- Rocket Science Screenprinting : Custom Artwork + Ink Matching + Design Support

Rocket Science Screenprinting offers full-service graphic design options and collaboration that help you get exactly the look that you want. Besides high quality screenprinting and apparel, nice artwork and design is what's going to determine whether people wear your shirt or whether it goes out in the next bag to Goodwill. That's why we are happy to work with you, picking up the artwork preparation at any stage, so that we help make your shirts look the best they can possibly be.

Press Parameters
We can print up to 5 spot colors per side. And hand mix any color of custom ink at no additional charge. Maximum print size is usually around 18" vertical and 14" horizontal. Minimum is, well . . . really small.

Submitting Electronic Files
We try to have very loose requirements for submitting digital files, as we understand that there are different ways to format good workable files. That being said, there are 2 important things that we need to be able to do with your file . .

1. Color Separations.

If your image has more than 1 color, we need to be able to isolate and manipulate each individual color in the file. For instance, if we were to print an American flag, we would need to create 3 separate plates. One for just the red stripes, one for just the blue field minus the stars, and one just for the white stripes and stars. Vector files (like those created in programs like Adobe Illustrator) are usually much more likely to allow us to do that. Raster files (like Photoshop and jpegs) do not, unless each individual color is correctly separated either as a distinct layer or spot color channel in the file.

2. Scale The Image If Needed.

Vector files allow us to do this. Raster files don't. A common problem is that someone makes a breathtaking 2 inch Photoshopped logo for the top corner of a website, or pulls some thumbnail pic off of Google Images, and then later wants to reproduce it on an XXL T-Shirt using the same file. And what happens is, when that little bitty 2 inch jpeg file gets stretched out to fit across the front of a shirt, it looks a bad Lego accident. Undersized raster-based images cannot be magically scaled up. The resolution of these is usually set at the beginning of the file creation. Any jpegs sent should be equal to 300dpi resolution, properly layered, and at the same size that it is to be on the shirt, or larger. If you had any questions or needed any other info re this, just let us know . .

Some General Please Do's . .
- Convert any fonts to outlines. Or else you'll need to send us a file copy of your fonts.
- Save any Adobe file to version CS2.
- Include a screenshot or jpeg of the file as a visual reference, if you can.
- If you require an exact ink color match, include the correct Pantone swatch number.
- Try to keep the file under 10mg in size. If the file is huge, usually something is not right.
- Send everything as a single complete package, rather than in bits and pieces.
- Wait til we confirm that your files are workable before you make promises to your fans.
- Roll with us. We really want to make sure everything comes out beautifully.

And Some General Please Don'ts . .
- Microsoft Word. We'll almost certainly have to re-do it to make it work.
- Gradations and fades. Great on a monitor, will probably look coarse and not-so-great on a shirt.
- Photographs. Things like photos of people (or full-color art, like paintings) will be best reproduced by digital (aka direct-to-garment DTG printing), not traditional screenprinting like we do. You can Google around for other local places that offer DTG printing.
- Text under about 7 pts.
- Those tiny crappy jpegs. Pretty please. Really . . please . . just don't.

Usually, we try to say 'send whatcha got', and we'll go from there. If we can't work with it or if we have doubts about the final print quality, we'll let you know. We won't go forward with anything unless we're sure that you know what you'll be getting.

If you have any questions, just let us know. And you can pre-send files for review, if that makes sense. It's all about Communication, they say. We'll work it out somehow. (And please note that we are a Mac-based shop, if that matters.)

Submitting Paper Etc. Files:
Not every bit of artwork is digital. We still use Scotch tape and Exacto knives when we need to. If you have an original drawing or print, it's not required that you scan it into a digital file. We've made great shirts out of things brought in on the back of napkins and envelopes or sketched out on the spot over coffee. Whatever you've got, we'll figure out something.

Since everyone's design and idea is a unique thing, we may not have guessed here exactly what you needed to learn. So if we haven't addressed your concerns with these general guidelines, please do let us know. We'll be glad to offer more answers and advice and maybe even some unsolicited opinions.

For samples of some of the work that's gone through our shop, visit our Portfolio Page.