Vector graphics are the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics.
The advantage of vector artwork is that it can be infinitely resized and maintain its exact properties. The disadvantage is you have to create that image yourself as there is no such thing as a vector camera.... Yet.
Spot colors are a method of specifying and printing colors in which each color is printed with its own ink. When creating a new image intended for screen printing, it is beneficial to all that you use spot colors. Instead of your computer viewing the color as a mix of red, green, and blue (RGB intended for displays such as your computer monitor) or a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK intended for print on devices such as your computers printer), the computer defines the color as a specific color. We can only print solid colors and mixtures of those solid colors.
The best way to work with spot colors is by using the Pantone Matching System (PMS). Pantone is a company that has standardized color and assigned them numbers so that they are consistent for everyone referencing that number. If you use Pantone numbers on the computer, we will match that color when we mix our ink insuring that you get the exact color you want.
There is a good chance that your computer has different fonts than our computers have. This will cause the text in your image to not look right. If you outline your type it will solve that problem. If using Illustrator, go to the 'Type' drop down in your menu and select 'Create Outlines' while your text is selected. You should see the line underneath the text disappear and replaced by an outline around the letters. Your letters are now vector images ready to output. NOTE: Once done the text is no longer editable so make sure you made all changes before this stage.
A placed image is a raster image brought into a vector image. If you place a raster image into a vector image, it is still subject to the same guidelines as a regular raster image.
If you place an image, be sure you are aware if it is linked or embedded. If it is linked, that means the computer is referencing a separate file and in order to read that design we need that reference file. If it is embedded, that means it is no longer a link, but actually a part of the file. You can check this in the link window in Illustrator. If there is anything in the link window, than you have a linked file.
Transparencies (or opacity) are used to make a color able to be seen through in digital artwork. This is not able to be recreated in screen printing. In screen printing, we can only print in solid colors and percentages of those solid colors. This means if you want to create the same effect, make the color a spot color and instead of making it a value of opacity you make it a percentage of that spot color. Instead of outputting as a see through object, it outputs as half-tones like the ones in the image in the background of this page. The dots are larger to demonstrate how the shading is created, they will be much smaller on your design. These fine points allow us to recreate almost any image close to what you see on screen.
A mesh gradient is a great way to get a transition of colors across an area. Unfortunately when separating the colors the desired effect is lost. Try to avoid using mesh gradients if at all possible. If you don't know what they are, then you didn't use them and you should be alright.
A raster image, or bitmap, is a data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Raster images are stored in image files with varying formats. A bitmap corresponds bit-for-bit with an image displayed on a screen, generally in the same format used for storage in the display's video memory, or maybe as a device-independent bitmap. A bitmap is technically characterized by the width and height of the image in pixels and by the number of bits per pixel.
DPI stands for dots per inch. It is the unit of measurement for the resolution of a file. When we ask for a minimum of 300 DPI, it means that 300 dots of information are in an inch, or 90,000 dots per square inch (300 wide x 300tall). If you don't know the resolution of your file, it is important you understand that screens usually display at 72 DPI, so most images on the internet are at 72 DPI and are completely unusable in screen printing.
Pantone is a company specializing in colors. More specifically the standardization of colors. They developed the Pantone Matching System or PMS to accurately define colors across platforms across the world.
When we ask for a Pantone color, we are asking for the number associated with the color that you want. If you wanted the yellow to the left, you would tell us you wanted PMS number 101 C. The color books cost a lot of money, but most graphic art programs have a Pantone library, so you can use that to estimate.