Design Guide

Before you design products with our Mockup Generator and publish our free mockups to your e-commerce store, we recommend going through our Design Guide. In order to produce good-quality products, you will need to make sure the file you upload meets these guidelines.

Also, check out our YouTube Channel for video tutorials (including How to Create Your First Product) and product reviews. Subscribe to keep up-to-date!

For garments

Here you can find guidelines on preparing designs for apparel products. First of all, in most cases, your design should have a transparent background. Otherwise, the background color will also be printed on the shirt as a rectangle. The exception would be for all-over-print apparel. 

Make sure the product is printed in the best possible quality by understanding the specifics of Direct to Garment (DTG) printing, the RGB vs CMYK color models and other factors. 

Printify CMYK color profile:

Dark garments

Light garments

While creating a new file, it’s best to use inches as the unit of measurement when planning the size of your artwork. You should set the resolution to 300 Pixels / Inch, with an 8-bit depth. Since our printers are set to the CMYK color profile, the color mode for your artwork should also be set in CMYK. A lot of the colors you create in RGB mode are not achievable using standard four-color process printing (CMYK). It is always best to create your document in CMYK color mode from the start to ensure that you have a better idea of how your design will be printed.

New CMYK File

The largest print size for garment products is 15’’ x 19’’. This is based on the pallet size, not the garment. Please note that if the artwork is larger than the print area, it will be cut to size. The size of the artwork is entirely up to your discretion. If you do not want prints over a zipper, please size the artwork accordingly to clear that space.

If you make your artwork at 15′′ x 19′′, but the print area for other product sizes is smaller, we will automatically scale down the artwork.

If you do not want to end up with a white box around your design on a colored shirt, you should choose a correct file format, i.e. PNG or JPEG.

If you are working with vectors (in Illustrator, for example), you shouldn’t have any problem creating a piece of artwork with a transparent background.

If you are using Photoshop (or any other photo editing software) and your design already has a background, you will need to remove it.

Always pay attention to the edges of your design. If your photo is not in the highest quality, there is a very strong possibility unnecessary pixels will stay on your artwork! Our advice is to temporarily add a new layer (in contrast to the color of the background of your design) and you will clearly see if there are still any unwanted pixels remaining.

mockup generator

It may be hard to tell the difference between color tones when preparing files on your monitor. Monitors of various types and calibration may show richer colors in RGB, but it is crucial to know which one to choose.

CMYK black (also known as 100K black) is great for texts because only one color (Black) is used for printing, allowing for crisp and sharp reproduction. If you've created a text in Photoshop with Rich Black, chances are, particularly small fonts will come out blurry and fuzzy.

On large areas of flat black, however, 100K doesn't really have much impact as black, but rather as a dark gray, especially when uncoated. The reason it's gray rather than black is that the ink is partially absorbed by the fabric, creating a very thin coating, so some of the white ink may show through. The solution is to create a Rich Black by adding a little extra color to the mix.

Our equipment prints multiple layers of ink on a shirt. For light colored shirts, a single color layer is applied if an underbase is not desired. It’s not required on white garments, and it creates a much more integrated look on lighter grays, whites, etc.

Dark colored garments (black, navy, etc.) require a white underbase layer printed first to create a foundation for colored ink. In this case, some preparations to the artwork should be performed.

NOTE: One color fading into another color does not require preparation.

Deleting portions of the artwork so that FULL transparency is shown in a halftone-style pattern is the best way to create the “fade to nothing” look. This is required when printing:

- Black fading to nothing

- A color fading to nothing

mockup generator

Remember that the CMYK color profile gives you the idea of how your colors are going to print. As a result, you need to export a flattened PNG (you must ensure that there is only one layer, flattened down, and nothing other than the colorspace in the channels section). As you might know, PNG doesn’t support the CMYK color profile. Don’t worry - when everything is done, convert your artwork to the RGB profile. The colors might become brighter and more vibrant, but the artwork will still be printed as seen in the CMYK mode. Export the file to PNG and you are ready to make your new collection.

Once you've made sure that you've prepared your design according to our Design Guide, you can use our Mockup Generator to create your own custom products. Then you can publish great mockups straight to your e-commerce store.

For other Printify products

Here you can find guidelines on preparing designs with our mockup generator for phone cases, laptop sleeves, mugs, wall art, shower curtains, blankets and other products. 

Unlike garments that require the print file to be transparent due to products providing a background with various colors, products such as mugs, phone cases, and canvases are mostly white (exception: black mugs, transparent phone cases). So, in case your design has a white background, you don’t need to remove it! Just make sure it really is  white, and not off-white - otherwise it will be visible. Also, remember that when creating a new file, it’s best to use inches. Again, this only applies to products with only white variants. The resolution should be set to 300 dpi with 150 dpi as the minimum and with an 8 bit depth. Most non-apparel products are sublimation printed (with the exception of canvases). For sublimation printing, you need to create your file in RGB color mode.

New RGB File

Sizes and proportions are different for each item. If you make a vertical design for a canvas, it might not look good on mugs, as their print area is horizontal. In case you are using one piece of artwork for multiple products and it is larger than the print area, the artwork will be cut. To avoid this happening, use our product generator to scale your design, or rotate it 90° if needed. Before you make a design, think about the products you want to print it on and choose the largest variant's size requirements as the default. This will ensure the best print quality.

You need to export a flattened PNG (you must ensure that there is only one layer, flattened down). 

Once you've made sure that you have prepared your design according to our Design Guide, you can use our Mockup Generator to create your custom products. From our Mockup Generator you will get gorgeous high definition product images.

Note: every design that is to be printed on a particular product for the first time goes through a Quality Control process performed by the Printify team. If we see any issues in your design that may lead to a bad quality print - we will let you know.


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