How to Design for DTG Printing: Tips and Best Practices

Direct to garment (DTG) printing is a popular method of printing custom designs on clothing. Compared to traditional screen printing, DTG printing offers greater flexibility and is a more cost-effective solution for small runs or one-off designs. However, designing for DTG printing can be challenging, especially if you're not familiar with the process. In this article, we'll take a closer look at how to design for DTG printing and share some tips and best practices to help you get the best results.


  1. Understand the DTG Printing Process

  2. Choose High-Quality Images

  3. Create Vector-Based Designs

  4. Use Appropriate Colours

  5. Mind the Placement

  6. Test Your Design

  7. Understand the DTG Printing Process


  1. Understand the DTG Printing Process

Before you begin designing for DTG printing, it's important to understand how the process works. DTG printers use a specialized inkjet technology to print designs directly onto fabric. Unlike screen printing, DTG printing can handle full-colour designs and even photographic images. However, the results you get will depend on a few key factors, such as the quality of your design and the type of fabric you're printing on. To ensure the best results, it's important to work with a reputable printing company that uses high-quality equipment and inks.  At Rebel Printerz we only use the best quality equipment and eco-friendly inks available.  These ensure your design image is printed at the highest quality possible.

  1. Choose High-Quality Images

One of the most important factors in designing for DTG printing is choosing high-quality images. Whether you're using photographs or vector-based designs, it's essential to use images that are high resolution and have good contrast. This will ensure that your final printed product looks sharp and vibrant. Avoid using low-resolution images or images that are heavily compressed, as these can lead to blurry or pixelated prints.  We recommend using an image of 300 dpi.  A minimum value of 72 dpi is acceptable if the image is sized correctly.

  1. Create Vector-Based Designs

When designing for DTG printing, it's best to create vector-based designs whenever possible. Vector graphics are made up of lines and shapes, rather than pixels, which means they can be scaled up or down without losing quality. This is especially important if you're designing for multiple garment sizes, as you'll need your design to look good no matter how large or small it's printed. If you're not familiar with creating vector graphics, there are plenty of online tutorials and resources available to help you get started.

  1. Use Appropriate Colours

DTG printing can handle a wide range of colours, but it's important to keep a few things in mind when choosing your colour palette. First, consider the colour of the fabric you'll be printing on. Light-coloured fabrics work best with bright and bold colours, while darker fabrics may require more subdued tones. Second, be mindful of how many colours you're using in your design. Each colour requires a separate ink cartridge, which can drive up the cost of your print job. If you're on a tight budget, consider using fewer colours or using halftones to create the illusion of more colours.  At Rebel Printerz we can print photo quality images that contain a limitless amount of colours. Enabling you to create the image you want without limit.

  1. Mind the Placement

When designing for DTG printing, it's important to consider the placement of your design on the garment. While you have more freedom with DTG printing compared to screen printing, there are still limitations to consider. For example, designs that are too large or too close to the edges of the garment may not print properly. Additionally, certain areas of the garment, such as the collar or sleeves, may be more difficult to print on. Work closely with your printing company to determine the best placement for your design.

  1. Test Your Design

Finally, it's always a good idea to test your design before placing a large order. Most printing companies will offer sample prints or test prints so you can see how your design will look on the final product. This is especially important if you're using a new printing company or experimenting with a new design technique. Testing your design will allow you to catch any potential issues early on and make necessary adjustments before printing a large batch.


Designing for DTG printing requires some special considerations, but with the right approach, you can create stunning custom garments that are sure to impress. By understanding the printing process, choosing high-quality images, creating vector-based designs, using appropriate colours, minding the placement, and testing your design, you can ensure that your final product looks great and meets your expectations. Whether you're printing t-shirts for a fundraiser, creating custom uniforms for your team, or producing one-of-a-kind merchandise for your brand, DTG printing offers a flexible and cost-effective solution that can help bring your designs to life.

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