Everything You Need and Want To Know About Designing Your Own Apparel
There may be no better way to say it – our job is cool! Not only do we get to create great things; we get to see what you create and bring them to life. We get questions nearly every day about the guidelines for designing t-shirts, work shirts, spirit gear and more. We’ve answered some of the most common questions below and welcome any others you may have.
Q: When sending a design to XLR8, what file format should it be?
A: Great question and there are a few choices: .EPS, .CDR & .PDF (typically called vector* images) are the best followed by .PNG or .JPEG/.JPG; the key is that they should be high-resolution images. Ideally, they have a DPI (dots per inch) of 300. If you do not have a high-resolution image, we can generally convert the one you have for a fee.
*Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygons—all of which are based on mathematical expressions—to represent images in computer graphics (Wikipedia). In other words, it can be scaled without losing any definition. Feel free to entertain your family at dinner with that definition.
Q: What options do I have for getting my design or logo on something?
A: Another great question that has a few answers.
Screen printing and embroidery are discussed in greater detail here. One thing to remember, embroidery is not necessarily a more expensive option as people often assume. It depends on a few factors but don’t rule it out before asking. Screen printing generally requires a minimum quantity of 24 items but as long as the item is heat-resistant, it can be screen printed.
Sublimation is relatively new for XLR8 and uses dyes to imprint a design instead of paint, heat transfer or special threads. It can also be done in quantities as few as one. There are a couple of requirements that must be met for sublimation to be an option:
–The item must be at least 50% polyester. This is obviously not limited to clothing and you may be surprised at what has polyester in it and how we can use sublimation for your products. In fact, ask us and get your creative juices flowing.
–The item should be a lighter color.
People love sublimation because your design becomes part of the material (again, it’s dyes).
Vinyl applications are similar to screen printing in that the item material must be heat-resistant but it differs in that we can create them in quantities as few as one. They generally leave a heavier application on the item than screen-printing but are more flexible with items having patterns, textures and multiple colors.
Q: What design details most affect the price quoted for my products?
A: Yet another terrific question. There are three primary drivers of price – number of items, number of print locations per item and the number of colors involved.
We’ll keep adding questions as you ask them. In fact, feel free to ask below and we’ll get common ones added to the list. Until next time, thanks for your business and your creativity!