Instructions to be followed
Digital printing is a fabulous technique: it allows us to open the field of possibilities of graphic reproduction.
Although very sophisticated, this method will still require that you respect certain criteria when you design your project so that the result is as good as you expect...
Don't worry, there's nothing too complicated about it.
For the explanations, it is below that it happens.
It's impossible to miss the notion of format when you're involved in the world of graphic design. It is the mention that follows the name of your file (for example, my-magnificentdesign. format). Several options are available: .jpg for still images of reduced quality, .gif for animated images, .mp4 for videos, ...).
In Print on Demand, the format we are interested in is .png.
There are two reasons for this: firstly, because it provides the best possible image quality and secondly, because it is the only format that supports a transparent background, which is essential for a clean print.
But wait, what do you mean, a transparent background?
The transparent background
The background of your design is your composition. It has no real use, especially in Print on Demand where keeping it will give a rather unsightly effect once your design is printed...
A kind of raw edge, as you can see here :
To avoid this, you will need to use the image format mentioned above: .png. Once transparent, depending on the tool you use for your graphic design, your background may be visible as a gray and white grid, but rest assured: it will not be visible in its printed version!
Nobody wants a product that looks like a screenshot of a Snake game on an old Nokia. But if the resolution of your visual is low, that's exactly how it will look.
A good pixel is a pixel that is not visible.
It is therefore advisable to reserve the best possible quality for its creations by respecting a resolution of 150dpi minimum to 300dpi for an HD effect assured. In terms of dimensions, plan at least 4000px for the longest side of your design.
Yes, you shouldn't be afraid to think big!
The colors CMYK
Do you know about colorimetry? It's the little name given to the science of colors : it defines the spectrum, that is to say the range of colors visible to the human eye, translatable - or not - according to the support.
Some supports will be able to reflect the image of certain colors... And others not! Otherwise, it would be too simple.
The screens return the colors belonging to the profile RGB (red, green, blue). All the colors that they allow us to see are mixtures of these three nuances. The printed supports, as for them, have their own colorimetric profile, the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).
Contrary to appearances, the RGB profile that the screens return to us is broader than the CMYK. It includes for example the fluorescent colors . Unfortunately, these colors, like all those which are not included in the CMYK, will not be printable... And there is nothing to do: if you try to print them, the rendering will be dull and not very comparable to the original.
Three tips, then:
- Avoid fluorescent colors at all costs;
- Work on your design directly in CMYK profile to avoid bad surprises;
- If you didn't understand this paragraph, go read the article we wrote with love on the subject
Contrast, another decisive criterion for the overall quality of your custom product! It is the degree of difference between the light and dark elements of a set.
Without sufficient contrast between the medium and the design, readability is severely compromised, and neglecting readability is literally rejecting the proper understanding of everyone who will come across your product. A bit of a shame, isn't it?
Thus, respecting the contrast between your choice of product and your creation, it is not to try monochrome concepts of black printing (or too dark shade) on black textile or on the contrary, white (or color too light) on a white support. It's original, yes, but if it's rare, it's maybe because it's simply not adapted...
If you want to check this aspect of your design, there are online tools to compare the contrast of a color with its background, like this one or this other one.
They are initially intended for web use but can give you an idea of the contrast you want!
Do not use semi-transparent
In design, semi-transparency is what lies between opacity and total invisibility (also known as transparency, the same one we talked about above for your background).
Depending on its degree, it will allow to see more or less the color which is just below. This semi-transparency is used to give relief and a gradient effect of texture to a set.
Put on a transparent grid background (as mentioned above), this semi-transparency will look like this:
In some cases, its use is relevant, but it is not suitable for digital printing.
This (brilliant) printing technique allows to reproduce colors solids thanks to concentrated pigments and these last ones cannot be diluted...
Basically, either you print or you don't, but there is no in-between!
Moreover, in order for your print to hold and be visible, a white base is used as the first layer: if the top layer (the colors) contains transparent parts, this base will inevitably be visible and will not allow a faithful rendering of the original. This constraint is unfortunately unavoidable.
Therefore, we ask you to make sure that your designs do not contain any semi-transparent elements...
Or, if you do, delete them! I promise, your creations will look great without them.
How do I know if my design contains semi-transparent elements?
Add a colored layer (in gray for example) in your graphic creation tool and drag it under your visual. If the red is visible through some areas, it contains semi-transparency. Similarly, if you can see the grid appearing in certain areas, the visual contains semi-transparency.
If you absolutely insist on a transparent effect, then we recommend the use of half-toning.
There are few, they are easy to respect, make noise for...
The ultimate rules for a nice impression of your visuals
- Save your design in .png format;
- Use a transparent background;
- Respect a resolution of 150dpi minimum;
- Allow 4000px minimum for the longest side of the design;
- Do not use fluorescent colors ;
- Working on your design in CMYK;
- Paying attention to the contrast of its creation;
- Avoiding micro-details
- Do not use semi-transparent elements.
⚠️ IMPORTANT: Note that on white textiles, the white of your visual is never printed.
You can't send a white visual on a white product: nothing would be printed.
Similarly on a black textile (only black), the black of your visual will not be printed: these are the only two exceptions, it is then the textile that replaces the color.
Finally, avoid micro-details: small dots, fine lines, small characters of only a few millimeters may not be printed correctly.
Even if our printers allow us to render your visuals very precisely, the textile is less defined than a sheet of paper: these micro-details may not appear properly, so take this into account before sending your visuals.
For more information, an article is available