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  • Print Ready File Types
  • Raster & Vector
  • Converting Fonts to Print
  • Pantone Colors
  • Simulated Color Seperations
  • Print Size Guidelines
  • Creative Services
  • Counting Colors with Illustrator
  • Eyedrop a Pantone in Photoshop
  • Convert a Color to PMS with Illustrator
  • Know Your Format

    • Vector files – .ai .pdf . eps .svg
    • Raster Files – .PSD .png .jpg
    • Raster Files must be 300dpi to print size or larger

    If you’re uncertain about your current format or require assistance in
    converting your artwork into one of these formats, feel free to reach out. Our creative team is here to assist you.

  • Know the difference

    Raster files consist of pixels that lose quality when enlarged, unlike vector files ideal for screen printing and embroidery. Vector files, composed of equations, offer infinite scalability without compromising quality. For printing, raster files need to be at least 300dpi or larger.

  • Create Outlines

    We cannot utilize artwork containing “Live” fonts as we may not have access to the specific font used. However, rectifying this is straightforward: in Adobe Illustrator, select your live text, right-click, and choose “Create Outlines.” This ensures that the fonts will print as intended. Other design programs like Canva also offer similar functionality; simply follow their specific instructions to create outlines.

  • Recreating Artwork

    We utilize Pantone Solid Coated for precise color matching of ink and
    thread to your design. For the most accurate reproduction, please include the Pantone colors in your file. Converting a Pantone color in Illustrator and Photoshop is straightforward; however, we highly recommend verifying it against the physical Pantone book for accuracy. Screens may display colors differently, so this step ensures the closest match to your desired hue.

  • Full-Color Separation

    To replicate photographic or full-color images accurately, we need to
    generate simulated color separations. This incurs an extra cost beyond
    artwork creation or screen setup to prepare the design for printing.
    Simulated Color Separations are priced per color and typically involve 7-10 colors to faithfully reproduce an image.

  • Smallest Print Size

    For optimal results, ensure that your fonts are a minimum of 8pt and lines are at least 1pt thick. Inverse art and text in negative space may require larger sizes for clear printing. If your design includes small details, it’s beneficial to print it out to scale to confirm legibility and appearance when viewed from a distance.

  • Let Us Help

    From a sketch on a napkin to editing a photo for screen print, Customary Designs can bring your ideas to life. If you don’t have artwork, or your art is not print-ready, our team can create or re-create for you at an hourly rate. Any artwork submitted that is not print-ready may incur an hourly art charge.

  • To determine the number of colors needed for printing and check for any assigned Pantone colors in your vector file, follow these steps in Adobe Illustrator:

    • Open your vector file in Adobe Illustrator.
    • Press Alt + 0 on PC or ⌘ + 0 on Mac to bring the artwork to the center of the workspace.
    • Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) or the Eyedropper Tool (I) to select a color you want to check.
    • With the Eyedropper Tool (I) selected, click on a color in your artwork.
    • Look at the top right corner of the Color Window (accessible by pressing F6) tosee if a Pantone Color is assigned. If not, it will display a CMYK or RGB color.

    This method allows you to quickly identify any Pantone colors assigned to specific
    elements in your artwork and determine the overall color count needed for printing.

  • If you have a Photoshop file ready, the next step is to convert colors to Pantones, which can be easily accomplished using the Eyedropper Tool (I).

    Here’s how you can do it:

    • Open your Photoshop file.
    •  Select the Eyedropper Tool or press I.
    • Click on the color you want to convert to a Pantone.
    • Double-click on your Foreground Color, which opens the Color Picker.
    • In the top section of the Color Picker, you can choose your Pantone Book, and it will convert the color to the nearest Pantone match.

    I usually prefer Photoshop’s conversion over Illustrator’s, so sometimes I copy and paste an Illustrator file into Photoshop to convert colors to Pantone.

    Keep in mind that colors are assigned based on the nearest Pantone match, but the closest match may not always be the best. It’s good practice to ask your customer if they have a specific Pantone in mind. While Red 185 might be a great conversion in some cases, it’s still important to double-check, as a minute spent now can save hours on press.

  • If your artwork doesn’t have Pantone colors assigned, don’t worry—it’s easy to convert them to the nearest Pantone match. However, keep in mind that the closest match may not always be the best, so it’s essential to consult with your client and refer to the Pantone Book for the optimal match.

    Here’s how you can convert colors to Pantones in Adobe Illustrator:

    1. Open your vector file and press Alt + 0 on PC or ⌘ + 0 on Mac to center the artwork.
    2. Since you’ve found that Pantone colors are not assigned, you can convert the colors to Pantones in a few simple steps.
    3. Press Alt + A on PC or ⌘ + A on Mac to select all elements in your artwork.
    4. Navigate to Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork…
    5. In the menu that appears, you’ll see the current colors in the file. At the bottom center,click on the Book Icon to limit the swatch selection to a library.
    6. Navigate to Color Books > PANTONE+ Solid Coated (or the desired Color Book).
    7. This action will convert your colors to Pantone+ Solid Coated or the selected Color Book.
    8. After conversion, check the Color Window (F6) and Swatches at the top right to see the assigned Pantone Colors.
    9. Always double-check in the Pantone Book to ensure the color is satisfactory.


    Remember, colors are assigned based on the nearest Pantone match, but it’s best to confirm with your customer if they have a specific Pantone in mind. For instance, Red 186 may be a preferable option to 1795 in some cases.