Graphics and Embroidery Guide book

Your ultimate graphics and embroidery guide

Get all the answers you seek in one place

We’ve compiled guidelines, frequently asked questions, and more

Sidestep these common mistakes

And see why they don't work

Printing specifics

folder with design files inside

File formats

We accept PNG and JPG/JPEG file formats depending on the printing method and design.

For direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, PNG is always the go-to format because this technique requires files to have a transparent background. The JPG format doesn’t support it. The best print resolution you can set up is 300 DPI (dots per inch) for paper prints and 150 DPI for other products.

For all-over print (AOP), sublimation printing, and paper printing, JPG files work better. Products personalized with these printing methods tend to be in large dimensions, and the printers can process JPG files faster and more efficiently.

Avoid using PDF format when uploading your designs because they can have hidden layers, layer blending modes, strokes, embedded files, etc., leading to unpredictable print results and issues during the fulfillment process.

white folded t-shirt on blue background

Blank products

We produce all-over print products in-house, so it’s possible to order them as blanks. 

But you won’t be able to order blank DTG products since we can’t send a blank design file through the printers. If the printer can’t identify any color in the file, it won’t be able to process it, and the item won’t move through the fulfillment process.

White prints on white fabric, designs placed outside the print area, tiny designs (under 10 px), and tiny embroidery designs (under 0.3″ thick) will count as blank products.  

Crucial printing dos and don’ts

  • Check the file format, resolution, and color profile before you create your design.
  • Ensure that all design elements are within the recommended color space.
  • Read through the printing guidelines and disclaimers of the products you want to add to your store.
  • Order samples of new designs or whenever you make significant changes to existing designs.
  • Follow our printing and embroidery guidelines and use the file templates for each product when creating your designs.
  • Remember that changes you make to orders won’t apply to products on your store.
  • Avoid using PDF format.
  • Avoid creating designs with too high (over 600 DPI) or too low (under 150 DPI) resolution.
  • Don’t use thin lines or intricate designs, especially for embroidery or prints on thick materials.
  • Don’t use different color profiles than the recommended sRGB.
  • Hold off creating large orders with designs you’ve never tested.

The safe print area in all-over-print designs

Stay inside the recommended area to ensure your design isn’t sewn in or cut off

Embroidery specifics

design of a fox as a print file and a digitization preview

Mockup and digitization preview mismatch

Digitization is a process that turns your design file into a format our embroidery machines can read.

You can see your embroidery design outcome in the Mockup Generator. If your design needs adjustments, you’ll receive an Approval Sheet with a digitization preview. The digitization preview will always be more accurate than the mockup.

That’s because the digitization preview uses a digitized file and shows the direction of the stitches. Mockup Generator uses your design file to create the image, and your file is digitized after you place an order. 

Embroidering tightens the thread, so the result can also slightly differ from the digitization preview.

embroidery machine with colorful threads in the background

Available thread colors

With standard embroidery, you have 15 available colors to pick from.

You can use up to 6 thread colors per design, including the colors used for filling the empty spaces in your design. 

When you upload a design that contains a color we don’t have, the Design Maker will pick the closest match from the available colors.  

With unlimited color embroidery, you can have your designs embroidered in all the rainbow colors. Metallic and neon colors aren’t available. See which products you can embroider on the unlimited color embroidery page.

example of a negative space embroidered

Negative spaces

Negative spaces are empty spaces in design where the fabric will be seen through

Negative spaces can cause problems like:

  • Uneven embroidery design edges because the negative space will make the edges look patchy and won’t hold their original shape 
  • Deformed design due to embroidery shifting, pinching, and puckering

Avoid these issues by filling the empty space with color

Correcting design files in already submitted orders

Here’s how to do it

woman with blue hair explaining why the client has to correct designs

Why it’s best if YOU make the corrections

Only you can ensure that your design files are set up correctly, in the right size and position. 

All the changes you make to the order are saved, and you can later copy the updated order if you need to. It’s not the same with changes made by us—only the adjustments made through approval sheets are saved.

a man updating his orders from his Printful Dashboard

How to update orders step-by-step

Go to your Printful Dashboard and:

1. Head to the Orders section and find the order you want to update
2. Open the order and click Change order
3. Find the product you want to update and click Edit
4. Delete the old file and choose a new one
5. Update the design file and click Continue, then Continue to shipping
6. Make sure all the required fields are filled and proceed until you see that the order’s been updated

When done correctly, you’ll receive a pop-up with a button to notify us about the changes you’ve made

an approval sheet in an envelope

Embroidery orders with approval sheets

Once the approval sheet is added, you won’t be able to edit your embroidery order until you resolve the approval sheet. 

To resolve it, submit a change request: it’ll automatically make the order editable.

Don’t confirm the approval sheet: you’ll send your design to production by confirming it.

Order updates vs. product updates

Any changes you make to an order will apply to that order only.

Changes you make to orders won’t apply to products on your store or product templates.

Product templates can be updated through your Dashboard only.

Products on your storefront can also be updated through your Dashboard and need to be resynced with the ecommerce platform you’re using.

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Need help getting your files print-ready?

Hire a Fiverr expert to remove backgrounds, simplify designs, and more.

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