Getting those hand-drawn designs print ready


Leoferrago asks:

Hey there.
I’m looking to get some designs printed onto shirts to sell. The designs are just simple, hand-drawn two-color drawings. I have no graphic design know-how, and I’m not sure what all it takes to have my designs cleaned up a little and made t-shirt ready. What I’m wondering is how willing and able are most printers to help customers with this kind of thing (I’m assuming it requires the use of photoshop or illustrator or something along those lines), and is that usually something they charge extra for, or is it usually included in the price of having t-shirts printed?

question posed on t shirt forums


Quick screen printing lesson – Pre-printing process

When making use of a commercial printer your artwork has to be loaded onto a computer- it is then broken down into seperate colours (seperations) using vector or photo/raster software– these seperations are made into positives (printed onto transparency film)- these positives are used to develop the screens- each screen is used to print the colour from which it originated- thus you have broken down the colours and re-assembled it onto the t shirt. Simple!

The fact that you have done the drawings by hand, means that a designer/ dtp operator would need to do the computer input for your illustrations. Unless you are doing a large amount of t shirts, you will probably be charged an hourly rate for their work.

I would suggest that you learn more about the programs that you’ve mentioned. If you are serious about printing your designs and selling them, perhaps you should get trial versions of the various programs and do some tutorials.

I will be elaborating on the various programs in future posts, so watch this space if you would like to learn more.


2 thoughts on “Getting those hand-drawn designs print ready

  1. To whom it may concern,

    I am interested in in printing only single t-shirts. I even have the t-shirts that I want to be printed. Is this something you do or do you know who I should contact to so this? What are the prices for doing this?

    Kind regards,

    Robert Wells

  2. Hi, I read your contacts and orders page and I realise that you only do bulk orders … could you direct me to a T-shirt printing company in Cape Town that will print ONE t-shirt with a custom design?

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