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b.Freyer



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
The t-shirt design thread  Reply with quote  

I have background in graphics and web development from 2004, but I have a bunch of ideas for shirts. After speaking to one person, it led me to go and speak to another. I now know that I was using the wrong application (Adobe PhotoShop) to create the designs, I now know that I should be using Illustrator. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to put my thoughts down. Any help would be appreciated.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:01 am
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duxz



Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 935
Location: denver
 Reply with quote  

sketch books are for planning and getting your thoughts worked through.

get a t shirt template for illustrator.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:12 am
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anomaly
Loserface


Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 2579
Location: DFW, TX
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Oh shit, here we go.......welcome to the board.

Start with sketches, perfect the design in those, then begin to build them in Illustrator.

As I know it.....Photoshop is raster (dealing w/ pixels), so you're stuck once you finalize/flatten something. Illustrator is vector (anchor points w/ mathematical equasions and shit), so you can always stretch, change, etc later as you need to. Izzzz niiiiiiiiiiiice.

Kind of on/off subject.......you seen this yet? Very awesome for design
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/StudioUltimate_Overview.aspx

It might apply here.

Edit:
this may be more helpful in this case. I don't condone anything, but these are available online w/o forking over hundreds of $.
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/Design_Overview.aspx
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:12 am
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b.Freyer



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
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I do the sketching, a very basic one, but I do have sketches. I haven't thought to download a template. Thanks for that idea.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:17 am
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
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With any luck Kese will hop on here and give you some pointers. You might want to run an idea by the SFR honchos with also examples of what you want to do first, but I guess it's too late for that now. Bon chance!
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:25 am
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duxz



Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 935
Location: denver
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illustrator uses vector art like anomaly said it sizes better because it actually uses straight lines to create....lines, while photoshop uses pixes. Its also better for screen printing too.

You can use photoshop if you have to though.


post your roughs here for us to critique and help you build the design too. :)
this forum usually gets deep with designs if inspired.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:31 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21595
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I recommended Mr. Freyer come to this forum. He was sending me designs that looked well below printing standards but he's been persistent and I know people here have a better understanding of this stuff than I do. For one, it looked like he was using a program that wouldn't work with shirt printing at all. Also, it looked like he could use some help with typography.

I'm really glad he decided to post here and open up this discussion. I think a good way to focus on some specifics may be to post some pics and/or links to work people have done or are working on.

Maybe we could give examples of what we this is bad work juxtaposed with what we think is good work?

We used to have t-shirt design contests on this forum. I think the last one we had was in 2004. I believe that was the "Fuck Clear Channel" contest. I may be wrong about that.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:45 am
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kese



Joined: 16 Mar 2003
Posts: 5454
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While that MS Creative suite looks like it may be good for workflow and presentation, I personally wouldn't use anything but Adobe (maybe Corel...) to build t-shirt designs.

You can use both Photoshop and Illustrator to create t-shirt graphics, but it is much easier to separate colors, maintain crisp lines, edit text & objects, and scale in Illustrator.

Many high-end photo-realistic graphics are handled entirely in Photoshop. But with pixelation, and blending, color separation and edge quality become a problem. Usually with complex raster images, hours worth of color separation is required to take the image from the monitor to the shirt. (unless you're utilizing digital printing to imprint the garment)
When creating images in PS it's recommended to build colors in layers, maintain a Document/ Image size with the actual size you want it to be printed, all at a resolution of 300 dpi or higher.

I usually try to avoid setting type in PS, because Illustrator provides a superior set of tools, and better editing in countless ways.
If you're having issues with your typography I would definitely recommend using Illustrator.

Being a screen-printer and designer I generally prefer working in and sticking with Illustrator as much as I can for t-shirt graphics. Once you've got the hang of it everything is that much easier and cleaner.

Illustrator cannot do some things Photoshop can, if you keep everything tight, you should be able to use both together seamlessly. Doing so does begin to complicate things, but if you have the knowledge of how to build graphics with final color separations in mind, the possibilities are endless...
Personally I like to build everything up with using both, but ultimately convert the artwork to vectors in Illustrator.


For some examples:
the Sage Heart Shirt is printed from a high res raster .psd image:


the Xaul Stalker shirt is printed from a raster image that had been converted to vector:


the graphics for LI(F)E Cover shirt were created from a more complex blend of both vector and raster graphics:


Most other shirts in the SFR Store are printed from straight vector graphics.

The Make History or Be History shirt was made from a series of drawings on paper, input into the computer, worked on in Photoshop, and finalized completely in vector format:



This shirt was completely worked out from start to finish digitally on the computer, again using PS and AI in a complex back and forth manner in order to maintain color separation:
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:22 am
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b.Freyer



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
 Reply with quote  

Thanks Sage, and also Kese.

Kese, that was very informative for me. I got some sites from an instructor at my school to look wt. As well as some tutorials that I'll be watching. I would like to get a grasp on this. I have a feeling that I'm making this a lot harder that it is. I was working with AI this evening and I think I should invest in a tablet to do my artwork on my Macbook, seems that it'll be easier and more precise to get the image that I want. Is that what you use to do your art?

Thanks for the info, and you know of any sites or even videos that would be useful please let me know, that would be appreciated. I'm also using Adobe CS4 Master Collection (Mac).
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:44 am
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b.Freyer



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
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Forgot to mention that I am/was using Adobe PhotoShop and Freehand. Sage is correct that the images are at a less quality, I can admit that lol.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:46 am
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b.Freyer



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
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@ Duxz ...... I'll post what I have when I vet home from work this morning. I will state it now and when I post that they are just ideas that I have the designs have no color or in-depth detail. They are very very basic, with no real detail to to the designs. Lol please be gentle
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:58 am
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zagadka
DARK PAST HAVER


Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 4932
Location: Hous of Gaga
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Kese gave a lot of awesome info, like usual. He is the print master. I used to have a screen printing studio as well, we probably started around the same time, and the way his skills have progressed is outstanding.

Are you looking to just design for shirts, or design AND print? If its the first, understanding the printing process will probably help you a lot. If you're looking to design and print your own, know its going to take a lot of patience and practice. Good design can transcend all mediums, but good printing takes time.

When I had my clothing line, I would start out by just sketching in a notebook any and all ideas I had. The strong themes would get developed into more detailed sketches- I would scan them and trace them in AI, with swatches of Pantone colors to use for ink and shirts. Then when we approved our 8 designs to go into production we would do the full blown design, print a few practice shirts in different colors (sometimes it looks great on the screen but does a weird color vibration on the shirt).

Definitely post up what you've got. There are plenty of people here who can give you some constructive criticism and pointers.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:09 am
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b.Freyer



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
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@ zagadka ...... at this point I'm doing as a hobby, I really have no intention to make any sales or profit from them. Basically, doing it just for fun.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:19 am
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b.Freyer



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
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Ok here is the samples that I have done. As stated before, please keep in mind that they are just the ideas that I had and that I have not done any graphical work on them to make them really stand out. I want a file started with the ideas and then run with them once i get this whole process done correctly. Please be kind lol. Also, if the website shows up that I have these on please let me know, I am not trying to advertise anything for myself or anyone else. I just needed a spot to upload the pictures to.








This pic I was just bored at 3 a.m. in the morning at work. Just having some fun killing time.
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:27 am
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Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7789
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kese what about designs without all the bold vector lines/ stamp look

how do you do those? for an example an alex pardee shirt



while it does include blacklines its mostly just color

this shirt was one of his paintings

this is the style i am interested in
Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:13 am
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