Can you screen print t-shirts from a jpeg?

Jpeg files are one of the most common format types that we run into. Thus it is very common for customers to ask whether or not this type of file is appropriate for screen printing. The short answer to whether or not we can screen print t-shirts from a jpeg is no. The long answer is actually the exact opposite: yes we can. You’re probably very confused about what that actually means, so let’s explain. The reason we started off with an answer of no is because there is not a way to directly screen print t-shirts from a jpeg file. Screen printing needs to be done from a vector file, and a jpeg is not a vector file. However, the reason that we also said yes in response to the question is because there are ways around this obstacle.

A jpeg can be a great foundation for a good screen printing job because almost all jpegs can be converted to vector artwork for print. This is an additional process but one that is very important to make sure the design comes out as clean as possible. Converting a jpeg to vector artwork ensures that there will be no jagged edges where there shouldn't be. The jagged edges around the outside of a jpeg is known as pixelation and this comes from poor resolution. The vector artwork does not have this problem and can easily be resized up or down without any loss of quality.

We actually use jpegs all the time to view artwork and potentially for other web images. The problem that occurs with jpegs is that when they are resized, pixelation typically occurs, whereas by contrast vector artwork can be resized up and down as many times as needed and never experience pixelation.

We welcome jpegs and receive them all the time but just be aware that they will be converted to vector artwork. Of course you will get to view this as an artwork proof for approval before we go to print. If you do have a vector file of your artwork as well then definitely please send us that instead of the jpeg, but rest assured that we can work with the jpeg too.

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