Getting Great Graphics for your Tees

The quickest way to create a tee design is to use the fonts and graphics we offer in our Design Studio, but we also love to see all the unique and creative designs that our customers create on their own.

It’s our job to ensure your vision looks great on a t-shirt so we provide Artwork Assistance on every order. Our professional graphic design team reviews each design and can enhance the look. If something doesn’t meet our design standards we work with you to correct it.


Unfortunately, that sometimes takes more time and can delay printing. In order get your tees on the press quicker, we’ve put together a few tips on how to improve your graphic submission.

Ideal File Types

We can work with any file type, but we all have favorites. JPG’s , PNG’s, and other standard design files are fine, but one of the most common problems with these files are text. If you want to change a word or find a spelling mistake, we can’t adjust that.

One way to avoid this issue is to upload the graphic part of your design, but still use the fonts in the Design Studio so we have an editable version of the design.

There is one file type that we receive a lot and causes a little trouble. Everyone uses Microsoft Word, but it isn’t the most dependable file type since it can open differently depending on which version everyone has. This sometimes leads to loss of layout or formatting.

An easy fix is to save the file as a PDF. PDF’s are great to work with and will ensure we receive the same exact layout as you envisioned.

Getting Real on Resolution

Our average print size is at 3500 pixels. Bigger than you thought huh? If you said yes, you aren’t alone. One of the most common issues we tackle is how to make a tiny graphic look great on a tee. While we can work with graphics as small as 500 pixels—it gets tricky with anything smaller than that.

The majority of graphics are raster files, which means broken down in pixels, so as the graphic expands and gets larger the pixels will become distorted. The result is an unflattering and blurry design.

Another factor in resolution is the design itself. A bold and basic design is easier to “stretch” than a detailed design. For example, we could stretch a simple graphic like a stop sign since it has a basic shape and thick lines. But a family tree graphic with textured branches has too much detail and will appear blurry when stretched.

Most Effective Types of Graphics

When it comes to creating a design that is ideal for screen printing, the key is to keep it simple. High contrast or black and white images are great. Images that are cartoon-like, comic book style, or simple clip art work well because they consist of basic shapes and have bold, thick lines.


When creating your design keep in mind how screen printing works. Each layer of color for the design is separated and put onto individual mesh screens. To keep the design looking good and costs down we suggest keeping colors to a minimum. Modern graphic design is going towards simple, minimal, and bold anyway so it works perfect with screen printing.

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How to Customize Your Sleeve at Rush Order Tees


There is one very popular design service we offer that many customers had no idea about, and that service is sleeve printing. It is a great look and can add so much to business or sports uniforms. In order to ensure pricing and design quality we still discuss sleeve printing directly with the customer so it is currently not an option within our interactive design studio. Our Design Specialists know exactly how to help you create the perfect printed sleeve design.

The key to a great sleeve downloaddesign is keeping it simple. Remember, your sleeve is a small canvas to work with so you can’t use many elaborate designs or very ornate fonts. Find a clean font that matches the style of the rest of your design and don’t forget to keep the wording minimal. If you’re using sleeve printed tees for business promotions, you want to make sure the design and copy are clear and easily readable.

Another factor in sleeve printing is time. When screen printing a design, each layer of color is pressed onto the shirt. Since the shirt has to stay very flat when printing, each side of the shirt has to be done separately. The tees will go through one round of pressing for the front design and perhaps a second if you have a back design — then a third rotation for the sleeve design. While this process can be time consuming, we keep our production in-house and use a variety of presses to make sure everything is done as efficiently as possible.

The two most popular uses of sleeve printing are sports teams and business uniforms. Athletic teams love to put their logo and sometimes even their numbers on their tees or uniforms. They also look great with just a little graphic of the team’s logo or mascot. Many times employers will use the front of the shirt to put the team member’s name or title; then they can use the sleeve to add an extra design element like the company logo. Some companies use the space on the sleeve to promote and event or milestone like an company anniversary. For an extra professional look, consider sleeve embroidery.


Live Chat with a Project Specialist today to discuss sleeve printing.

Now You Can Create Durable T-Shirts for the Workplace

Finding a durable t-shirt is one of the most important things to remember when designing a uniform for your business. Whether you will be providing tees for your chefs who work in hot kitchens or your retail staff who need to have the same look day after day, you should do a little research on customized t-shirts and apparel that last.

We offer and recommend the Gildan G800, a durable tee that is affordable and stylish.


Gildan’s G800 is a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester; this type of fabric is the reason why it is so highly recommended for the workplace. Our most popular 100% cotton tee weighs in at 6.1 ounces, while the G800 is only 5.6 ounces. That may not seem like a huge difference, but think about that at the end of a long day.

Plenty of Amazon reviews agree that the shirt fits well, is durable, and looks great.  While most people love the comfort of a 100 percent cotton shirt, you have to consider that blended polyester will enhance the shirt’s longevity.

Another benefit of the 50/50 G800 is that it will hold up when things get hot. No one really wants to talk about sweat, but who wants to be caught with sweat stains at work?

Polyester is a fabric that can pull or move perspiration away from the skin which prevents the shirt from sticking. A sweat-free tee will always feel fresh and light-weight all day long.

After several sweaty wears, most cotton shirts have been known to get stains. This is due to the chemicals emitted by the apocrine gland in your armpits. While sweat is nearly all water, the other chemicals don’t evaporate and lead to those “bleach” marks under your armpits. This effect will eventually happen with the G800, but it takes ten times longer than with a 100 percent cotton tee.

Furthermore, since the shirt is not 100% cotton, it won’t shrink when you wash it over and over again — which is exactly what your staff will be doing. This shirt will maintain its shape over time, which means you will have a more consistently uniformed staff.

The G800 is ideal for business owners who want t-shirts that look like 100% cotton, but need the durability of a 50/50 blend.  If your workplace needs more protection from the heat, we can also screen print 100% polyester shirts, more commonly known as Moisture Management tees. At 100% polyester, the tee takes on “wicking” properties which keeps the t-shirt completely dry. Athletic teams or fitness businesses usually purchase these tees, but if your team sweats it out in the kitchen or works outside in the summer you may want to consider the Augusta Sportswear 790.

Design Yours Today!

4 Best File Types to Submit For Perfect Custom T-Shirts

We can work with a variety of file types when it comes to graphics and artwork. We’ve seen it all; we even still get a fax or snail mail design once and awhile. We try to make it as easy as possible for you to create the perfect custom tee for your next event, but there are a few ways that will make the process quicker and more efficient. It all starts with submitting the best file type to work with screen printing.


PDF files are great and provide our Art Assistance team with a quality image that is also editable. One of the drawbacks of certain graphic files is that you can’t change it or edit text so if you find a misspelling or want to change something, it could take a little more time. PDF’s hold formatting, so no matter where an artist opens it, they still have the ability to enhance or adjust the artwork during the design process. It is also one of the most universal and easiest file types to create. When creating a PDF for your custom tees remember to export it at a high “print” quality. If you export the design for “web” it will scale down the design.


These are two industry standard design files. They provide formatting and give the designers a clear idea of the graphic. When dealing with these two file types, you need to remember to submit file with proper resolution. To give you a better idea, we export designs for screen printing at 3500 pixels. Anything less than 500 pixels will not transfer well because the pixels will stretch too much.

One major issue with these files is that we can’t adjust the text. So if we find a spelling error in the proofing process you’ll have to resubmit the design or we’ll have to recreate it. To avoid this we recommend using our fonts paired with your graphic so we can adjust any text issues.


Vector Files

Vector files are also popular and efficient files to use. These are great because the graphic is built with mathematically created curves and lines that translate well into screen printing designs. The most common vector file types are EPS, SVG, AI, and PDF files.  When using Adobe Illustrator (AI) files you need to remember to send us all the linked files and fonts associated with the design because we won’t be able to recreate or edit them.

Never MS Word

There’s always one troublemaker in the group. While MS Word is the most common program, it is not ideal for the screen printing process. We’ve encounter many problems when customers submit Word documents. For one, Word does not hold format from version to version so when we open the file it could look different from when you sent it.

There is also the issue of different versions and different computers will have different fonts. There are just too many variables that waste time, and after all we are Rush Order Tees. If you don’t have design software, you can still create your layout in Word, but then save it as a PDF and submit that. As we’ve mentioned PDF’s work well and hold your design’s format well.


If you have any questions about file types or designs, give our Project Specialists a call, they will work with the Art Assistance team to ensure the quality of your design.


Vector vs. Raster: What’s the Designer Difference?

We offer tons of free graphics and designs for our customers to use in the Design Studio, but a lot of times our clients already have a design in mind when they begin ordering their custom t-shirts. When uploading your own design to our site we try to make it as easy as possible for customers to submit a variety of files and styles of graphics.  We accept the most common types of files like JPG, PNG, GIF, or PDF.

Unfortunately, we sometimes get graphics or designs that don’t translate into a tee very well so we have developed methods to touch up or even recreate designs to ensure the quality of design once it hits the presses. We call it Artwork Assistance and it comes standard on all tee orders free of charge.

Customers really do submit designs in many ways. A lot come from our design studio, but we still have some clients who fax in pictures and every so often we get a camera phone picture. There are two main types of graphics, vector and raster. Vector-based graphics are made of lines and curves based on mathematical theory and are not common file types. The smooth outlines of these designs make them ideal to separate into color layers and then transferred to the mesh screens used in screen printing. Many companies spend a lot of time and money to vectorize consumer t-shirt designs.

vector vs rastor

Raster-based, also known as bitmaps are based on pixels. When you increase the size of a raster image you will see the little squares, or pixels, and the image can become blurry or the outline will appear rough and jagged. In order to save time and money, screen printers can “trap” the design. This means the graphic artists adjusts the design where two colors come together.

The designer will take the lighter of the two colors and expand that layer so it cuts underneath the adjacent colors.  For example, if we had yellow and navy on a white shirt the yellow will go under the navy because it goes slightly out of registration — you wouldn’t see the shirt color coming through, but if we expand one so it cuts underneath the other then you can still see that alignment and it will look good.

We accept both vector and raster images. If this sounds a little complicated, don’t worry too much, we have a talented and experience crew of graphic artists that have made amazing designs from elaborate vector graphics to the tiniest Instagram pics. You’re art is in good hands.

Design Today!

G200 vs. G800 vs. G500 vs. Hanes Beefy Tee

The G200, G800, G500, and the Hanes Beefy tee are the top selling cotton t-shirts. Here are the benefits and differences of each.

To start, they all have collars. They also all have short sleeves. Finally, they’re all made with cotton. How are you supposed to know you’re ordering the best possible tee for your t-shirt printing needs? Maybe you can pick it out by available colors. Or better yet, eeny, meeny, miny, moe?

No problem. We believe in providing you with the best info on our products, so you can make an educated decision on which cotton t-shirts are the best for you. Here’s the breakdown on some of our most popular tees.

The Shirts


This tee is our number one seller. It is affordable and made from 100% pre-shrunk cotton, which means there will be very little shrinking. It’s available in 71 different colors, so we’re sure to have the exact hue you’re looking for. At 6.1 oz., it’s an average weighted shirt, so if you’re looking for something really light, this may not be your ideal tee.

Click here for custom Gildan G200 t-shirts.




This runner up is very popular, especially for customers who need light-weight, durable, and a little moisture wicking. The G800 is a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester.  It doesn’t shrink and lasts longer than average cotton t-shirts. The addition of polyester to the blend provides a slight wicking capability which means it stays dry when things get hot, making it ideal for sports, outdoor work, or food service. It’s available in less colors, but 36 shades is still a lot to choose from.

Click here for custom Gildan G800 t-shirts.



The G500 is almost identical to the G200, but it is lighter coming in at 5.3 oz. and it comes in 63 different colors. The G200 is basically the new model, but customers still like the lighter, thinner material of the G500.

Click here for custom Gildan G500 t-shirts.



Hanes Beefy Tee
With 45 colors to choose from, the Hanes’ Beefy Tee (Hanes 5180) is most comparable to the G200. Many customers are already familiar with comfort and quality associated with the Hanes brand. Made with 100% ring spun cotton (the softest part of the cotton plant) and a tag-free neck label, it costs more than the G200.

Click here for custom Hanes 5180 t-shirts.

Now that you know a few of the basics of Tees 101, choose a shirt and head over to the Design Studio to begin creating your very own custom t-shirt.

Pictures courtesy of and

Moisture Wicking: How to Stay Dry and Look Great While Working Out

Every year we print thousands of tees for fitness events and gym promotions. Workout gear can be a lot of fun to design; many customers use inspirational quotes or creative slogans that will keep their clients or team members motivated.

Some of the most unique designs we’ve seen come from charity 5K’s and mud runs. While most customers will simply go with our popular cotton tee, the Gildan 200, we wanted to showcase a few shirts that feature moisture wicking which helps cut down on sweat keeps athletes nice and dry.

Augusta Sportswear 790


This is our most popular moisture wicking shirt. It looks great with affordable screen printing or custom embroidery. You can even personalize this shirt with team members’ names or numbers. The Augusta Sportswear 790 is made of 100% polyester, which pulls moisture away from the skin leaving you cool and ready for the next mile or rep.

Polyester will never shrink and lasts longer than cotton. You know those weird white armpit stains on your favorite cotton gym tee? That doesn’t happen with polyester; since moisture doesn’t seep into the fabric, the chemicals in sweat won’t affect the shirt.

Ladies Hanes 4830


Already giving polyester a second look, but you’re looking for a tee with more of a feminine shape? Of course we’ve got that covered. The Hanes 4830 is also 100% polyester and features rapid dry interlock fabric. It also has Hanes’ popular tag less neck.

These would be great for your gym’s managers or trainers. If you teach a fitness class like Cross fit, kettlebells, or yoga. this shirt would make a great promotional giveaway. Hand them out to new clients or as gifts at a fitness fair.

Harriton M315


Polo shirts may not be the first option when it comes to custom fitness gear, but they do have plenty of potential. Many businesses and corporations get a lot of business done out on the golf course, which makes these perfect gifts for your clients and prospects, especially for those summer golf meetings. Also, gyms like these shirts for managers or trainers. Just because you work at a gym doesn’t mean you can’t look professional.

The Harriton M315 is 100% polyester, but uses a very breathable fabric. This Polytech Polo features “quick dry” (or moisture wicking), anti-static and anti-odor. It is also one of our most affordable moisture wicking polo shirts and would look great with your logo embroidered on the chest or sleeve.

Ready to get designing? Click your tee and start creating the next great fitness shirt!