Amateur happy to learn and appreciating your wisdom

Hi, everyone. I am a person who has always enjoyed art–painting, drawing, etc. I venture into graphic arts mostly as a volunteer at my kids’ schools (making posters for dances, designing t-shirts for the annual carnival fundraiser, etc.). I know enough to get into trouble quickly.

I’m actually in a pickle right now regarding my carnival tshirt design, which needs to be sent to the printer in a vector format. I tried created one using, but the printer says he can’t use it. I’ll be posting a plea for help in the appropriate category here.


1 Like

Welcome Aboard Stephenssg! :taco::taco::taco:

You can post for help right here :slight_smile:

Thank you, RedKittieKat! Fingers crossed!

1 Like

I’m not sure if this thread was moved. If so, Maybe Kittie you can move me along with it?

Steph, I assume you’re doing your initial design in a non-printer friendly (or Bitmap) piece of software, like Photoshop?

Did your printer say why exactly your vector file wasn’t sufficient? If he/she is silk screening they maybe looking for a 1 or 2 color separable file. The vector generator i’m sure has left you 100’s of tiny vector pieces and about as many colors to boot.

If I could see what you’re working on, maybe i could offer some sound advice.

Hi, Michael! First, thank you for your reply and efforts to help me understand more about the nuts and bolts of graphic design–to date, I’ve enjoyed this art form from an eagle’s perspective (lots of beautiful scenery, little exposure to the actual terrain). That said, I’ll tell you what I know, and it might tell you enough.

I designed the images in a definitely non-printer friendly piece of software: (I’ll wait for your laughter to subside…lol)

Really, I wasn’t surprised that the printer rejected the first “svg” file that I created using Vector Magic. The file was very small, and when I downloaded it, it appeared in my file manager to be an html file. Just didn’t seem right. Also, when I saw the “before and after” within the program, the “after” was very pixelated. I even experimented with reducing the color palette to the 4 spot colors used in the design, but the outcome was the same.

When the printer validated my doubts, I tried using another online program–a vector editor called Vectr. The output of this file seemed fine, and the program even retained a transparent portion of the image that was part of the design (the Vector Magic conversion presented the transparent portion as white). The file size looked like what it should be, too, and the file had an .svg extension. I sent the file to be forwarded to the printer, but it, too, was rejected.

Now, unfortunately, I had a middleman between the printer and me (a lady on the PTA who is ultimately in charge of the tshirts). Although I asked what the printer’s exact comments about the svg file were, I did not get an answer. I’m thinking that you may have hit the nail on the head with the non-printer friendly software I used to create the design. I bought several components for the design from a stock graphic design site,, and I had the option to download vector versions of the images, but I chose the max-resolution versions, instead, because I do not have a vector editor. So maybe the problems began there?

I uploaded the 2 files to this thread so people could evaluate how much they would charge me to convert the png’s to vectors. I don’t know if that would help you. My post is in the Classifieds section, but I think it has been closed–probably because a designer vectorized the files for me.

If you have any teaching points for me, I’m all ears–very eager to learn. If not, that’s okay–I know my lack of knowledge here can make for a messy discussion. Either way, I greatly appreciate your reply and ideas for the cause of the problem.


I think at this point, it may be a long difficult road to correct the graphics so they are color separable. I feel without Adobe Illustrator or a vector-based editing software you may be at a complete loss in doing so.

As a printer and graphic artist for some 13 years now, there comes a time when it’s easier to change the method of print, than to change the artwork. You might consider looking into someone who produces full color shirts using some of the new digital print methods. Any file will work for this, and the quality if often pretty fair.

If you have an image of your t-shirt art. I wouldn’t mind having a look. You could also considering commissioning one the artists here to re-draw the art. But it’s painful to shell out funds for something you’ve already invested your time into.

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook