09 WI.VIS.104.03 Computer Basics
Ever wondered how to design a t-shirt on a computer? In the following paper I will explain how to design a t-shirt using the template Adobe Illustrator. It may seem complicated at first, especially for a beginner but if you follow my directions and avoid hitting your head with a hammer due to frustration this will be simple as, well simple.
Before you begin make sure you have a plan of what you want. After you figure out what you want open a template in Illustrator. Choose File > New From Template. In the New Forum Template dialog box, which opens to the Templates folder, double-click Extreme Sports, and then select T-Shirt.ait. When you click New, Illustrator opens a template with a sample T-shirt design as well as a thumbnail of the finished T-shirt. The sample image includes crop marks, with guidelines for a 4.25” x 7.25” area. You can move the guidelines. After opening the template it’s time to design the T-shirt. In screen printing, simple designs work best. Avoid transparency and use vector-based images whenever possible. Unless you are using a photograph, use only spot colors in your design. The inks used in screen printing are called Plastisol inks. The Plastisol ink library isn’t available in Illustrator, so you’ll substitute Pantone spot colors. Your screen printing provider will select the Plastisol inks that are closest to the Pantone inks you’ve chosen.
Now it’s the fun part, designing your T-shirt. There are endless possibilities and many options to create whatever your heart desires. You can use the text tool to write something, add a gradient of any colors for the background or even smudge something, like I said the possibilities are endless. After designing your T-shirt it’s time to proof your design. Unless you’re using a photograph, verify that your design contains only spot colors. Choose File > Print. Select the Output pane, and choose Separations (Host-Based)...