What is vector artwork for t-shirt printing?

Vector artwork is the best possible type of file for t-shirt printing. The reason for this is because vector artwork is the highest quality artwork available. You can resize vector artwork up or down as needed without losing any of the quality. It can literally be blown up to the size of a building and not have any jagged edges or pixelation.

Vector artwork is most commonly created using programs such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW. Most clipart designs can be converted into vector artwork even if they are a raster format to begin with. Raster artwork, which is the opposite of vector artwork, is most commonly seen in formats such as: jpegs, bitmaps, gifs, or pngs. The problem with raster artwork is that unlike vector artwork quite a lot of pixelation and degradation of quality occurs when the artwork is resized.

If the design provided for T-shirt printing is submitted in a raster format then it has to go through the process of conversion to vector artwork. In some cases this can be very easy but in others it can be very difficult and time-consuming. It really depends on the quality of the raster artwork being converted and the amount of detail in the design.

One important consideration is that this extra artwork conversion does add to the length of time it takes to prepare the artwork. Typically this is not an issue at all on our regular orders because we have the necessary time built into our system. However, with rush orders in rare instances it won’t be possible to make the necessary conversions in time to meet your deadline. This is very uncommon however and we can usually come up with an alternative, so please don’t hesitate to send us the file anyway and let us know what you need.

Regardless of whether your design is in raster or vector format, or even if you are completely unsure of what format your design is, a good t-shirt printer should be able to help you out. We'll take anything you have that we can open up and look at to get the job done. As always if there are any issues with it we will also be happy to tweak it for you or make recommendations.

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