One of the most effective ways to get an image or words onto a piece of apparel, such as a t-shirt, is with screen printing. Screen printing allows you to transfer a design onto a piece of apparel using a mesh screen and ink. It is an affordable and commonly used way to create customized items, such as t-shirts and sweaters, with special images and messages.
Rule #1: Keep the Design Away from Pockets & Seams
As you create the flat design that you want to put on your t-shirt, you need to consider how the design is going to transfer onto the garment. You are going to want to create the design so that the image doesn't overlap with the pocket or seams on the shirt.
When you apply ink over the raised seam or edge of a pocket, the color is not going to come out even and will interfere with the integrity of the image. For the highest quality print, your design should be created in a way so that it doesn't go over any seams. Seams impact the overall quality of the print and will slightly alter the appearance of your image.
Rule #2: Place the Design at the Right Level
When creating a design, you need to carefully consider the placement of the design on the garment. A common mistake is putting the design image down on a shirt so that it is a position more around the belly area.
This is not where most designs are placed on shirts and will look off to someone looking at or wearing the design. Instead, you want to place the design, so the top of the design is about an inch or two below the collarbone and at the top of the chest. This is where most designs are placed and look more natural.
Also, make sure your design is placed in the vertical center of the shirt.
Rule #3: Use High-Resolution Images
Before you submit a file to your printing partner, you need to check the equality of the file. If you submit a low-resolution image, the pixels information is going to be poor and will result in a screen-printed image that is not as crisp or as sharp as it should be.
Check your image, and make sure it is at least 200 dpi. Have the screen printer you are working with verify the file you sent is high enough quality to create a clean and crisp image before going through with the order.
Rule #4: Don't Overdo the Colors
When it comes to choosing the number of colors that you use in your image, remember to keep it simple. If you are printing more than a simple message on a shirt, you are going to want to stick to the three-color rule. Three colors are enough colors to create a vivid and engaging design, without making your design look ugly or overcrowded.
If you need assistance with your image, talk to the screen printing company you are working with, and get them to edit your image before sending it to print, and keep the above tips in mind as you craft your custom t-shirt image for the screen printing process.