ImagesMagUK-July-2020 24 images JULY 2020 TIPS & TECHNIQUES Margareta Fuchs and Everson Scheurich of DTG Merch explain why top quality DTG prints begin with top quality artwork, and advise on how to avoid the two most common mistakes when choosing graphics files outstanding – if the quality of the image file you’re intending to print from is below par, the final printed result will also look below par. Put simply, your prints will never appear better than the quality of the image/information contained in the original files. There are numerous issues that design files can suffer from; here, we’ll discuss two of the most common mistakes. Unwanted image elements Unlike when printing on paper, DTG printing uses white ink. This has the benefit of allowing you to print on coloured and black textiles by applying an opaque white background (or underbase) over which the colour layer is printed. In DTG printing, the rule of ‘WYSIWYG’ (what you see is what you get) also applies. This means that every single pixel that contains image information – ie all areas that are not transparent – will be printed. This includes any white background pixels. For example, let’s say you are asked to print a circular logo. The logo is supplied as a rectangular image file with a white background. As white is a printable colour, you’ll end up printing a white box around your circular logo design. The only time you do not need to worry about the white background is if you are printing with CMYK inks only. A white background is not the only image element you should watch out for: if your design has imperfections, they will also be printed. If the design is blurry, the print will look blurry. Or as the old adage goes: garbage in, garbage out. These aspects of DTG printing have some far-reaching implications for the way graphics must be created for print. ■ Tip number 1 Remove all elements that you do not want to see on the final result. When working with complex designs that have lots of detail, such as hair, this process can be complicated and time-consuming. Our advice is to either create the graphic correctly, without the extraneous details, from scratch or communicate the exact requirements to the designer so they can create the file accordingly. ■ Tip number 2 Pay extra attention when you choose the file format. When printing without the white ink, any file format supported by the printer or the RIP can be used. But if you’re using white ink, a file with transparent areas will be necessary. This requires the design to be saved in a file format that supports transparencies, eg PNG, PSD, TIFF. Take special care with JPEGs as this popular file format does not support transparencies. As soon as a JPEG file is saved, all transparent areas are automatically filled with white. ■ Tip number 3 Choose the right image size and resolution. The design size depends on the dimension of the print. For example, if a 30 x 30cm image is printed, we recommend an image size of 3,550 x 3,550 pixels. For a 40 x 50cm image, aim for approximately 4,750 x 5,900 pixels. We usually design our graphics as 4,700 x 5,900 pixel images or as vector files, which allows us to be prepared for all eventualities. Even though some printers can print at higher resolutions, we aim for 300dpi.The Everson Scheurich and Margareta Fuchs Industry experts provide insight and guidance in all areas of digital garment and textile printing Digital helpdesk Pay close attention to the resolution, size and quality of the files you send to your DTG printer – a bad design will always result in a poor print I t doesn’t matter if your DTG printer is running like clockwork, all your processes are optimised and the washfastness of your products is