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Apparel Decoration Tips

Decoration Tips

Logo Design: Following the tips below can help assure the artwork you provide will achieve the dynamic results you want when your logo is screenprinted or embroidered on your wearables. It can also help increase the efficiency and quality of the decorating process. Art that is "ready" for use is provided in an electronic file that can be used for pre-press and printing without making modifications. Following are the important considerations and tips to help get your art ready for decorating.

Acceptable Artwork Formats: Art may be provided in any of the following formats. Please note the modifications that may need to be made in order to make each format ready for decoration.

Note: For all three formats, proper resolution is critical for clean results. The standard resolution for printed artwork is 300 dpi (Dots Per Inch).

Mechanical Artwork: The traditional standard for acceptable mechanical artwork is "camera-ready black and white." Mechanical artwork can be supplied on a sheet of white paper or bromide, and should be no larger than 8.5" x 11".

Hand-drawn Artwork: A logo that's been drawn by hand is a great starting point, but it will need to be digitized and modified for practical use.

Digital Artwork: Images created in Adobe Illustrator, QuarkXPress, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint are preferred over mechanical and hand-drawn artwork for quality of the end result and efficiency. However, digital artwork may still require modification and/or preparation for the decorating process.

File Suffixes: If your digital artwork file ends with any of these suffixes, it can be used to properly prepare your art: .bmp, .eps, .gif, .pct, .pdf, .tiff

Proofs: Whenever you provide your digital artwork, be sure to include a printed proof for reference.

Disk formats: When providing your artwork on disk, it is best to use one of these more standard disk formats: CD-ROM, 100-megabyte Zip, or regular floppy. 250-megabyte Zip, Jazz drive disks, and SyQuest disks are also acceptable.

E-mailed Art: When sending your artwork via e-mail, be sure to provide all of the basic elements including fonts, layers and paths.

Unacceptable Artwork Formats: Artwork provided in the following forms, or similar forms, will not be able to modify into ready art, therefore, delivering extremely poor results when transform into decoration for a garment on a fax sheet, scanned into a computer, on a business card, or on a printed promotional item such as a napkin or matchbook cover

Logo Placement: Consider these lesser-used, but highly-noticeable garment locations for a unique logo/artwork placement.

Logo Placement

Embroidery Tips & Considerations

Estimating Stitch Count:

Here is an easy way to estimate the amount of stitches you'll need for great looking logos.
  • Print out the grid below
  • Cut out your artwork and place it over the grid
  • Count the number of boxes it fills, then find that number in the chart
  • If your design goes outside the grid, estimate the extra grid space you need and add it to your original total.
Other Points to Remember when Estimating a Stitch Count:
  • 1 solid square inch of embroidery equals approximately 2,000 stitches.
  • 1 solid square 1/4 inch of embroidery will equal about 125 stitches.
  • No letter should be smaller than 3/16" each letter 1/4" in height equals about 100 stitches.
  • Drop shadows in your logo will translate to 200 extra stitches per inch.
  • Straight lines under logos typically require 200 extra stitches per inch.
  • Fabrics, colors, and artwork detail will affect the amount of stitches.

It is important to remember that these stitch-count tips, and the stitch-count grid, provide estimates only. These are the good starting point to arrive at a ballpark count, but the precise figure can only be determined when the actual embroidery of your design is performed.

Embroidery Tips

Note: Due to difference in computers and printers, the size of the grid may be distorted when you print it out. Be sure to check that 1-inch squares actually measure 1 inch on your printout (do the same for 1/4-inch squares). If such a size distortion occurs, you can scale your printout of the grid to a more accurate size using a photocopier.

Screen Printing Tips & Considerations

It's important to remember that every color you use in your artwork means another screen to create, set-up, and print through. The costs connected with these screens depend on the techniques used.

It's always beneficial to print more items than less because of the set-up charges involved. If in doubt about the final quantity of screen-printed items you'll need, it's often more economical to order more than you think will be required.

Every color has an associated cost; different colors have different chemical make-ups, which make them more or less expensive than others.

Drop shadows, shading and anything that blends from light to dark will probably end up looking like a series of dots and should be avoided. (This does not apply to single-color half-tone gradients).

Most likely, the following special requirements will add to your screen-printing costs:
  • If you need your screen-printing to match an exact color, requiring inks be custom-mixed to achieve that PMS color
  • The process that allows colors to show correctly on dark goods
  • Additional locations on a garment
  • Special (not the normal) logo locations