Our Design Service
We understand that not all of our clients have access to a graphic designer. We can take something as simple as a verbal description or a sketch and use it to create original art. If you don’t have your design already in vector format, don’t worry. We are able to scan, take a picture, make suggestions, or take notes about your idea and bring it to life. We will send you a proof to your email and obtain your approval before we do any printing of your product. We want your custom t-shirt printing project to be exactly what you envision.
After your Lucky Dog order has been placed and your deposit received, our art department will begin working on your artwork and design. It is our policy that a deposit is received prior to the initiation of any art or design work.
Tips for Apparel Design
Creating a truly amazing piece of apparel begins with the design. Designing for apparel is different from the type of graphic design one might do for print or web. Here are a few pointers to help you develop your apparel design:
- Keep it simple. The strongest designs and the strongest messages are usually simple and straightforward.
- Color is crucial. Make sure the background color of the garment itself is factored into your design. Some programs like Adobe Illustrator will allow you to turn on Global Colors to help visualize the design with the garment color in place.
- Explore your concept. Before you jump into sketching out detailed illustrations of your design, make sure you’ve given the concept itself thorough thought. Brainstorm a few ideas and really refine the design concept before trying to iron out details.
- Mock up the design on an image of the garment. Try using a photo of the blank garment or, even better, the garment on a model, as your backdrop for the design. When you overlay your design, you’ll have a more accurate idea of how the design will look in real life.
Choosing a Font for Your Design
The font you use in your design can convey just as much as the actual words themselves. Here are a few font styles we like to use, and what each style conveys.
An all-caps font, inspired by railway tracks. It’s clean, dynamic and full of soft-rounded curves.
An elegant serif font that’s still crisp and clear after 75 years. Based on old engravings, it lends a formality to any design.
Another classic, timeless and modern, based on geometric shapes. Versatile with a full range of weights and styles. Efficient and light. Good clean standard sans serif font.
Add a twist to the typical, boring and overused athletic fonts. Promesh is clean and sharp, and available in Regular, Mesh and Stitched.
A beautiful font style that adds an ornate, handwritten quality to your design. Easy to read with a vintage feel.
A hand-scripted font, casual, arty and guaranteed to make you smile. Gives any design a hand drawn feel.
Search for additional styles online. Many sites, like www.dafont.com will allow you to type in your text and see what it looks like. And remember, we have access to all styles of fonts and can help you find the right one for your particular design.
Standard Imprint Sizes
We use standard imprint sizes when printing on apparel. See our templates below for a good visual of the print size. Remember, if you are mixing youth and adult, or tees and hoodies, your print may not work on both. A tee shirt and hoody have a different vertical height allowance, so we may need to adjust the size of your artwork to fit on both, or create a separate set up to use on each type of garment, or size range.
Depending on the size and scope of your order, your Lucky Dog representative can advise you on the best way to proceed, and provide you with the cost option for multiple setups. We generally recommend one set up on smaller orders, as well as those with multiple colors. It all depends on your budget and the particulars of your order.
(click images to enlarge)
Digital Artwork File Specifications
As a result, we are often able to work with less precise original artwork than described below for your embroidery work.
Vector vs. Rasterized Artwork
Most photographs and images you’ll deal with are raster images, constructed from individual pixels. The more pixels in the image, the better the quality. When you take a small raster image and try to make it larger, there is only so much information available to work with. The result is a blurry, low-quality image that will look even worse in print than on your screen.
A vector image, however, is built using mathematical formulas to render lines and curves in the image. These formulas can be scaled up or down to any size, therefore a vector image can be scaled up or down to any size with zero loss in quality. While vector images are not ideal for reproducing photographic images, they are perfect for logos, text, and any design element that requires smooth, crisp lines.
Preferred File Formats
Adobe Illustrator is our preferred graphics program, and .ai or .eps are our preferred file format. We cannot use files from Quark XPress, Publisher, Pagemaker, Microsoft Word, or PowerPoint. File formats such as .jpeg, .gif or .bmp, and .pdf are for viewing and not for separating color for custom t-shirt printing.
If your art was created in Adobe Illustrator:
- Build your design using basic colors or Pantone PMS “C” Color swatches
- Scale the image to the correct imprint size
- Avoid lines thinner than one point
- Convert all text to outlines
- Save your file as .ai, or .eps or format
If your art was created in Adobe Photoshop:
- Create your files at the imprint size with a resolution of at least 200 dpi, preferably 300 dpi.
- Do not simply enlarge a low-resolution image into a higher resolution. Many web images are too small to work for custom t-shirt printing.
- For full-color designs, keep the image in the RGB color mode, not CMYK.
- Retain layers and Photoshop editing capabilities when saving (don’t Flatten image).
- 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.
If your art is being submitted in some other formats:
If your file is not a vector graphic it will lose detail when we try to recreate them. Generally, these types of files need to be recreated from scratch, and the end result may not be an exact match. The time needed to recreate artwork may result in an art charge, billed in ½ hour increments at $50/hour. Most designs require ½ – 1 hour of work, depending on how complicated the design is.
Important: Only send us artwork you have permission to use.
Please do not use artwork from a questionable source. Images found on the internet without sourcing may have been copyrighted. Please get permission to use any artwork you did not create yourself. If you need stock designs, we have access to a complete library of stock vector designs to work with.
Your files may be emailed to info@LuckyDog123.com or provided to us on a CD-ROM, DVD or Flash drive. Bring them with you if placing your order in person. For over the phone orders, we have an online account for large file transfers.
Whether you’re looking for a team uniform, apparel for a business event, or even a birthday party, custom t-shirt printing from Lucky Dog Custom Apparel will be better than you expect.