In this post, we are going to go over how to make the perfect graphic for your products. This graphic will be the actual image that is printed on your product. Often times, many have told me that there was an issue with their graphic being put on a hold due to graphic errors. This post is to ensure your graphics are set and ready to go so that you don’t have to worry about this. Let’s get started with three important guidelines to follow.
Using the correct size
A very common mistake that first timers make is that they use the wrong size file. This can be confusing at first but thankfully the good people at Printful have made templates and guides for you to download. So the first step would be to find the actual product you will want and download the correct file for that particular product. In this post we are going to cover the templates for DTG (Direct to Garment) apparel because they have the most template options.
Printful has three different size templates and you must create a different graphic per variation. For example, if you have a t-shirt like my “Hormones” tee below, and you intend to sell this to women, men and children. Then you must make a separate file for each size.
- A men shirt will typically be 12×16
- A woman’s will be 10×12
- and a child’s will be 7×8
This is the size of the actual print area where your graphic will be placed on the shirt.
As you can see from the above image, different type of shirts require different files. This is called a variation. Another example of a variation would be the size of color of the shirt. If you are not sure, a good rule of thumb is go bigger. Printful has a team of graphic designers that look through each file individually and they can scale the graphic for you.
Use their templates
The best part about using Printful as your drop shipping company is that they are super user friendly. They have pre-made templates for each of their products. So you don’t have to worry about sending in the wrong size. All you have to do is go to the desired product and download the “print file template.”
✨PRO-TIP✨ It is not necessary to download the template every time you need to make a new product. Download all the files you will need once and then create new copies each time you want to create a product graphic.
The template looks like this:
Two important things to keep in mind when using these templates
When opening this document in your image editing software it will be TRANSPARENT. It is very important to keep this image transparent! Anything that is placed onto this graphic will be printed onto your product.
Secondly, the template is the “safe space” for you to fill the entire area. Anything you place on there is guaranteed to be printed onto your product. Don’t be afraid to fill the space!
Formatting the final image
So once you’ve made your graphic and you’re ready to create a product or mockup, you’re going to want to download the image. There are two important steps you need to take when doing this. First, you’ll want to make sure the resolution of your image is high enough. Depending on the graphic, you will want a minimum of 300 DPI resolution. What does that mean? Well in short, DPI stands for Dots Per Image and basically the more dots the clearer the image. Printful will accept 150 DPI as their lowest but keep in the mind, the higher the DPI the higher the print quality. After you’ve made sure the DPI is correct, you will want to download the image in an acceptable format. This can either be a PSD file or PNG. Printful will not accept other types of files such as a PDF.
2 Free Resources to Creating Graphics
Well now you have guidelines to creating these graphics but where do you actually make them? If you don’t have the budget for expensive software like Adobe Photoshop then you’re in luck! Maybe you remember from “How to Start an Online Store,” I gave you a couple free resources for creating graphics? If not, it’s fine because I am going to go over them again.
A close second to Photoshop is a FREE software called GIMP. Here you will be able to open up the templates and edit/create directly from the software. If you are unsure how to use GIMP, they have several tutorials HERE and you can find so many on YouTube!
This year and last was a very exciting year for Printful. They have launched so many new features on their website and I am super excited to announce that you can now make graphics directly from their website! YAY 🙌🏼
To create a graphic from Printful can be a little tricky and will require a few steps. Make sure you are logged in. If you have not created an account yet, you can do so HERE.
Once you are logged in, you will go to their mockup generator and choose the desired product.
✨PRO-TIP✨ Remember what we talked about earlier on template sizes. The actual product doesn’t have to be exact as long as the template/file size will be the same.
From there, you can start editing (see below).
When you are satisfied with the graphic, click “Generate Files.” This is the important part. Make sure that when you generate the file, that you have selected to generate the “print file.” This will make a copy of the graphic for you to place onto other products. When they file has generated, you will have the option to download or save. I recommend saving it to your library for easier use in the future.
Want to ensure that you’re products are perfect before you launch? Well guess what? Printful allows you to order samples at a 20% discount. You can order two orders per month with 3 items per order PLUS free shipping! Take advantage of these deals before launching your new online store.