Illustrator for Screen Printing | Tips & Guide

Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard program for creating custom t-shirt designs for screen printing. T-shirt designs made in Adobe Illustrator are scale able vector graphics, meaning the design is able to be resized and maintain crisp edges. There are certain practices inside Adobe Illustrator a screen printer or graphic designer can do in order to keep designs and workflow efficient. One of the best practices if you are using Illustrator for screen printing is to maintain a spot color library of the colors you work with all the time. 99% of all screen printer use the same basic plastisol ink colors- so build your spot color library using only colors you or your screen printer has on the shelf. Another tip is to use a template for your t-shirt designs. This template should be the same size film positive you use so you can build the design with the final outcome in mind. You may also use the same template or another one if you are designing for a client. Click here to view our Adobe Illustrator template. Once a design is made you are able to print each spot color in the design as a film positive for screen printing. The film positives will then be exposed onto a screen to make a stencil.

Spot Color Separation in Adobe Illustrator

Learn how to do a basic under base separation in Adobe Illustrator for screen printing. The majority of basic spot color separations will be done in Adobe Illustrator because of the crisp lines and halftones you can hold while printing film positives. And since the majority of designs you'll make for t-shirts will be done in a vector program such as Adobe Illustrator, doing the spot color separations makes the workflow quicker.

Click to read more and learn how to do color separations in Illustrator.

Raster Image to Vector File

Converting raster images to vector files will be a re-peat able task done often if you design t-shirts or screen print. And using Adobe Illustrator to make the conversion can be done in several different ways. But making the conversion will allow you to make clean crisp art to output spot colors to a film positive to print t-shirts.

Watch how to do it or download the practice file.

Using a Template in Illustrator

Using a template in Adobe Illustrator is a good practice to keep,. I use a template that i can export and share with my customers as an art approval. I also have my work space inside Illustrator set up to make certain task easier to get to. Such as adding a stroke to trap colors- or using a custom library of plastisol spot colors we have in our shop.

Click here to download our Adobe Illustrator template for art approvals.

How to Add a Vintage Texture Effect in Illustrator

Using a template in Adobe Illustrator is a good practice to keep,. I use a template that i can export and share with my customers as an art approval. I also have my work space inside Illustrator set up to make certain task easier to get to. Such as adding a stroke to trap colors- or using a custom library of plastisol spot colors we have in our shop.

Click here to learn how to add a vintage effect in Illustrator.

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