Gateway Ink Services


A. Guidelines for submitting artwork for screen printing

Art design for screen printing is very different from any other type of design. This is due mostly to the inherent limitations of the screen printing process. If you cannot submit your graphics in the formats outlined below, please contact us as soon as possible.  We can design your graphics for you at an additional charge.

About graphic art design
Designs to be screen printed must be created in vector art format (instead of pixel-based art), because the graphic must be blown up or scaled down and resized. Vector is art created in a program such as Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw or Freehand. In this format, each object can be selected and individually manipulated, independent from the rest of the images in the design. Since most screen-printing utilizes spot colors, vector graphics are the perfect source file type. Our preferred vector format is the industry standard – Adobe Illustrator – version C6 or lower. 

  • save files in .ai (if you are using Adobe), .eps (for any other vector program), or .pdf formats
  • email any fonts used in your design along with your graphic file in .ai and .pdf formats
  • specify ink colors to be used (please note we may not always have the ink colors you request in stock, but possibly a shade/color similar. There is a fee for any unique ink colors ordered through our suppliers)

Please do not send any Microsoft documents for printing. There are no Microsoft programs that allow users to create hi-resolution graphics for professional printing. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (and other text-editing programs) may be used to create rough compositions, or to communicate rough design ideas. However, they are not suitable for creating print-ready artwork. Microsoft Publisher documents are not acceptable in any capacity. They are created and saved in a locked format by default and can only be viewed by us, not edited. If you do submit your artwork as low-resolution graphics, it will be subject to design charges necessary to re-create your artwork as a print-ready graphic.

B. What to Consider

  • Text in your graphic
    It is very important when saving a vector file to convert the text to outlines. This is an option in vector-based programs that changes fonts used in the design into an object. If we don’t have a specific font used in your design, we will have to make font substitutions that could change the appearance of your artwork.
  • Colors in your design
    Each color in your design requires a separate screen to be created that corresponds to that color. Then each screen must be perfectly registered over the other so that no overprinting of colors occurs. The more colors in the design, the more likely there might be a registration problem. Due to our unique training processes, Gateway Ink sometimes will be required to manipulate designs in order for it to register properly. You will be notified if your designs fall under these requirements.
  • One-color artwork
    It is best to create 1-color artwork as 100% black, on a white or transparent background.
  • Multi-color artwork
    Due to the technical requirements involved with the setup and printing of multi-color designs, we request a maximum of 4 colors in each design.
    Make sure that the background is on a separate layer from the art.
  • Choosing ink colors
    Please check with us on what we currently have in stock. Unique ink colors ordered through our supplier are subjected to fees.
  • Lines in your design
    The thinnest line in your design can be no less than 1 point.  This is because it is difficult to hold a line that is too thin when the screen is exposed and the line might disappear. Some lines can be substituted for the shirt color.
  • Art dimensions
    Due to our unique training processes, all designs printed through Gateway Ink have a max print size of 8.5 in x 10.5 in. All screen printing within the Gateway Ink print shop is completed by hand. In order to screen print the art provided, the designs must remain within the film dimension of 8.5 in x 11 in.