Image Guidelines

Image Guidelines for Promotional Product Printing


Images are an important element for creating printed promotional products and custom t-shirts. As a result, you need to be aware of these guidelines when selecting images for your promotional product printing project.

Scanning File Format

The best file formats to use for promotional product printing are TIF (Tagged Image File) or EPS (Encapsulated PostScript). These formats maintain the same image quality and color, even if you change the dimensions of them slightly. File formats such as GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) and JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) were developed for digital cameras and for use on the Internet because of their smaller file sizes and faster load times. Because these image formats are compressed, they can be blurry and have different colors than TIF or EPS images.

Image Resolution Standards

If you are scanning images for your promotional product design, you need to scan them at a resolution of 300 dpi, at the dimensions that you want them to appear on your finished product. For example, you don’t want to scan in an image at 300 dpi and then double its size using Photoshop because it may not look clean or have smooth vibrant colors.

A lot of images on the internet are only 72 dpi and will appear very blurry if you try to use them with a printing press. This is another reason not to use images copied off of websites.

Copyright Considerations

Another reason not to copy images off of the internet is that it may violate the copyright of the original photographer/graphic artist. Not to mention that using an image without permission for a commercial product might lead to very expensive copyright infringement penalties of up to $8000. If you use a copyrighted image for commercial use, you will be caught eventually, so protect yourself by using your own original photographs or graphic designs, or by using a reputable stock image photography site such as Shutterstock for your project.

Using Text on a Photographic Background

It doesn’t matter which color you use, you will either need to lighten (for dark text) or darken (for light text) the background image significantly in order for the text to be easy to read. Another issue to keep in mind is that if you are using colored text–this includes using white text on a darker colored background–on a project, it needs to be for text larger than a 12-point font size. Colored text smaller than 12-point sometimes suffers from a “halo effect” which creates colored halos around the letters. This causes the text to look not as sharp as colored text at a larger point size.

Need a Screen Printing Company for Custom T-Shirts?

Then look no further than BYOG (Build Your Own Garment). Not only can we meet your screen printing needs, but we can also help with t-shirt design, and any other branded promotional product printing items you want to create. Contact us using our Live Chat feature by clicking on the Live Chat! button on any page of the site, give us a call at 855-776-8465, or use our online contact form to get a response within 24 hours.

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