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One area of screen print that definately needs clarification is what actually is artwork?

In 'the olden days' (not that long ago) silk screen printing involved producing films for screens from camera ready artwork. This was a laborious process which thankfully is not required these days, since the advent of the personal computer.

Unfortunately however, while the pc has opened up many avenues of creativity for the home user and business alike, the requirements for silk screen printing are quite specific.

First and foremost we must mention the .jpeg, wonderful and yet useless in equal quantities. The jpeg is a pixell based image which, if it is to be any use at all in screen printing, must be reasonably high resolution (at least 300 pixells per cm). This is a lot higher than the resolution of images used for the internet which generally do not exceed 95 pixells per cm.

If you have a photographic image which you require printing please discuss it with us before assuming it is suitable.

The best and most useful file type to supply is a vector image, this is likely to be a Coraldraw or Adobe Illustrator image, these are scalable and editable which is just what we need.

Unfortuately the world of the vector illustrator is not too straight forward either though. The first thing which people must appreciate is the use of gradient fills is not recommended. These will have to be turned into half tone dots to enable any similarity to the original,and this can lead to problems with underlying t shirt colour etc. Also it is advisable not to produce an object from thick outlines as again this can cause problems when we output the image.

Please remember that if it is a different colour on your image it is a different film for screen print. This means that interesting effects produced by overlaying objects may look simple to you, (in your finished image) but we then have to break it down to its root components to output each colour as a different film.

Finally, the programs we use are:

for pixell images:

  • Corel Photopaint X3 for pc
  • Adobe Photoshop CS for pc

Vector illustrations:

  • CorelDraw X3 for pc
  • Adobe Illustrator CS for pc
  • CorelXara / Xara Xtreme

If you are looking to buy a program for t-shirt print design buy Xara Xtreme, by far the best vector program for the price on the market and it's from the UK.


 
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