Design Considerations: Do's and Don'ts

You're excited to place your designs and have your products come to life - we're excited to make them for you!

In order to get as close to your intended design, that will make you and your customers happy after their orders are place, please review the follow considerations when designing. Certain designs can be tricky/difficult and other technical details may come into play, as well.

Design Templates

Use the correct template for the style you are creating. This may be obvious, but if you are using the incorrect template for the product you're creating, then your design will most likely not come out as intended. 

After using the correct template, make sure you are also properly exporting your design. Exporting incorrectly will also cause products to not be created as intended, along with order delays later.

  • Sublimation templates should be exported as .JPG files at 150dpi in RGB color mode
  • DTG artwork should be exported as PNG with Transparency on at 300dpi

Source Images

Beyond the image upload requirements for our Product Designer interface (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png files in RGB color mode), it is also important to consider the resolution of your source images. If you're downloading images from the web to incorporate into your design, please note our Terms and Conditions, but also make sure you're using an image that will print well. 

If you're using a small image and stretching it to fit larger on the design canvas, you will likely see pixelation on the final product. When possible, we will note issues with low resolution with a warning message on our Product Designer interface, but ultimately you are responsible for using high quality images for your product designs.

We ask for 150ppi images for Sublimation styles and 300ppi artwork for DTG styles.

Cross-Panel Designs

Cross-panel designs, or crossover designs, as the term implies, are designs that cross over from one panel on a garment onto another. For example, this might be a design intended to connect from the left leg of a garment to the right leg or from the body of a hoodie to the pocket. 

These types of designs are easy to Photoshop onto an image of a blank garment, but they are difficult to execute if you're looking to line up smaller design elements exactly. This is due to scaling and cropping as the design adapts to different sizes, as well as the nature of on-demand printing. While we do our best to align design elements as closely as intended, we advise that you place important design elements in the safe zones for their respective garment panels and avoid cross-panel designs. 

Color Shifting

Depending on the color you pick and the fabric it is printed on, the colors may shift. Please see the example below:

Safe Zones

On the products you're designing, we advise that you keep important design elements within the safe zones for their respective panels. Safe zones take into account things like seams, hems, folds and cropping due to scaling/sizing. 

Keep in mind, going from size to size, not all measurements for every size are scaled at the same proportion. Imagine the inseam of shorts changing in length as widely as the waistband - the pair of shorts would look and fit very different.

Keep important design elements within the safe zones to minimize impact (e.g. cropping) and differences from size to size. Make sure you are also filling entire Bleed areas so you do not have blank areas on your products that are unintended - they may show on the final product.

Illustrator Tiling to Create Repeating Patterns

Adobe Illustrator makes it very easy and convenient to create repeating patterns out of images. One thing, to pay attention to, however, is depending on your export settings you may have fine hairlines in between repeating tiles.

The safest way to avoid these appearing in your export file is to rasterize the pattern object. 

Before uploading your exported artwork:

  1. Always inspect your artwork file that you are uploading
    1. Inspect your final .jpg file in Photoshop or Preview - this will show you things you may not see in Illustrator
    2. Make sure to zoom in to catch small details and possible issues - these will get printed as-is
  2. If you're creating a repeating pattern in Illustrator for your design, please make sure to check for tiling issues
    1. If you see white lines between patterns, they will print as they look on the artwork file being uploaded
    2. You may not see the hairlines while you're in AI and inspecting your artwork
    3. Select Object > Rasterize in Illustrator on the repeating pattern before exporting in order to eliminate the issue of white lines appearing on your export.

Design Reviews

Before placing an order or flipping a product live on your web store, we're happy to review your design to get ahead of any aspects that might cause delays or issues with your orders. Simply reach out to [email protected] for a design review.

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