Style & Design Tips
Top Things to Consider When Preparing Artworks for DTG Printing
DTG printing is a modern and great printing method since it can produce vivid and colorful prints. However, there are many factors that can influence the quality of DTG printing on garments such as fabrics, pre-treatment used for each fabric type, or even the artworks you use.
We have already published some posts about how fabrics and pre-treatment methods can affect how well it work on your garments. So, in this post, we will explain how we can prepare artworks that help DTG printing work in a perfect way.
Here are some things that you need to take into your consideration.
1. Resolution of Artwork for DTG printing
One of the most important points that we need to pay attention: resolution. Actually, a large number of photos or images on the internet just have a resolution of 72dpi.
If you use designs with such low resolution, your printed garments will definitely look bad with blurry and pixelated images. Just imagine that your customers find your designs amazing and decided to buy them. But when they receive their selected items with pixelated designs on them, it is extremely terrible, right?
So, always keep the resolution of your artwork for DTG printing in your mind. It is recommended that you set the resolution from 200 to 300 dpi and make it the correct physical size to have a clearer printed image.
2. Using RGB or CYMK?
Another factor to consider when we prepare artworks for DTG printing is the difference between RGB and CMYK color models. In fact, DTG printers use CMYK color while your graphics normally are designed in RGB.
The difference between these 2 colors is that RGB (meaning Red, Green, and Blue) has a wider color gamut so it is mainly used for digital outputs like websites, and garment designs. Whereas CMYK consists of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, and this color model is normally used for printing.
So, when you want to print anything, you need to convert your graphics in RGD into CMYK. And the good news is that most DTG printers now come with RIP software, which converts RGB files into CYMK ones. You will not do any stuff of converting your file as RIP software will do this for you and give you an accurate CMYK reproduction of the RGB file.
3. File format of artworks for DTG printing
After you have finished your graphics, you should think about the format of your files so that they can work best for DTG printing. Like screen printing, you can’t make a proper under-base when your artwork has white around the image.
So, ideally, your background should be transparent. So, it is recommended that you save your graphic design files in PSD or PNG, not JPG or BMP. Either PSD or PNG can work well but you should remember to check if the background is definitely transparent or not before you begin printing.
4. Improving color saturation of the artwork
Actually, when the design is converted from RGB to CMYK, color saturation is reduced a bit. This can also happen when you bring images from a vector program such as Corel to Photoshop.
To avoid the reduction in color saturation when you apply DTG printing with CMYK color, you should change the Hue Saturation by going to Image/Adjustments/Hue Saturation and adjusting Saturation a bit up to about 10-20 points. Remember not to overdo it, or else your printed design would look really bad.
5. Fixing black and white areas in the file used for DTG printing
The solid black or solid white that you see on the monitor appears not to be so. You can use the Info Panel to know about density levels. If you want to check the black areas, just select the eyedropper tool and place it over any areas that you think are black. If they are, you will see 0 levels of RGB.
If the levels are more than 0, it means the areas may be dark gray, not dead black. If you want to check white areas, just do the same as when you check black ones. The level of dead white is 255. By fixing them, the quality of DTG printing on your shirts will be better.
6. Sizing the images used for DTG printing
This is a big one, not just for DTG printing but for all other printing methods! When you see your design on a computer screen, it may be hard for you to visualize the actual size of your design on a T-shirt. Normally, when you send your artwork to the printer, they will print in the size of the image file you send.
For example, if you submit a file in 3 inches x 3 inches, your garments will be printed with a design in 3 inches x 3 inches. Sometimes, this size does not fit the garments or looks too big or too small. Hence, you need to pay attention to the size when you start your design.
This is a shortlist of the key factors involved in the quality of DTG printing. If you pay attention to them and improve your artwork based on that, your printed garments will look superb! Let’s do it and give us feedback if any!