Print-Ready Art Files: Tips from the Art Department

One of the best feelings is finally receiving your DTF transfers and them coming out perfectly. 

On the flip side, the absolute worst feeling is waiting for your DTF transfers to arrive only to find out there's something wrong with them.

Getting your prints right is the most important job of any printer. But if you are sending in artwork that's not ready for print, there isn't much a print operator can do. 

We partnered with our art department to come up with a list for making sure your artwork is print-ready, and help you avoid all the headaches that come from receiving bad prints. 

Layout width

One of the most common fixes our art department deals with is layout width. 

Like many printers out there, we allow for a 22.5 in wide for our DTF gang sheet printing. 

A lot of customers won't pay attention to this important detail and will end up sending us a gang sheet that is laid out on a 23-24 inch artboard with artwork from edge to edge. Sometimes the artwork will spill over the edge of the artboard itself. 

When this happens, the first thing we notice is your art getting cut off since it's outside of the printable area.

Once this happens, the art team needs to request the original artwork file and needs to resize and reorganize the artwork to ensure it prints properly. 

Not all printers have the same requirements, so be mindful of your layout width when you are sizing your artwork to be printed.


Another common fix is having a colored background when your artwork is 100% white. 

If you fail to mention that you do not want the background, what you'll get is white text on one big solid print. 

It's important to communicate with your printer exactly what you are looking for in terms of results to avoid something like this from happening to you.

File types 

You have many options when it comes to acceptable file types for DTF printing. But not all file types are equal. 

Most printer use Adobe as their primary design software. So sending your printers the raw files will enable them to manipulate the art, whether that's color or size or arrangement, etc.

If you send your files as a JPG, PNG, or PSD, for example, your art will print as is. The printer will not be able to change colors or scale your artwork without pixelation. 

For most layouts, PDFs are ideal, but like all files, they need to be sized and formatted properly to ensure a successful print. 


Saving your files at the highest resolution is the key to ensuring your prints come out the best. 

PNGs and JPGs will automatically save at the highest quality possible. 

For those using Photoshop to create your designs, go to 'Image Size' and adjust the values so your artwork saves at the highest resolution available. 

You can never go wrong by first creating your artwork bigger than intended and then scaling down to size. But you can run into some trouble if you go the opposite way. 

If you are using a vector-based design software, you should be fine, but it does happen. 

Either way it's always a good idea to double check your artwork by adjusting it to its final size and making sure there is no pixelating anywhere in the art. 

300 dpi is the minimum recommended resolution for all DTF prints. 


All printed art is done using CMYK so make sure you're designing your artwork accordingly. 

Avoid using RGB color modes as RGB is used primarily for color display monitors, TVs, etc. and your colors will not transfer over during printing. 


There are certain colors like grays that should be given special attention to during your art creation. 

Our art team prefers using grays that are on the black (K) control of the CMYK values. 

Using a mix of all colors to make your grays can leave you with warmer grays than you desire. 

It's best to go over your colors with your print operator beforehand to avoid these types of issues. 


Another issue our art departments deal with often is customers not outlining their fonts before submitting their artwork for printing. This is an important one. 

Most of your basic fonts will be okay, but if you submit art with fonts that your print shop does not have, the software will change your desired font to a default like Myriad. 

To avoid this, it's important that you outline your text before sending in your artwork so your fonts print exactly as intended. 

Why do you need to do this? Because when you outline your text, it changes the lettering from a "font" to a vectorized "shape" that can be adjusted or manipulated as needed. 

Once your artwork is finalized, it's best to outline your fonts and save yourself time and money from dealing with a bad print. 


From an artist's perspective, it's preferred to submit your artwork not mirrored. 

When the art is mirrored, it is sometimes more difficult to recognize mistakes because the art is not natural to the eye. 

Once the art's been approved for print, your files will be printed as is and reprints will typically come at your own expense. 

Most RIP software have automatic features for mirror artwork during printing. Your efforts are better spent checking for pixelation or spelling errors than mirroring. 


This is not a necessary step, but it is a good practice for those designs that require a lot of storage. 

Flattening your artwork will reduce the size of the file, making it easier to RIP and print. 

But if you are going to flatten your images, make sure this is done after you have double and triple checked your art for accuracy. 

Once the art has been flattened, you will no longer be able to make adjustments to your art. 


If you are going to submit your own gang sheets for print, it's important to be cognizant of spacing. 

When our art department is setting up gang sheets, they keep in mind spacing to ensure consistent and even cuts. This will help you when it's time to press. 

Some printers will suggest that you use every possible inch of the sheet so there's no wasted materials and you make the most of your space. 

This is true, but if you don't leave yourself enough space for cutting and peeling after the press, you can potentially create issues for yourself later. 

For all of our DTF gang sheets, we recommend 0.25 to 0.50 inch spacing between all of your prints. 

Print-Ready Artwork

Whether it's for personal use or for business, you need your DTF transfers to come out in the highest quality possible. Blurry or pixelated images are simply not acceptable. 

But if you keep these things in mind before you submit your artwork to be printed, you should never have to worry about receiving a bad print again. 

At Inkjet parts, we offer high quality DTF gang sheet printing with quick turnarounds. If you need any assistance with your art, email our art director at 

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