Top 10 Tips - How to Optimize Your Artwork for DTG Printing

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing has revolutionized the world of custom apparel, allowing artists and designers to bring their creative visions to life with vibrant and detailed prints on fabric. Unlike traditional screen printing, DTG printing offers unparalleled flexibility and accuracy, making it a preferred choice for many creators. However, achieving the best results requires careful consideration of the artwork's design and preparation. In this article, we'll delve into the top 10 tips for optimizing your artwork for DTG printing, ensuring that your creations look stunning on every garment.

1. Resolution Matters: Start with High-Quality Artwork

The foundation of a successful DTG print lies in the artwork's resolution. Begin with high-resolution images to ensure that fine details are preserved, resulting in sharp and clear prints. Aim for a minimum of 300 DPI (dots per inch) to maintain quality.

2. Use Vector Graphics: Scalability is Key

Vector graphics, created using software like Adobe Illustrator, maintain their quality regardless of size. Unlike raster images, vectors are composed of mathematical equations, ensuring crisp lines and smooth edges, even when resized. This is particularly important for versatile DTG printing.

3. Choose the Right Colour Mode: RGB vs. CMYK

While designing, work in the RGB colour mode to take advantage of the full spectrum of colours that DTG printers can reproduce. Only convert to CMYK when you're preparing the final file for printing, and be prepared for some colour shifting during the conversion.

DTG Printed grey hoodie with an image of a Tiger painted in a graffiti style with dripping paint

4. Transparent Backgrounds: Embrace the Versatility

Using a transparent background in your design allows it to seamlessly blend with the fabric colour, giving you more creative freedom. Transparent backgrounds also prevent unwanted white boxes around your design when printed on coloured garments.

5. Mind the Details: Consider Text Size and Line Thickness

Pay close attention to the size of text and thickness of lines in your artwork. Fine lines and small text can be challenging to reproduce accurately, so ensure that they are appropriately sized for printing. Aim for a minimum line thickness of 0.5 points.

6. Colour Management is Crucial: Calibrate Your Monitor

Proper colour calibration of your monitor is essential to ensure that the colours you see on screen match those that will be printed. Use a colour calibration tool to achieve accurate colour representation.

7. Master the Art of Under base: Enhance Colour Vibrancy

Dark garments often require an under base—a layer of white ink—before printing colours. The under base ensures that colours appear vibrant and true to your design, especially on darker fabrics.

8. Watch Out for Blends and Gradients: Simplify Complex Shading

DTG printers struggle with highly detailed gradients and complex shading. Simplify your design's shading and use fewer colour transitions to avoid potential printing issues.

9. Beware of Tiny Fonts: Optimal Text for Legibility

Tiny fonts might look great on screen but can be illegible when printed. Opt for larger, more readable text sizes to ensure that your message is clear and visible on the final product.

10. Test Before Printing: Ensure Compatibility and Quality

Before printing a bulk order, always conduct a test print on the target fabric. This helps identify any potential issues and allows you to make necessary adjustments to your design before committing to a larger run.


DTG printing opens up a world of creative possibilities for artists and designers. By following these top 10 tips, you can optimize your artwork to achieve outstanding results on any garment. Remember that attention to detail, colour accuracy, and thorough testing are key to producing prints that truly showcase your artistic vision. With the right techniques, your DTG-printed apparel will captivate audiences and make a lasting impression.

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