T-Shirt Printing

How to Prepare Artwork for Custom T-Shirt Printing?

Gerardo Correa
June 18, 2019 0 Comment

T-shirts have constantly stayed in the fashion industry. The t shirt printing trend is still ongoing; what mostly changed is just how the t-shirt is worn and how the designs are depicted. One of the most popular ways of designing t-shirts is by using different kinds of artworks as the highlight of the shirts. This is because it’s an excellent way to convey a message or portray a piece of art.

If you’re one who is interested to print artwork on a t-shirt, the process of doing so is quite easy. If you’re not an artist, the challenge lies in preparing the artwork itself. So, you can outsource artists to do this task.

If you’ve already had a piece of art in mind and want to save a few dollars when printing, the following tips will greatly help you.


There are several methods used to print designs on t-shirts. Before starting on the artwork, decide on which style you want to use for compatibility purposes. The method you’ll choose decides the type of artwork you will use and how to prepare it.

Screen Printing: separate the colors of the artwork into different layers if the designs have multiple colors.

Direct to Garment Printing: this method simplifies the preparation step. It injects ink into the t-shirt’s fabric based on the artwork fed into the computer. Just design your artwork, and the DTG will do the rest.

Transfer Printing: uses heat to transfer the artwork onto a t-shirt. For this method, you should prepare an artwork with simple shapes so the printing process is more precise.

Cad Cut Vinyl: prepare an artwork with simple shapes if you choose to use this method.


You will need to change the resolution of your artwork so that the final output becomes visible after printing. There are software applications that you can use to adjust the resolution such as photoshop.


Colors are important when making custom t-shirt prints. Make use of Pantone codes when preparing the artwork; they reduce coloring mistakes when printing. If you are printing onto a dark t-shirt, you should apply a layer of white ink first. It will make your artwork more visible.


For your artwork to appear perfect on your custom t-shirt, you must remove the effects on the artwork first before sending the artwork to the printing machine. Remove all the shadow effects, glow effects, opacity, filters, and faded edges.

You should also make sure that the artwork has a transparent background. Otherwise, the artwork will appear with a white square around it.

Final Touches

Take one last look at the artwork before sending it to the printers. Small mistakes can ruin the whole artwork and waste your time. Here, you can rasterize the fonts or convert the fonts into outlines.

Preparing artwork for custom t-shirts is a bit challenging or daunting. However, if you follow the simple steps provided above, it becomes a simple process. Just take note of the vital factors that might ruin the artwork and remember to save the art in the right format before you starting printing.