Ready to dive into the world of creating your own killer apparel line or rocking eye-catching graphic tees for your business? The first step is producing top-notch blanks, and BELLA+CANVAS is your go-to wholesaler for that. Then, it’s all about finding a print shop that vibes with your style to bring those designs to life on tees, hoodies and whatever else you can dream up on your blank canvas.
To ensure your t-shirt decorator captures your vision flawlessly, consider creating a tech pack (short for technical package). This detailed guide instructs on printing and artwork, as well as covers the nitty-gritty of other important details like how you want your tees packaged. Just as fashion designers use tech packs to communicate design specifics, materials, colors, dimensions, and construction details to manufacturers when creating a new garment, you can adopt the same approach for your printer. Share the technical details that bring your vision to life!
Here’s what we recommend you include in a tech pack for your printer:
Artwork or design details: Besides sending along the art files at the right resolution and file type, this section could include digital mockup and sketches, paired with a detailed description of the t-shirt design. Don’t forget to specify the exact locations of your logo, graphics and other design elements the printer will apply to the shirt.
Pro tip: Always request a virtual proof and/or test sample to approve before your printer turns out the full run, to make sure it’s exactly what you envisioned.
T-shirt materials: It’s a smart idea to give your printer information about the type and quality of fabric, including fabric composition (like 100% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton), weight and color.
If you want to include complete fabrication details about any BELLA+CANVAS garment you choose, you’ll find details about every fabric we use to craft our premium canvases.
Printing/decoration details: What decoration method do you want your printer to use? You’ve got a lot of methods to choose from, including screen printing, direct-to-garmenting printing, sublimation, digital transfers, appliqué and embroidery. The tech pack will provide detailed information about the techniques, design placement, dimensions, and colors.
At BELLA+CANVAS, we’ve tested every color of our top-selling solids, heathers and triblends for discharge and dye-migration, and you and your printer can check out our results and compare different fabrications within any color. We also answer lots of frequently asked questions about getting the best print results on our garments, so you can share this information with your printers.
Pro tip: We always recommend that your printer run a test sample for you to review and approve before printing large quantities.
Print/ink colors: If you have specific Pantone (PMS) or CMYK colors in mind for your screen-printed design, provide the codes for each color the printer should use for your artwork. This ensures consistency in color across different printing or dyeing processes.
Labels and packaging: Some brands like to include care labels, special hangtags or other inserts with garments. Specify those details, as well as how you want the t-shirts folded, packed and shipped.
Top Tech Packs Dos and Don’ts
Taking the time to create a detailed tech pack is vital to ensure that your printer produces your t-shirts exactly the way you envision them, especially if you need them by a certain date for a promotion or event. Here are some dos and don’ts to make sure your decorator fully understands your requirements, reducing the chance of errors and ensuring your consistency across all your tees.
Do aim to be clear and very detailed. Without going into information overload mode, include as much precise information as possible. For example, if you want your design printed 5 inches down from the neckline in the center chest, include that detail and even include a visual mockup.
Do include visuals or graphics. Use sketches, diagrams or digital mock-ups to support your written instructions, especially if you have multiple artworks with different placements or even decorating techniques. Visuals can help convey your artwork ideas more effectively.
Do include all special requirements: If your tee or hoodie has special features or requirements, clearly communicate them in the tech pack. For example, BELLA+CANVAS
DTG fleece colors require a pre-treat for DTG applications. Our DTG fleece colors are differentiated from our other fleece colors because we manufacture them with a 100% cotton surface, which helps mitigate dye-migration. We also suggest using a poly ink and/or poly blocker for all fabric containing polyester. These would be good details to mention in your tech pack.
Do work with an expert if needed: If you’ve never created a tech pack before, reach out to a designer or garment production expert for guidance so you can create an accurate pack for your printer.
Don’t assume your decorator “knows it all”: Even if a detail seems obvious, include it, since you don’t know who’ll be reviewing it at the print shop.
Don’t skip proofreading: Before you finalize your artwork, review that everything is spelled correctly. Review the tech pack as well to make sure there are no errors.
Don’t neglect testing: As we mentioned earlier, if you’re using certain fabrics or printing techniques, it’s a good idea for your printer to print a test garment before running the whole order to make sure your design looks phenomenal.
Don’t miss packaging details: Whether you’re picking up the tees yourself or your printer is shipping them to an event or retail location, specify how they should pack the t-shirts. That includes how they should be folded and if they need to be polybagged. You can also specify how many shirts you’d like in each box, box dimensions and weight limits, if you have a preference.
Top Tech Packs Dos and Don’ts
When you’re starting the journey of creating your own apparel line or producing graphic tees for your business, getting high-quality blanks from a wholesaler like BELLA+CANVAS is only the first step. Collaborating with an experienced print shop to bring your artwork to life on these blank canvases requires some upfront work, including creating a detailed tech pack for your decorator.
Your technical package serves as a detailed guide for your printer, specifying essential details such as artwork descriptions, fabric information, print colors, decoration techniques, and labeling and packaging instructions. Taking the time to develop a comprehensive tech pack ensures your printer accurately translates your artistic vision and unique point of view onto your t-shirts, fostering consistency and reducing the likelihood of errors – so you’re wearing (and selling) your branded t-shirt sooner rather than later!