Custom T-Shirt Design & Art Guidelines

The most important part of the entire print process is having the proper artwork to work with. No matter which method of printing you choose, it all starts on the computer with clean artwork. Below you’ll find the guidelines and requirements for all your custom shirt and apparel art files.

Good Artwork = Good Shirts

Screen Printing

Screen printing is a spot color process. Each color in a design is individually printed one at a time through it’s own stencil (the screen). All the custom t-shirt designs and other apparel designs for a screen printer must be separated by color ensure your graphic prints correctly. For optimal results we require Vectored artwork separated by color for your custom t-shirt design or other screen printed items.

Type Color Separated Size Formats
Optimal Results Vector File Yes Any .pdf, .ai, .eps,
Also Acceptable Rasterized Yes 300 DPI “Life Size” in Inches .pdf, .psd, .jpg, .gif, .tiff

Please Note – When submitting Adobe Illustrator files please create outlines of all text elements.

( you can do this by selecting the text, go to “Type”>”Create Outlines” )


Embroidery files are digitized with a highly sensitive computer program that matches the custom shirt & apparel artwork to thread colors as carefully as possible.

Note – Very small 1px details may not translate as well as thicker lines.

Type Color Separated Size Formats
CMYK Rasterized or Vectored No 150 DPI or greater “Life Size” in Inches .pdf, .psd, .ai, .eps, .jpg, .pdf, .tiff, .gif, .tiff

Need your artwork separated?

Basic Separations


Complex Separations


Artwork Submission

Please submit all artwork by email directly to your emulsion representative,

or feel free to submit through our free quote form Here

custom, tee shirt, printing, emulsion, printhouse

What size should my graphic be?

The reference image to the left shows a standard custom t-shirt design (Anvil 980) Medium sized T-Shirt with various print sizes in inches. Below is a list of standard custom t-shirt design sizes (by width):

  • Basic Front Chest = 10″
  • Full Front Chest = 12″
  • Front Left Chest = 3.5″
  • Ladies Front Chest = 9.75″
  • Basic Back Shoulder = 10″
  • Full Back Shoulder = 12″
  • Sleeve Print = 3″
  • Inside Tag (relabel) = 2″