Your logo design is a very big deal. It should capture and show a lot about your business or your special event. Coming up with a finished product that is perfect can be a time consuming process that can take many revisions to colors, wording, layouts, and more. All of that time spent with a graphic artist can be expensive. That time spent can be even more expensive if the graphic artist you are working with doesn’t have a background in screen-printing or large format printing.
Let’s break down the implications of using a graphic artist with a printing background vs. one without it.
1. Your Artwork May Not Be Created in the Correct Format
You just spent several hundred dollars and hours of your valuable time and your logo is finally done! This is a relief, until you take your artwork to be printed on your t-shirts, only to find out that the resolution of your design is far too low and the size is either too big or too small leaving you with few options for resizing.
Without getting too technical, screen printers and large format printers use programs that create something called vector art, which in a nut shell, makes it possible for you to increase and decrease the size of your logo without distorting it.Example of a poor-resolution image
The Takeaway: Graphic artists that work in print shops know exactly what type of settings your artwork needs to be created with in order to be “print-friendly” when transferring to t-shirts, banners, business cards, and everything else. If you are already in the middle of a project with your own graphic artist, make sure to explain to them that you need your design in vector format, with the resolution set at 300dpi.
2. Your Artwork May Not Be Compatible With All Forms of Printing
When designing your logo, it may appear great when looking at it on a computer screen. However, the printing process required to put your logo on apparel and other substrates can be a time consuming process if there is too much going on in the design. For example, your cost for custom t-shirts is going to depend mostly on the amount of colors in the design, and the quantity of shirts.
If you expect the quantities of your custom t-shirt orders to be on the smaller end of about 25-50 shirts and you have a big detailed logo with 10 colors, it may cost you more money based on the additional time and effort it takes to make a 10 color logo look great. Being aware of this is especially key if your business is involved with the re-selling of apparel, or if you have a high turnover rate for employees, since these additional costs can add up to thousands of dollars per year.
The Takeaway: Artists that work in print shops know exactly how the design specifics in your logo are going to transfer to print, and they know exactly what costs are associated with those specifics once you move to production. They can guide you on how to choose the right amount of colors, details, and special effects based on your budget. A graphic artist without a printing background may be under the impression that they are knocking one out of the park by creating an amazingly detailed and pleasing logo for you, while having no idea that it will actually cost you thousands of dollars more than you expect down the road.
The freelance graphic artist with no printing background may do a great job with your designs; however, since it is their primary source of income their willingness to come down in price is usually very minimal.
That means that using the graphic artist at the print shop is far more likely to work with you and give you a break on pricing for your artwork, because they know it will be worth it to them in the future.
The Takeaway: You may be spending thousands more than you could be by not getting your artwork done in house by the graphic artist at your local print shop. Save money by going with them. Explain to them your budget. They understand that a break on artwork will lead to an increase in quantity of items being printed.