Design File Formats & Sizes To Send KD Shirt Shop


We can help your t-shirt dreams become a t-shirt reality, but we need the below picture file formats to do so please read this information to understand why. If you need our help to clean-up your artwork we will at $15.00 per hour one hour minimum (so please give us artwork that is ready to go).

JPEG & PNG Formats and Compression

JPG –  support over 16 million colors, but slightly “distort” the image to compress the file size. For photos, the human eye cannot tell the subtle changes in color, but along straight edges and in pictures with large solid colors, distortion is sometimes appear.

PNG – Portable Network Graphics format is a completely loss-less compression.    Gradients come out much smoother and do not have the distortions that may appear in a JPG. PNG is the recommended file format for image uploads to the KD Shirt Shop system. Whichever format you use, save all files in RGB color mode.

To the right you can see differences between JPG and PNG formats. You can see how JPG leaves “ghosting” and distortion around the Letters and how PNG’s have retained the original quality.

Resolution and Sizing

Please submit all files at the size you wish them to be printed. If you are unsure of what size might be appropriate, our customer service rep will be glad to help you decide.

Screen-printing – full front or back prints are between 10 and 11 inches wide by any height up to 14 inches. While left chest prints are approximately 3.75” wide.

Digital printing – standard size is up to 8.5 inches by 11 inches but we can print oversize up to 13.5 inches by 15.5 inches. For best results please make sure files are the actual size you would like them printed, in RGB format and a minimum of 150 DPI. in CMYK format and a minimum of 300 DPI with a transparent background.

Embroidery – the graphic can be up to 4″ x 4″. However, we can embroider up to 4″ x 8″. Left chest prints are generally 2 1/2 to (and never more than) 4 inches wide, and sleeve prints are usually 2 to 3 inches wide. Sizing is a matter of taste so these are not to be taken as strict guidelines. Give us a call if you’re thinking of something bigger.

Note: These instructions below are relate to screen printing only. Digital print files are simply digital print files. Submit them to size and we’re all set.

Vector Files: Bitmap (Photo) Files, Photoshop, PNG, TIFF, Illustrator EPS, PDF, etc.

Submit all full color, photographic files in RGB format. We can guarantee the best color fidelity if the file is in these “unadulterated” formats. If you are having an image scanned just for your t-shirt design, request RGB from your service bureau or scanner operator. Many high-end scanning units will scan images in CMYK. This is great for offset, but not so hot for screen printing. Some places will simply convert the file from the original CMYK format to RGB. This is acceptable but not the best way to do things. The key issue here is that when an image is in CMYK mode its palette of colors has been reduced for the offset printing process. If the image is to be spot color separated, we can often reproduce a wider range of colors than offset printing. Giving us the image in CMYK will limit the possibilities. Also, when a CMYK image is displayed on your monitor, the appearance of the image is controlled by a number of preferences you have set up for dot gain and printing inks. In RGB these factors will be ignored.

When creating images, start your image at 150-300 DPI. You can always decrease your image to maintain a clean, crisp image. However, you cannot increase the resolution and image size of your image without compromising the image quality.Making your image larger will cause the image to look “dirty”.

What Is Resolution and DPI

Are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different. Knowing the difference between them will enable you to get the most from the KD Shirt Shop services.  Any digital image is composed of pixels. The pixels are the small colored square dots that can sometimes be seen when images are enlarged too much, or if you look at your screen close enough. Resolution is the number of pixels in the horizontal direction by the number of pixels in the vertical direction. For example, a picture with 900 pixels at the horizontal direction and 1700 pixels at the vertical direction would have a resolution of 900 x 1700 pixels (pronounced 1000 by 1900 pixels).

As you’ve probably noticed, nowhere in the above definition it is said what size the pixels are. This is where the DPI comes in. DPI is simply Dots per Inch. A picture with 100 x 100 resolutions would be 1 x 1 inch when printed at 100 DPI, and 100 x 100 inch when printed at 1 DPI!

There’s a trade-off. The bigger the resolution, the bigger the image is. It will take more disk space, occupy more memory when loaded, and will take longer to be transferred through the Web. On the other hand, the bigger the resolution, the better the image looks when printed. We feel it is better to wait a bit more for your photo to upload than to have a bad print in the end.

Uploading & Sending Artwork Files

                           Sending your artwork via email is an easy and convenient way to send your file. KD Shirt Shop can also deal with different types of media, including USB flash drives and CDs/DVD’s.

If possible please compress all files to a .zip when sending through E-mail to protect the data. All files that travel over the internet get converted to text somewhere along the line. By using a compression application you can protect your files from data corruption and make them more easily accessible.

Send us your files at : or fill out our form.
Have Questions call us at: 630-273-2050

Source files 

are essentially the files a designer uses to create their designs with before exporting them as a jpg/png. These files are required to be provided to the customer to allow them to print scale-able versions of the design or edit them as they see fit.  Source files are often vector-based.

  • AI file (the source file from Adobe Illustrator) 
  • EPS file (vector format allowing fully scaled printing) as the source files.
  • PSD (PhotoShop source 

Good Tips To Keep In Mind

  1. Print the picture yourself on your own printer at the same size you want it to appear on your products. If it looks “chunky” or “dirty” on your printer, it will look “chunky” or “dirty” on your products too.
  2.  If you save using JPG format, try using the lowest compression setting possible. Where this setting is located varies with different image software, but they should all have a 1-100 compression factor that you can set. Lower compression means less distortion. If you have the choice of having no compression at all that would be ideal.
  1. On light colored fabrics be aware that any white in your image may show as the color of the fabric. Also very light colors may be affected by the color of the shirt. On dark colored fabrics, white ink will be printed on the
  1.  When creating graphics, try to reduce as much white space around the image as you can. Creating extra white space around the image will prevent the image to print its maximum size.
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