6 Quick Steps to Create Your Own Vector Image


Say you want to customize your own shirt with your own graphic. It seems easy enough. Send the graphic to your local screen printing company, they’ll screen it onto however many shirts you order, and voila. In order to customize your t-shirt, sweatshirt, hat, or any item with the image from your own graphic, it will first have to be recreated in vector format. To do so, you will need Photoshop and Illustrator.

  1. To start, you’ll need to trace the desired parts of your graphic in Photoshop and delete the background along with any parts of the graphic you do not want included in your artwork.
  2. In Photoshop, go to Layers, then New Adjustments, and use either Brightness Contrast or Curves to create a contrast within your image. The goal is to find and highlight the details within your image.
  3. Once you’re done with step two, save your image using Save As, under File.
  4. After downloading the desired JPEG image, launch Illustrator and go to File, then Open, and select the desired image.
  5. After opening your JPEG document in Illustrator, the first step is to locate your tracing options. These can be found by going to Object, then Live Trace, where you will find Tracing Options. At first, your image may be missing a lot of detail. To fix this, change the threshold to your preference.
  6. Once you’ve finished, hit the expand button.

For a visual step-by-step, check out this video. Those new to Photoshop and Illustrator may want to practice on simpler designs before creating vector graphics for customized shirts and apparel.

By creating your own vector graphics, you ensure that the image printed on your t-shirt will be clear instead of distorted. Unlike JPEG images which are made up of pixels, vector images are made of paths. … Continue reading

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From Pinterest Designs to Custom Wall Decals

Decorating your home is all about personalizing your space. You want guests to walk in and say, “Wow, that looks amazing! Where did you get it?” as they secretly envy your interior design skills. The challenge is finding the right inspiration and a store that carries what you want. Retail home goods stores tend to carry the same generic but “unique” products everyone has.. After combing through stores, where else is there to turn for inspiration but Pinterest?

Pinterest is a vortex of inspiration. Once you start scrolling, you can’t stop, and before you know it you’ve found dozens of ideas for decorating your home. Ideas that seem to go nowhere because the wall decal or laptop sticker you just fell in love with isn’t anywhere to be found. Instead of despairing, why not take that inspiration and create your own custom wall decals?

Custom wall decals are great because they add a personalized touch to your home without ruining your walls. They decal-pinspirationcan be taken down just as easily as they were put up, giving you the ability to redesign and redecorate, should you want to. Wall decals are delicate enough to leave your paint on the walls but sturdy enough to withstand the humidity in a steamy bathroom or the heat of your kitchen. Best of all, you can customize them to your specific desires, and when it’s time for a change they’ll come down as easily as they went up.

Creative designs like tentacles waving over the sides of your bath tub or a modern wall decal of 3D telephone poles that add depth to any room are inspiring. However, designs like these often lead to dead-end searches that start with Pinterest and end with a Google images page. Designing your own unique wall decals is … Continue reading

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Why Resolution is Important

When submitting artwork for your custom apparel, stickers, banners, or canvas prints, the file format makes all the difference. Last month we explained why vector format is so important, but we only brushed the topic of why resolution is also important to the quality of your customized items.

The resolution of your submitted artwork will decide the outcome of your customized items. For a high quality, high-resolution print, you need to use high-resolution artwork. The higher the resolution, the better the quality. If your artwork is a low-resolution file, it will print low quality. The reason is that digital images are not vector format, they are raster format.

Raster images are composed of DPI, or dots per inch. Imagine if you put an image under a microscope. A high-resolution image will have a DPI of 300 or more, and show many dots of color. The more DPI, the more the ink covers the page and the dots of color will still blend together to create an image. A low-resolution image has less than 300 DPI, meaning that the dots per inch do not cover as much space, making them much more visible.


A common question we hear is “Why can’t I use an image off the web?” Finding artwork online is easy and convenient, but it does not make for good printing. This is because web pages can only display images at 72 DPI, an incredibly low-resolution. Imagine putting one of those web images under a microscope. At only 72 DPI, there is not much ink covering the page. This causes the image to look blurred when it is blown up, making any low-resolution image pulled from the web impossible to use.

When customizing your own apparel, stickers, banners, or canvases, it is important to keep in mind that … Continue reading

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5 Things You Should Know About Vector Artwork

When designing your own t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and other garments, artwork should always be submitted in vector format. Different from a JPEG or GIF, vector graphics (.AI, EPS) are made of paths instead of pixels. Paths are mathematically-defined geometric shapes. They can be lines, squares, triangles, curves – anything that can be defined by a start and an end point. Since vector graphics are not made from pixels, they can never become distorted, making vector the preferred image file for screen printing.

To fully understand vector graphics and how they work takes time and patience. To start, we thought we would answer five common questions about vector graphics and how they function.


  1. Why don’t vector graphics become distorted? As mentioned above, the good thing about vector graphics is that they can never Raster_vs_Vectorbecome distorted. To fully understand why, you have to understand the difference between pixels and paths. Typical photos and images are created by a grid of pixels, or a specific number of dots. When you size a graphic made of pixels, each one becomes stretched, ultimately distorting the image. Because vector files are made from mathematically-defined geometric shapes, scaling their size only requires a modification of their mathematical locations. A vector graphic can be made as large or small as you want, without becoming distorted.
  2. Once my graphic is in vector format, can it be adjusted? Graphics that are in vector format can be simplified, and the colors can be changed. Vector art is a series of lines and points, which means that you are able to manipulate individual sections of the graphic without affecting the rest of the graphic. Saving your artwork into vector format does not mean that the artwork cannot be changed. It simply means that not only can your image be sized without
  3. Continue reading

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