1. Use The Right Image Resolution –

In order to obtain the best possible print results, the higher the resolution of the artwork, the better. When using photographic images for designs intended for garment printing – they must be of the highest quality. This means they must be at least 200dpi (dots per inch), ideally 300dpi. It is also beneficial to submit your artwork at 100% of the intended print size – try to avoid scaling artwork up or down too much either, it can affect the appearance of your design.

Any images or photographs taken from the web will not be suitable for printing, as all web imagery is set to 72dpi – this is very low quality and will appear pixelated when printed.

2. Understand RGB and CYMK Colours –
Sometimes it can seem that colours within printed garments (or any printed matter), haven’t come out as vibrant as you were perhaps expecting. This is not usually down to a fault with the printing, but down to what colour mode the artwork was created in. There are two different colour modes – RGB and CMYK. In short, you can see a larger range of colours (these are RGB colours) through a computer monitor than can be printed. Colours always print in CMYK.

For more information on these two different colour modes, check out this post.

3. Outline Text –
If we don’t have your chosen font on our system, the type in your design will automatically change to a default font, consequently altering your design. In order to prevent this from happening we advise creating all fonts to outlines.

Here is a tutorial on How to Convert Text To Outlines.

4. Submit The Correct File Type –
Here at Icon Printing we have a few different file type preferences depending on what print technique it is you’re after. For t-shirt screen printing, transfer printing and embroidery we require Adobe Illustrator vector files, ideally saved as a PDF. When Direct To Garment printing, we can only print with high resolution PNG files, with the artwork saved on a transparent background – here is the best way to create a PNG file.

5. Fine Details –
When printing on to garments it’s best to steer clear of very fine details, such as fine hair line strokes, small dots & dashes and very small typefaces.

6. Garment Quality and Composition –
Some garments print better than others, and this is mainly down to fabric composition. Garments that are slighly higher in price, often have a finer weave and are 100% cottons – such as the Earth Positive Men’s Organic T-shirt for example. This kind of garment will always print very well, no matter what print technique is chosen.

7. Test Print –
Once you have created your artwork, it’s always best to do your own quick test print. Having looked at a design on screen for a few hours, it often helps to print it out and look at from a different perspective.

8. Check Your Proofs –
Most custom clothing printers will supply you with a visual proof to check over before your garments go to print. This is the last point at which you can highlight any issues, so it’s really important to look closely for problems – such as spelling mistakes and print dimension quires.

Icon Printing are based in Shoreditch, London and are t-shirt direct to garment and t-shirt screen printing specialists. For more an instant quote, please visit our website. You can email us at:, or call on: 0207 183 8431