Design Guide

Before you create designs for your products and get gorgeous high definition product images from our mockup generator, we advise you to go through our Design Guide. In order to produce good quality products, make sure that you have prepared the file according to these guidelines.

For garments

Here you can find guidelines on preparing design for apparel products. Firstly you need to take into account that design needs to have a transparent background. In order to have quality products, you should understand the specifics of Direct to Garment printing, RGB vs CMYK and other factors. 

 

Printify CMYK color profile:

Dark garments

Light garments

When creating a new file, it’s best to use inches as the unit of measurement when planning the size of your artwork. The resolution should be set to 300 at Pixels / Inch, with 8 bit depth. Since our printers are set to CMYK color profile, the color mode of the artwork should also be set in CMYK. A lot of the colors you create in RGB mode are not achievable using standard four-color process printing (CMYK). It is always best to create your document from the start in CMYK color mode to ensure that you have a better idea of how your design will be printed.

The largest print size for garment products is 15’’ x 19’’. This is based on the pallet size, not the garment. Please note that if the artwork is larger than the print area, it will be cut to size. The size of the artwork is entirely up to your discretion. If you do not want prints over the zipper, please size the artwork accordingly to clear that space.

 

If the artwork is made at 15′′ x 19′′, but the print area for other sizes is smaller, we will automatically scale down the artwork.

If you do not want to end up with a white box on a colored shirt around your design, a correct file format should be chosen, i.e. PNG or JPEG.

 

If you are working with vectors (in Illustrator, for example), there shouldn’t be any problem with creating a piece of artwork with a transparent background.

 

If you are using Photoshop (or any other photo editing software) and your design already has a background, you will need to remove it.

 

Always pay attention to the edges of your design. If your photo is not in the highest quality, there is a very strong possibility unnecessary pixels will stay on your artwork! Our advice is to put a new layer (in contrast to the color of the background of your design) and you will clearly see if there are still some unwanted pixels left.

It may be hard to tell the difference between color tones when preparing files on your monitor. Monitors of various types and calibration may show richer colors in RGB, but it is crucial to know which one to choose.

 

CMYK black (also known as 100K black) is great for texts, because only one color (Black) is used for printing, allowing for crisp and sharp reproduction. If you have created a text in Photoshop with the Rich Black, chances are that particularly small fonts will come out blurry and fuzzy.

 

On large areas of flat black, however, 100K doesn't really have much impact as black, but rather as a dark gray, especially when uncoated. The reason it's gray rather than black, is that the ink is partially absorbed by the fabric creating a very thin coating, so some of the white ink may show through. The solution is to create a Rich Black by adding a little extra color to the mix.

Our equipment prints multiple layers of ink on a shirt. For light colored shirts, a single color layer is applied if an underbase is not desired. It’s not required on white garments, and it creates a much more integrated look on lighter grays, whites, etc.

 

Dark colored garments (black, navy, etc.) require a white underbase layer printed first to create a foundation for colored ink. In this case, some preparations to the artwork should be performed.

 

NOTE: Color fading into another color does not require preparation.

 

Deleting portions of the artwork so FULL transparency is shown in a halftone-style pattern is the best way to create the “fade to nothing” look. This is required when printing:

- Black fading to nothing

- Color fading to nothing

Remember that the CMYK color profile gives you the idea of how your colors are going to print. As a result, you need to export a flattened PNG (you must ensure that there is only one layer, flattened down, and nothing other than the colorspace in the channels section). As you might know, PNG doesn’t support the CMYK color profile. Don’t worry - when everything is done, convert your artwork to the RGB profile. The colors might become brighter and more vibrant, but the artwork will still be printed as seen in the CMYK mode. Export the file to PNG and you are ready to make your new collection.

When you make sure that you have prepared your design according to our Design Guide, you can use our Product Designer to create your custom products. From our Mockup Generator you will get gorgeous high definition product images.

For other Printify products

Here you can find guidelines on preparing design for phone cases, laptop sleeves, mugs, wall art, shower curtains, blankets and other products. 

Unlike garments that require for the print file to be transparent due to products being of various colors, mugs, cases and canvases are always white. So in case your design has a white background, you don’t need to remove it! Just make sure it is really white, not light gray - otherwise it will be visible. Remember, when creating a new file, it’s best to use inches.

The resolution should be set to 300 ppi with 150 ppi as minimum, with 8 bit depth. Our printers are set to the CMYK color mode, so it is best to use the same mode for your designs. A lot of the colors you create in RGB mode are not achievable using standard four-color process printing. It is always best to create your file in CMYK color mode from the start to ensure you have a better idea of how your artwork will be printed.

Sizes and proportions for each item are different. If you make a vertical design for canvas, it might not look good on mugs as their print area is horizontal. In case you are using one artwork for multiple products and it is larger than the print area, the artwork will be cut. To avoid that, use our product generator to scale your design if needed. Before you make a design, think about the products you want to print it on and choose the largest item size requirements as default to get the best print quality.

It may be hard to tell the difference between color tones when preparing files on your monitor. Monitors of various types and calibration may show richer colors in RGB, but it is crucial to know which one to choose.

 

CMYK black (also known as 100K black) is great for texts, because only one color (Black) is used for printing, allowing for crisp and sharp reproduction. If you have created a text in Photoshop with the Rich Black, chances are that particularly small fonts will come out blurry and fuzzy.

 

On large areas of flat black, however, 100K doesn't really have much impact as black, but rather as a dark gray, especially when uncoated. The reason it's gray rather than black, is that the ink is partially absorbed by the fabric creating a very thin coating, so some of the white ink may show through. The solution is to create a Rich Black by adding a little extra color to the mix.

Remember that the CMYK color profile gives you the idea of how your colors are going to print. As a result, you need to export a flattened PNG (you must ensure that there is only one layer, flattened down, and nothing other than the colorspace in the channels section). As you might know, PNG doesn’t support the CMYK color profile. Don’t worry - when everything is done, convert your artwork to the RGB profile. The colors might become brighter and more vibrant, but the artwork will still be printed as seen in the CMYK mode. Export the file to PNG and you are ready to make your new collection.

When you make sure that you have prepared your design according to our Design Guide, you can use our Product Designer to create your custom products. From our Mockup Generator you will get gorgeous high definition product images.

Note: every design that is to be printed on a particular product for the first time goes through a Quality Control process performed by the Printify team. If we see any issues in your design that may lead to a bad quality print - we will let you know.

Have questions? Let us answer them

Write us at customercare@printifyapp.com and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.