Screen printing has evolved a great deal over the years, but few innovations had a similar impact to direct-to-garment printing on this industry niche. Digital inkjet printers essentially reduce the setup downtime and the need to utilize films. And that’s not all, because they also present no issues regarding those nasty messy emulsions, proprietary to the older printing technologies. You can check out the best 3D printers as well!
To put it simply, all you have to do in order to ensure a successful DTG printing consists of optimizing and enhancing the picture file. It is necessary to point out that even though your picture may look good, there are several methods to optimize and fine tune it for a truly excellent print. True, a photo editing software tool is necessary, but the alterations do not necessitate extensive artistic skills. Let’s elaborate with the best design tricks for improving direct to garment printing quality!
1. Work in Layers
This step applies primarily for the situation when you are creating the picture from scratch via programs like Adobe Photoshop and similar alternatives. However, you can also employ layers when you are creating a collage or performing editing on the picture. The layers constitute an excellent way to overlap several parts of the photo and apply individual modifications to them. For example, they allow you to have different settings for the background and emphasize specific elements by sharpening them while blurring others. On the other hand, if you are simply trying to print an already complete art work on a DTG printer, then you can skip directly to the next step.
2. Perform the Color Adjustments
Before you start playing with the colors, you should select the picture and translate it into RGB mode, in case that is not the default setting. If you prefer printing in CMYK mode, you can set it right before hitting the printing button. However, RGB mode is generally favored by most professionals because the most of the adjustments are made based on a visual inspection of the picture. The next thing you want to do is eliminate the gray component of all the colors. You can achieve this by setting the percentage for yellow, magenta, black and cyan to a value between 3 and 5. Keep in mind that each photo has its own particularities and you may have to experiment with the aforementioned values to eliminate most of the gray components.
3. Adjust the Color Saturation and Brightness/Contrast Ratio
By default, the color saturation value of an image is 0. As previously mentioned, the individual specifications of photos are very different, which means that you need to experiment with the color saturation by gradually increasing its value until it can no longer be improved. On the other hand, things are pretty straightforward with the brightness and contrast ratios, in the sense that you can safely set them to 5 by default and they will be suitable, irrespective of the picture. Nevertheless, if you can improve the image quality or alter it according to the content it should convey, you can also dabble with the contrast/brightness value.
4. The Black and White Points
In order to determine the utmost black and white points of the image, you will need to utilize the slider on the Histogram window rightwards, until the picture looks “psychedelic”. The very first dark patch you see as the slider progresses is the black point. White points can be determined with the very same methods. However, certain photos don’t really include white points, this means that you will have to settle for the lightest section you can find.
5. Properly Sharpening the Picture
The right amount of sharpening can definitely improve a picture, but you should never perform this process directly on the RGB image. The reason for this warning stems from the fact that you can deteriorate the color info of the file utilized. Luckily, Photoshop permits you to switch the image from RGB to Lab Color. Lab Color mode enables you to see a considerably more precise grayscale version of the picture, even more accurate than you would achieve by translating it from color to grayscale via the default tool. Don’t overdo it with the sharpening though, because you will simply obtain an excessively pixilated image that shares more traits with a texture than a real picture/drawing. In addition, it is advisable to leave the Threshold and Radius on default value.
Justin Miranda is a tech whiz. He loves blogging in his spare time. His blogs about the latest news and development in the tech world. He only trusts the screen printing in CT to do his work properly.