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– Hey guys! So at long last, I am back with another graphic design video. Today, we are going to talk
about how to design a t-shirt, or, more specifically, how to prepare a t-shirt for printing. I have designed a lot
of t-shirts in my day. I did this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one, which is what we’re going
to be looking at today. It is the "Why buy anything else "when you could be buying books?" shirt, which I sell on DFTBA Records.
So, I designed it in Illustrator, and this is what the final looked like when I finished the design. The layers are completely disorganized, and it’s not quite ready to
be sent off to be printed. So first, I’m going to save a copy of it called something like book_shirt_FOR_PRINT, so that I have the print version, but then I still have
the original just in case I have to make any changes later on.
Now the first thing to check is text. In this shirt, I used the fonts Gothic 13, Populaire Light, and Trend Ornaments, and not everyone is going to
have those on their computer. So I’m just going to select all, and go to Type, Create Outlines.
Now they’re just shapes that any computer will be able to read. So the next thing is to expand
any strokes and effects. If we select all, you can see that something on here has a stroke, since little stroke color thing has question marks on it. The thing with the stroke
is this little curly guy coming out of the magic wand.
So I’ll select it, and
go to Object, Expand. This converts the stroke into a shape so that if the image has to be re-sized, the proportion of the
stroke doesn’t change. But now, we can see that
there are two shapes, an inner shape and an outer shape. The goal with this is to make the design as simple as possible. So I’m just going to
delete the inner shape, and now it’s just one
shape with no stroke.
Now, when I’m designing a shirt, I’ll usually put a large
rectangle of the shirt color under the design so that I can see how it looks on that color. However, when I send it out to be printed, I need to delete this so
that it doesn’t get counted as another color to be printed. A trick that I like to use in Illustrator, especially on shirts
that have white in them, is to change the shirt
color to be something totally crazy that would
never be a part of the shirt, like bright green, but now, you can see
that the grunge effect that I put on top of the design shows up as dark gray, which should not be printed as gray. We want the design to just be see through. So to combat this, I’m going to duplicate the bottom rectangle layer, and move it directly
under the grunge layer. Then I’ll select the two paths, and use the Pathfinder tool on minus front to merge the two and get rid
of the color on that shape, and then, select all, and
use this new top layer to make a clipping mask on
all of the other layers. Now we can see that no matter
color we turn the background, the grunge effect has turned see through. So we can print this
design on any color shirt. I also like to make
sure the Layers palette is as organized as possible by grouping the different
colors into groups. This isn’t totally necessary, but just in case anyone else ever has to make
adjustments to the document, then they can tell exactly
where everything is. So now that the design
is as simple as possible and transparent for where the shirt color is going to show through, we are just about done. You can always go into Outline mode to make sure you’re not missing any shapes or to spot any shapes
that you want to simplify, like this pointed rectangle, which I can use the Pathfinder tool to merge into one shape. And then I also noticed that
a lot of the grunge effect is not actually on the design. So I can delete a lot
of those anchor points, so that the design becomes
a little less complicated. And then, making sure it is CMYK, save it as the file type your
print company will accept, usually it’s an AI, an EPS, or a PDF. So I’m going to talk about
Photoshop in just a minute, but first, I wanted to
mention a small quirk I came across while designing
shirts for Wheezy Waiter, which he got printed through Spreadshirt, and that quirk is that Spreadshirt only accepts three colors on their shirts, and each color can have no more than 2,000 anchor points. Well, when you’re working on a
complicated design like this, there’s no way you’re going to count all of the points by hand. So the way to count them
is to select every shape of a certain color with the magic wand, and then go to Object, Path, Simplify. Turn Preview on, and now it tells you how many points there
were in the original file, and how many there will
be once you simplify it.
I had to simplify this design quite a bit using both this tool and manually going in and working on it, but I did get the points
to under 2,000 eventually. So now, let’s talk about Photoshop because I know that not
everybody has Illustrator. Just like with any print file, make sure you’re working on
the document that is CMYK. If you can work with the
pen tool and vector shapes, that’s probably ideal, but, if you really have to
make this a raster document, just make sure that it’s always 300 dpi and the correct number
of inches across and down for the size design you’re making. Remember, that you can always scale down, but scaling up is just a
whole headache of problems. Just like in Illustrator, if you end up with any text layers, rasterize them before
sending off your file, just in case the print company doesn’t have the fonts you’re using, and if you used any layer effects, rasterize those as well. Now, when you’re ready to save your shirt, make sure to get rid of the background so that it’s transparent, and save it as whatever file type your print company will accept, usually a PDF, a TIFF, or just a PSD. So, I think those are
all of the tips I have for getting a t-shirt
design ready to print. If you want to buy this shirt or the Wheezy Waiter shirts, I will have those links right
down below in the description. And if you want more graphic design videos just like this, I’ll have
a playlist link for you right down below, so you can check out all of those videos. So, if you want a slightly more creative, and less technical video about
how to design merchandise, I already made that video. It is going to be right here. Or if you just want something fun, I put up a video with Liam Dryden, where we did the Harry Potter Challenge. It was so fun! You can watch that video right here. So that’s it for me. Thank you guys so much for watching, and I will see you all next time. Bye everyone! (techno music) .