Going from Hand-drawn Artwork to a Finished Shirt

We recently worked on a project to promote Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support at the Pine Grove Area Elementary School. The group wanted to sell t-shirts using a Cardinal Superhero that one of the teachers drew by hand.

We were up for the challenge.

It Starts with an Idea

The teacher sent us a high-quality picture of her artwork, and we got busy.

While the drawing itself is great, it wasn't something that was ready for screen printing. To screenprint this design on the shirts, we would need to create four separate screens: one for the red, one for the white, one for the blue, and one for the orange. But first, we had to get the graphic into a high-quality format that we could use to create the screens.

We typically prefer to use a vector format for all of our artwork, because it can scale to any size without degrading the quality of the image. That's because vector formats contain the mathematical formulas needed to create an image, rather than being constructed using a fixed number of colored pixels like other image formats.

(If you're interested, you can learn more about the different types of graphics that we work. If not, don't worry. We know this stuff so you don't have to.)

Converting to a Vector Format and Correcting the Image

In this case, we first converted the image into a vector format — which would enable us to create a high-quality image for screenprinting. This is not a fully-automated process, however, as we had to manully correct some areas that didn't convert properly.

The process of correcting the image was time-consuming, since in some cases we had to move individual points to match the individual drawing, delete some of the shaded areas, and re-draw some elements. We underlayed the original drawing to use as a guide, and then went to work cleaning up the vector drawing.

Once the vector drawing was completed, we grouped the various points by color so we could easily create color-separations for screen printing.

On to the Finished Product

With the artwork completed, we could continue on with the screen printing process — and deliver the shirts to a happy customer.

Whether you have finished artwork ready-to-go or just have an idea scribbled on a napkin, we can help bring your vision to reality. What can we design for you?

Posted by Simply Expressible

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