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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I'm brand new to posting on this forum. I read from time to time the great advice and information given on this board but this is my first time to post a question. I hope I am posting this in the correct location on the board.

I am a vector artist and I was contacted by someone who wants to use one of my designs on tshirts for a group to wear at a charity event. I personalized the design for her and she is using a local printer to make the shirts.

I was wondering if anyone could explain how I need to send the design so they can use it as a decal on the shirts. I can't get a hold of the vendor and I am going to be without my computer files after tomorrow and I am a bit desperate.

The person I am working with relayed to me from the vendor " file could be at least 300 dpi and she said that they're doing the design as a decal so fill in the spaces in black and outline the entire thing with a thin black line. " That makes sense but the design is not a nice, neat outline. It's pretty cluttered and to fill in all the white spaces would be time intensive unless I can just put it on a black background. I also am not sure if they need it with color or just outlines. There is a lot of color in this design.

I tried to research what a design should look like for someone who is going to cut decals but I must not be using the correct wording and I can't find a visual example which would be very helpful.

If anyone who uses full color vectors to make decals for shirts could help me I would be very grateful. I would love to see what it should look like verses just a vector design. And aside from 300 dpi which I already have set up, what is the best way to send the file for the decal software? Should it be in an .eps format or can it be .jpg or .png? Many thanks for your time and help!
 

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It must be in vector which means AI, CDR, or EPS.. possibly PDF. All fonts converted to curves.

You might be able to find a tutorial about it on youtube. I don't know why you were told to fill in all the spaces with black. I would think transparent would be better. If you have a way of sending that file somewhere else until you can get this figured out, you should consider doing that.

There is a very real probability that the person you're working with misunderstood what was needed. If they are just printing a decal they are either using a solvent printer/cutter or are making heat transfers. I don't know it's hard to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply. That sounds complicated to convert! When I was told the design was going to be done as a decal, I assumed it was going to be HTV. It's a very colorful design and that is where I was not sure if I understood the decal remark correctly. The design is a rainbow tree. so it's detailed and colorful.

The instructions to black out the spaces in between the leaves and branches and outline the rest of the design in black didn't ring a bell for me and I have some experience adjusting designs for printing, not a lot but that didn't sound familiar at all.

I will check out youtube and see what I can figure out. thank you.
 

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Hi Nombec,

I regularly use vectors to create heat transfers for garments, I think this is what is being meant when your client is saying decal as mentioned by Iben. If this is the case then EPS will be fine and if other formats are required they should have the ability to create them from your EPS file.

Again as mentioned by Iben convert all text to outlines and then create a cut path that will be used so the machine knows the path to cut out the design, I have an example for you here

The only reason I can think for putting black between all the leafs and other bits, is to keep the cut path simple to weed after, if the design is going onto a black garment then it would be easier to print black where it would normally be transparent and then have a simpler cut path to weed out after.

Hope this helps a little, I may be totally wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Nombec,

I regularly use vectors to create heat transfers for garments, I think this is what is being meant when your client is saying decal as mentioned by Iben. If this is the case then EPS will be fine and if other formats are required they should have the ability to create them from your EPS file.

Again as mentioned by Iben convert all text to outlines and then create a cut path that will be used so the machine knows the path to cut out the design, I have an example for you here

The only reason I can think for putting black between all the leafs and other bits, is to keep the cut path simple to weed after, if the design is going onto a black garment then it would be easier to print black where it would normally be transparent and then have a simpler cut path to weed out after.

Hope this helps a little, I may be totally wrong.

That makes a lot of sense. It is going to go on a black shirt. Thank you for your example also. Is is okay to send it with a black outline around the design? They didn't tell me to just send the outline separately or at least that is how I understood it. That I was to outline the vector and fill in the spaces with black.

I am having a hard time imagining how they are going to do all the leaves with heat transfer vinyl that are in different colors (creating a rainbow effect) and they also overlap in many areas. I think I am going to send the file to a friend of mine who can do some editing if necessary while I am away. Just to be sure.

I appreciate the help! Thank you both.
 

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Hi Nombec,

Supplying it with a black outline should be fine, I can't imagine why they would ask you to fill that space with black unless it will make it easier to select and convert to just an outline when they get your file, as they will need to select your outline and convert it into a cut line using the Pantone that their machine recognises as a cut path.

I would think that they are going to be using a printable vinyl so achieving the colours of the leafs even if they are overlapping should not be a problem, probably a good idea to give the file to a friend aswell, just incase there is any last minute tweaking that is needed. Hopefully all goes smoothly for you and the shirts come out well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. I am glad I am not the only one questioning the way they wanted me to fill those areas in.

I went ahead and made an outline of the entire tree and will send it just in case. I converted the text to outline. I think that part will be screen printed so hopefully I did it correct and made it easier on them. I don't know. crossing my fingers. :)
 

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Your welcome, each t-shirt printer will have a different way of working so be prepared for more weird requests if you do more artwork for the garment world, lol!

I'm sure they will be able to work from what you have supplied them, good luck with the shirts, hope they come out well and reflect well on your artwork.
 
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