File Preparation for T-shirts

It's no surprise that when it comes to selling more of your t-shirts, it all comes down to paying attention to the details. Here is what the best selling members on Society6 do:

1. Be sure to add t-shirts to accompany each of your art prints in order to round out your product mix. You are automatically prompted to "Add T-shirts & more" with each new art print that you post for sale. You can also go back and add t-shirts later by clicking "Add T-shirts & more" at the top of any previous art print post you have made.

2a. Dark & light garments (PNG). To allow for full color spectrum printing on dark garments we require a PNG file. Because we lay down a white ink underbase any white in your design will print. Remove the background from your file and save with transparency as needed.

2b. Light garments only (JPEG). To allow for full color spectrum printing on light garments only (no dark garment options), you may upload a JPG file. With this option, we do not use a white ink underbase and any white in your design will not print. Try to avoid a boxed design by using white for your background (as white becomes transparent).

3. Position your artwork within the printable area so it is properly placed on the chest of the T-shirt. Make sure that your artwork is centered within your 3300px (width) X 5100px (height) RGB color mode JPEG file saved at maximum quality.

4. Make sure that your artwork is aligned all the way to the top edge of your file. We will automatically create the space between your artwork and the neckline of the t-shirt when we print it (the placement), please do not add extra space between the top of your file and your artwork.

5. Check your previews after you upload your t-shirt file, click to zoom and make sure it looks like something you'd be proud to sell, and proud to own on each color option that you select (or remove by deselecting). If it doesn't look good, delete the file, noodle the original and upload something that will make you happy.

About Society6 T-shirts:
The softest, smoothest, best-looking t-shirt available anywhere. We use American Apparel™ T-shirts, which are made with 100% fine jersey cotton (Tri-fit tees contain 50% polyester / 25% cotton / 25% rayon) combed for softness and comfort. Available in both Men's and Women's styles and sizes. All t-shirts are printed using a technology called Direct-to-Garment (or DTG), which lays down soft, durable, full color spectrum prints.

Society6 Art School: we may not help you create better art, but we sure will help you sell more of it.
File Preparation for T-shirts by Justin Cooper

Example of removing blue backround and aligning artwork to absolute top edge of your t-shirt file

Example of successfully converting an art print to a t-shirt that will sell by Justin Cooper

Example of successfully converting an art print to a t-shirt that will sell

Seller Tip




Bryan Lanier commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:10pm
thanks for the info... this will help me to up my tee-shirt game.
SteveOramA commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:10pm
I'm sure this will be helpful for a lot of people. Nice post!
Carl Floyd Medley III commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:34pm
number 5 is so true. i am actually going to buy some of mine because i love them so much.
Brandon Ortwein commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:41pm
"please do not add extra space between the top of your file and your artwork." What if we don't want the design to be at the top of the tee but closer to the bottom or middle of the tee for design purposes? I do this with my Kio 8 design to place it at the bottom right of the tee.
Justin Cooper commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:45pm
@Brandon, while tip #4 applies to most t-shirts, if your artwork is intended to be placed at the bottom, then you can do that too.
eyejacker commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:36pm
Hi Justin, quick question about color tees. When you print color designs on color tees does the color of the tee blend with the design? Much like a "multiply" filter on Photoshop? It appears that way on the previews. If yes, are there any future plans for making tees more similar to screen-printing quality? Also on another note, I really like the way you've been adding little new features to the site... KUDOS!! :)
Justin Cooper commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:49pm
@eyejacker, yes, on color tees you will see a multiply like effect with color. Yes, we do have plans to offer an additional style of tee printing. Thanks for the kind words!
DockalGanger commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 3:39pm
I'm real excited to see what happens next to this site :] Thanks For the Info Justin
Angella Meanix commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 4:28pm
good timing on this post ... been working on Tee's most of the day. I find it tricky with my square (non digital) paintings ... i'd love any feedback about my Tee's from anyone.
DockalGanger commented on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:56pm
Hi Angela Deal Meanix, I looked at your work and noticed it had a nice usage of colors and flow. My best advice/opinion would be to get creative with the shirts and maybe cut shapes out of the paintings (circles, triangles, fish, horse, tree, whatever) But I hope my suggestion doesn't pull away from anything you're really wanting to do with your work.
Efi Tolia commented on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 5:25am
Angela, Jonathan has a point here. Another suggestion would be to come up with a different outer shape that would somehow follow your forms (like cutting pieces out of the square border).
Angella Meanix commented on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 6:57am
great ideas, Jonathan and Efi! I've already pulled out large parts of the images for Tees using the eraser (hopefully people see what I was going for:). I will work on these ideas, too! Thanks for taking the time to check my work out and offer feedback ... much appreciated.! ~ang
micheleficeli commented on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 7:16am
Great advices, i didn't know about the top edge thing before. Thanks!
Jesse Draxler commented on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 5:38pm
any chance Black shirts will be available soon so that we are able to do black backgrounds?
Justin Cooper commented on Friday, July 1, 2011 8:32am
@Jesse, we're working on a process so that we can print on black tees
Ruben Ireland commented on Monday, July 4, 2011 7:36am
ooh printing on black. yes please!
Jesse Draxler commented on Monday, July 4, 2011 6:41pm
Dctr. Lukas Brezak commented on Saturday, July 9, 2011 8:02am
Yeah black teeees ;)
freaklances commented on Saturday, July 9, 2011 1:58pm
Do you have plans to accept files with alpha channel for transparency instead of jpg-white color? It could avoid the "multiply" effect...
DockalGanger commented on Sunday, July 10, 2011 7:23pm
That would be really cool Freaklances :D
Justin Cooper commented on Monday, July 11, 2011 9:41am
@freaklances, until we start printing with white ink on dark tees, the alpha channel won't change the printing output. Once we do this, we'll likely start taking PNG files. thanks.
Nichole Lillian Ryan commented on Monday, September 12, 2011 11:21am
thanks, I'm working on adding shirts today
eyejacker commented on Monday, September 12, 2011 5:23pm
@ Justin Any news about black tees? Been waiting all summer!! :)
Justin Cooper commented on Monday, September 12, 2011 5:23pm
@eyejacker, it's on the list! Several more treats coming your way before that though..
eyejacker commented on Monday, September 12, 2011 5:39pm
Lil Ashton commented on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 11:27am
I can't do any of this without Photoshop though :(
Lil Ashton commented on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:20pm
Why do you need such HUGE images? I've gotten t-shirts printed using 1000 x 1000 pixels and they come out looking absolutely crisp and clear. I can't make images that big.
Lil Ashton commented on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:21pm
Also: png forever, jpeg never.
Jamie Bryan commented on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 8:23am
Glad i checked this out, very helpful advice!
Anonymouse commented on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 8:08am
Thanks for the tips! Was just wondering if Society6 is planning on allowing designs to cover the entire width of the Tshirt front?
PaperTigress commented on Friday, April 6, 2012 3:07am
Simple but REALLY helpful.
Halucinated Design commented on Sunday, April 15, 2012 3:00pm
And the crowd chants... "Black Tees! Black Tees!". Lol, great post.
Tosha Lobsinger is my Photogra… commented on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:02am
Hi Justin, thanks for the post. I am having a hard time creating a transparent background with some of my photographs (ie. see my "White Blarney" t-shirt, which only looks good in black... but I am forced to have multiple shirt options, so the others look horrible... also, for most of my image I simply do not upload a tshirt option because I do not know how to make a transparent background). Any advice you have would be awesome! Thanks, Tosha
Justin Cooper commented on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:05am
@Tosha please contact us and we'll take care of you right away!
Ryan Long commented on Saturday, March 16, 2013 2:39am
I can't upload images from my ipad because they are too small. Can anyone help me and suggest a way of getting the right dimensions please?
Kirk Shelton commented on Friday, April 5, 2013 5:27pm
how can I submit a png when it only lets me upload jpgs?
MJKCreationz commented on Sunday, September 1, 2013 8:19am
I can't seem to get the right dimensions. I change the file to the hight and width it tells me and it still says it's wrong.
mikasa commented on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 6:46am
i have save my tee design in jpg and png format but the person incharge for my tee asked me to design it back in ai or ao file. what's that suppose to mean? and how can i do that? thanks in advance
Will Hoffman Artwork - Pentict… commented on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 9:35am
Thank you Justin for making this process easier!
Mar Tel commented on Monday, March 10, 2014 2:49pm
is there an option to print an image onto the back of a shirt?
E Tobin Eckian commented on Thursday, March 13, 2014 1:43pm
hi. where do i find the proper pixel size for tshirts?
tinypuppyprince commented on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 4:44pm
^^^ where is the proper pixel size?
malarts commented on Thursday, April 3, 2014 1:58pm
could not upload a png tee design at all, strange
CamperClan - Tomas Cortijo & D… commented on Sunday, April 13, 2014 7:09am
I am having the same problem. When I try to search for the png file on my machine, it isn't an option to upload. Any resolution to this?
Lizzz commented on Monday, April 28, 2014 11:09pm
Nice and even a few years later a very helpful post! Hope to get started soon with a bit more sellings.
Pretty Rose Petal commented on Sunday, May 11, 2014 2:13am
I cant upload a PNG file ?
Pretty Rose Petal commented on Sunday, May 11, 2014 8:27am
Yes I upload the PNG file. As soon as I uploaded a JPEG art work. All of the options came up for the t-shirts, clocks etc.. including the dimensions. was pretty simple in the end. hopefully that will help.
BluGhost Productions commented on Thursday, May 29, 2014 8:33am
I've tried to post in Safari and Chrome, Filled out everything and hit publish this and nothing happens? First timer here....any help?
Leiah M Jansen commented on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 6:09pm
On the "Add Products To Your Print" page with all the t-shirt color thumbnails and checkboxes - my preferences won't save! I want to offer my print on ONLY black, because it looks best that way. But no matter what I try, if I try to uncheck all the colors, it gives me errors and then doesn't save anything and defaults back to *everything* being checked. What is wrong?
CyberGhost commented on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 1:57am
Hey guys! I can't add my PNG designs for black and white T-shirts. Can anyone help?
The Child commented on Sunday, July 27, 2014 8:03pm
i'm having the same problem as Leiah above. some of my designs use a silhouette so they don't really work on anything but black. I un-check everything but it just reappears.
JNorvelle commented on Thursday, August 14, 2014 12:56pm
I sent and inquiry on your contact page but have yet to receive an answer. There is a v-neck I'd love to buy - but the graphic needs to be raised slightly. It is centered on the stomach. Can this be raised up?
lalaprints commented on Friday, January 16, 2015 12:56pm
I have recently registered at society6, and I'm having a hard time understanding what is the best file size. I saw you mentioned 3300px X 5100px in RGB, either in jpeg or png depending on what color you see your work being printed on. However, lets say I would like my work to be printed on a t-shirt, but also on a mug, wouldn't that be tricky as far as the size of my file goes? Can anyone help?
Serena Govier commented on Saturday, January 24, 2015 3:54pm
I am not getting the option to add t-shirts or anything else to my art work can someone help me please?
robotface commented on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 11:43am
What is the max file size for PNG images?
What is the necessary resolution?
Does anyone know? Thanks!
Casual Glitz commented on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 7:31pm
It says up to 75 mb but after saving my files are less than 5 mb. What DPI does it need to be? I have mine set at 200.
Glenn Vosloo commented on Sunday, February 1, 2015 5:51pm
Hi, is it possible to use an IPad to upload your art? I am using the safari browser and can fill in the name of the art piece and a description but when I click add images nothing happens
plantbones commented on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 9:22pm
it keeps telling me I have an insufficient resolution,, is there anyway I can fix this? (photoshop elements6)
---- commented on Friday, December 18, 2015 3:56pm
How could you not have black t-shirts? They are staples... sigh.
J. Travis Duncan commented on Friday, January 29, 2016 9:14am
Glenn Vosloo, I'm having the same issue with my iPad Pro.
Eye.Candy commented on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 1:23pm
How should type be prepped so it prints properly on a t-shirt?
Power Girl commented on Friday, June 30, 2017 12:37pm
Why on earth can't we upload vector files? I'm making huge PNGs filled with mostly white space! Seems so counter-intuitive!

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