Instructions for your visuals

Image description

Digital printing is a fabulous technique: it has recently opened up a whole new world of graphic reproduction possibilities. Although highly advanced, this method still requires certain criteria to be respected when creating the design, to ensure that the result lives up to expectations... Don't worry, there's nothing too complicated about it.

For explanations, please see below.

The format

When it comes to the world of graphic design, it's impossible to overlook the notion of format. This is the wording that follows the name of your file (e.g. monomptueuxdesign. format). Several options are available: .jpg for still images of reduced quality, .gif for animated images, .mp4 for videos, etc.).

In Print on Demand, the format we're interested in is.png.
There are two reasons for this: firstly, because it offers the best possible image quality, and secondly, because it's the only format that supports transparent backgrounds, which are essential for a clean print result.

But wait, what do you mean by a transparent background?

The transparent background

The background of your design is your composition. It doesn't really serve any purpose, especially in Print on Demand, where keeping it will give a rather unsightly effect once your design is printed...

A sort of raw border, as you can see here :

To avoid this, you'll need to use the image format mentioned above: .png. Once transparent, depending on the tool you're using for your graphic design, your background may be visible as a grey and white grid, but rest assured: it won't be visible in its printed version!


Nobody wants a product that looks like a screenshot of a Snake game on an old Nokia. And if the resolution of your visual is low, that's exactly what it will look like. A good pixel is one that doesn't show.

It's therefore advisable to reserve the best possible quality for your creations, respecting a minimum resolution of 150dpi up to 300dpi for an assured HD effect. In terms of dimensions, plan for at least 2000px for the longest side of your design.

Yes, don't be afraid to think big!

colors CMYK

Do you know what colorimetry is? It's the little name given to the science of colors : it defines the spectrum, i.e. the range of colors visible to the human eye, translatable - or not - depending on the substrate.

Some surfaces will reflect the image of certain colors... And others won't! Otherwise, it would be too simple.

The screens reflect colors belonging to the RGB profile (red, green, blue). All the colors we see are mixtures of these three shades. Printed media, on the other hand, have their own colorimetric profile, CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).

Contrary to appearances, the RGB profile returned by screens is broader than CMYK. It includes, for example, colors fluorescents. Unfortunately, these colors, like all those not included in CMYK, will not be printable... And there's nothing you can do about it: if you try to print them, the result will be dull and hardly comparable to the original.

Three tips, then:

  • Avoid fluorescent colors at all costs;
  • Work directly in CMYK profile to avoid unpleasant surprises;
  • If you don't understand this paragraph, go and read the article we lovingly wrote on the subject

Sufficient contrast

Contrast, another decisive criterion for the overall quality of your custom product! It's the degree of difference between the light and dark elements of a set.

Without sufficient contrast between the substrate and the design, legibility is severely compromised, and neglecting legibility literally means rejecting the proper understanding of anyone who comes across your product. A bit of a shame, don't you think?

So, respecting the contrast between your choice of product and your creation means not trying out monochrome concepts of black print (or a shade too dark) on black textile or, on the contrary, white (or color too light) on a white substrate. It's original, all right, but if it's rare, it may be because it's simply not suitable...

If you'd like to check this aspect of your design, there are online tools for comparing the contrast of a color with its background, like this one or this other one.

They're initially designed for web use, but they'll give you an idea of the contrast you're looking for!

Do not use semi-transparent

In design, semi-transparency is what lies between opacity and total invisibility (also known as transparency, the same we mentioned above for your background).
Depending on its degree, it will allow you to see more or less of the color that lies just below. This semi-transparency is used to give relief and a textural gradient effect to an ensemble.

Set on a transparent grid background (as mentioned above), this semi-transparency will look like this:

In some cases, its use is appropriate, but it is not suitable for digital printing. This (brilliant) printing technique reproduces colors solids using concentrated pigments, which cannot be diluted...

Basically, you either print or you don't, but there's no in-between!

What's more, 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 won't allow a faithful rendering of the original. Unfortunately, this constraint is unavoidable. We therefore ask you to ensure 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 (gray, for example) to your graphics tool and drag it under your visual. If red is visible through certain zones, it's because it contains semi-transparency. Similarly, if you can see the grid appearing in certain areas, the visual contains semi-transparency.

If you insist on a transparent effect, we recommend half-toning.

There aren't many of them, and they're easy to comply with, so make some noise to...

The ultimate rules for beautiful printing of your designs:

  • Save your design in .png format;
  • Use a transparent background;
  • Minimum resolution of 150dpi;
  • Allow 4000px minimum for the longest side of the design;
  • Avoid fluorescent colors ;
  • Designing in CMYK ;
  • Pay attention to the contrast of your creation;
  • Avoid micro-details
  • Semi-transparent elements should be avoided.

So you can't send an all-white logo on a white product: nothing will be printed.

Similarly, on a black T-shirt (black only), the black of your visual will not be printed: these are the only two exceptions, in which case the textile 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 enable us to reproduce your visuals very precisely, textiles are less defined than a sheet of paper: these micro-details may therefore not appear properly, so bear this in mind before sending your visuals.

For more information on our printing techniques, an article is available on our blog:

Preparing your visuals is a very important step that will ensure top quality printing.

Content Translations:

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