How We Get Your Design on Apparel and Substrates?
Depending on the design and what substrate (apparel, license plate, mugs, etc,) the design it is being placed on will dictate the method we would use. Below will explain the different application methods to help give you an idea of how we get the design on the substrate.
Heat Transferable Vinyl (HTV)
Heat transferable vinyl allows the design to be cut from vinyl and heat-pressed onto the apparel (garment) to transfer the colors to it. Vinyl is very versatile and is able to produce personalized prints quickly and easily. HTV is ideal for logos, text, small details. HTV is a great alternative to screenprinting and embroidery. VHTV can be placed on just about any apparel style (cotton, poly, and poly blends). The best part of HTV is the setup and production time are significantly less than screen printing. This allows us to produce custom products as low as 1 (one) piece. With screenprinting, there is usually a minimum quantity requirement due to the design and screen setups.
Sublimation is the process of applying a permanent design or decoration to apparel and substrates (plastic, mugs, license plates, etc.) by using special inks, heat, and pressure. The inks are fused into the item instead of sitting on top, typically found in regular inkjet printing or screenprinting. For apparel, the only downfall is sublimation is restricted to light-coloured polyester (white). For other substrates, sublimation has very few restrictions. Sublimation is typically more durable than regular printing as the ink is fused into the surface, making it more scratch and wear-resistant.
Acceptable File Types
The most common files types are vector (.AI, .EPS, and .SVG). Your artwork must be created in a vector editing software (Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw as an example) and saved in one of the above formats. This is specifically important if you are looking for custom apparel using out HTV processes.
We can use other formats such as .PSD, .PDF, and .PNG, but note they might be required to convert them to one of the preferred file formats (.AI or .EPS). This will depend on the process you require. If its HTV or custom apparel, we will require vector format. If we are using sublimation and printing on license plates, mugs, metal, plastic, etc. then a high resolution .PSD, .PDF, or .PNG could work.
If you don't have one of these formats listed above, get in touch with us before you get started with you order. Print ready files will ensure you get the best print results.
How do I know if my files are Print Ready?
We get this a lot so here are some things to keep in mind. Print ready files are one of two things:
- Vector File Format (.Ai or .EPS)
- High Resolution Files (.PSD, .PDF, or .PNG)
Vector files allow a high level of flexibility. These files are build using mathematical formulas rather than colored blocks (pixels). This is why we prefer to have all files in vector format (.AI or .EPS) as they are ideal for creating graphics that have "clean" edges which makes them perfect for t-shirts and other substrates. This also allows us to scaling and resizing vector images without losing or damaging the integrity of the design (blurriness, lack of vibrancy, etc.)
If your file format is not in vector format, then a high resolution image (300dpi or larger) is preferred. If we are sent a low resolution image, as we scale to fit on the product, it could get distorted or appear blurry. This is due to the pixels getting larger as it is scaled.
Here is an image showing the difference between vector and images (BITMAP).