Design Guide

Guidelines for the creation of amazing merchandise

At Cotton Cart we lovingly print every item individually. In order for your designs to look the very best they can, it's very important that you follow these very simple guidelines. There are two sets of guidelines - depending on which process you choose to make your merchandise. However, there is one golden rule:

Upload a high quality JPEG or PNG file. Please use 300dpi images in a size of at least 1000 x 1000 pixels, and bigger is always better (up to 10MB and 12000 x 12000 pixels). The quality of the image you upload directly affects the quality of the print. If you supply an average quality image, we will still print it - but it just won't look as good, which means your customers will be less happy, and we don't want that.

One Colour (Best For: Logos, Large Text, Vector-created Art)

This method is very flexible - it allows your customers to customise both the colour of the item AND the colour of the design at any point. When choosing this method, it's best to go for large, bold, vector-style art or large, plain text. Please note that we can't currently accept actual vector files. Make sure it's a dark image on a light background otherwise our system might not be able to detect it properly. Got a slogan? Use this process.

Multicolour (Best For: Full colour designs, Small detail, Shading)

This method allows you to print full colour merchandise. Your customers can still customise the colour of the item (if you want them to), but your design will always remain EXACTLY as you uploaded it. A few guidelines:

  • Although it is a full colour process, it's still a physical process. We can't replicate the same level of detail and light as a printed sheet of paper, but we can get pretty close. Avoid low contrast (ie don't put small specks of navy in amongst a black area).
  • Don't just assume a photo of your face will look good on a shirt. Your products will look better with a simpler design, and square edges can look odd on clothes. If it's been designed for paper or the web, it doesn't necessarily mean it will work on a t-shirt. How many of your favourite t-shirts are a square design in the middle of the chest? A little bit of thought at this stage can mean the difference between selling one or selling hundreds. Think: would you wear your design?
  • To make the colour of your clothes customisable, you may need to make some parts of your image transparent. For example, if you have the word 'BOO' in yellow on a black t-shirt, you'd need to make the insides of the letters transparent so that the black of the shirt can show through. Then, if one of your fans chooses a red t-shirt instead, the red from the shirt will show through instead. You can use an image editor to add transparency to your designs. We recommend Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but there are some free options: you can download GIMP from http://www.gimp.org/ or you can use a free online editor called Aviary: http://www.aviary.com/online/image-editor?lang=en
  • JPEG FILES CANNOT HAVE TRANSPARENT AREAS - You must use the PNG format.