or someone else’s artwork. That’s just bad mojo!
– Use colors sparingly. The more colors in your design, the more it will cost to print. So if you have a design with 10 colors and are ordering them in small quantities, be prepared to pay a fortune for them. You don’t need a lot of colors in your design to make it look amazing. Colors don’t make the design, your creativity does.
– After you have created your logo, convert all text to shapes or outlines. The reason – when you send that file off to the screen printer, they may not have the exact fonts on their computer as you do. When you convert your fonts to shapes/outlines, this eliminates the issue and makes things a lot easier.
OTHER DESIGN TIPS
Resizing and using images from the internet
You can’t just find an image on the internet, copy/paste in onto your workspace and resize that image to what you need in your logo. It becomes pixilated. What does that mean? In simpler terms, the image becomes distorted and blurry when the screen printer goes to print it.
To avoid this, you should be using images already scaled to size in hi-resolution or you may have to vectorize the graphics in order to use them in your design. If you aren’t familiar with vectorizing images or working with illustrator, you should consult with someone who does.
Rule of thumb …. GREAT ARTWORK EQUALS GREAT PRINT QUALITY. Poor artwork .. well, you get the picture!
So with all this information in mind, stop staring at the blank screen and get creative!