Art comes to us in a large variety of forms and conditions. Sometimes, we're given just a verbal description or a sketch that we use to create original art. Other times, it's a piece of fine art that we scan and clean up. Most of the time, however, art is submitted in some form of a digital file. This page is intended as a guide for your art formats - we hope it helps you prepare your artwork so that we can give you the best possible reproduction.


The following specifications always apply for screen-printed ink which can hold very high resolution and reproduce many artistic effects such as gradients, halftones, etc. They do not always apply for embroidered thread which cannot hold such high resolution or reproduce these effects. As a result, we are often able to work with less precise original artwork than described below for your embroidery work.


We primarily use the popular graphics programs from Adobe: Illustrator and Photoshop (Version Adobe Cloud or earlier). Each program has its own features and capabilities, and they are occasionally used together. For graphics preparation, we do not use files from Quark XPress, Pagemaker, Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, InDesign.  File formats such as .jpeg, .gif or .bmp, and pdf are for viewing and not for separating color for screen printing. Some programs, such as older  Freehand or CorelDRAW, have options which allow you to save the file in Adobe Illustrator's "ai" or "eps" format, which we can then open directly in Illustrator.


If your art was created in Adobe Illustrator:

• Build your design using basic colors or Pantone PMS "C" or "U" Color swatches.

• Scale the image to the size that you may like to see on the garment.

• Avoid lines thinner than 1point. (Dot gain does happen in screen printing)

Convert all text to outlines.

• Save your file as .ai, .eps or .pdf format with Illustrator Editing Capabilities (check the box under the Options area of the Save Preview).


If your art was created in Adobe Photoshop:

• Please create your files at the target print size with resolution of at least 200 dpi (300 dpi is ideal) from the source document. Please do not simply "up-sample" a low resolution image into a higher resolution. Most web images are 72 dpi and will not work for screen-printing.

• For full-color designs, keep the image in the RGB format rather than CMYK, retaining all of the layers (that is, not flattened).

• Rasterize all fonts.

• For black and white designs, keep the image in the grey-scale format rather than bitmap.

• Save your file as .psd format.


Your files may be emailed to us or submitted on a CD-ROM, DVD or Flash Drive.


We suggest that you e-mail us previews prior to sending finished files so that we can examine your design and avoid potential problems with the final image. Our Art Department can help walk you through any of these steps.


If your art was created in some other medium:

Each design must be considered on its own merits, taking into account such variables as the number of colors used, the amount of detail in the image, the garment color(s), etc. Please consult with us before finalizing your design.


VERY IMPORTANT: Customers please do not send us or use artwork from questionable source. Not everything on the internet is free for use. Some may have been copyrighted. Please get permission to use any artwork that's not your own or create your own original design.


© Copyright 2013 The Print Gallery, 250 Potrero Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Tel: 831-425-1828


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Photoshop (CC)

Illustrator (CC)

Adobe Acrobat

Photoshop (CS3)

Illustrator (CS3)

Corel DRAW