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DIY Technical Design Section 9: Prints, Graphics, and Art

So, you’ve got your full tech pack filled out and you’re ready to send it off to the factory. Do you have a special graphic, print or artwork that you want included on your garment or accessory? Here are some easy tips for calling out the details for your factory or decorator.

First off, communicate with your factory about the graphic, print, or artwork that you’d like added. They may direct you to a decorator to complete the action. A decorator is an independent company who can add your artwork to your garment or accessory through different printing methods.



After you’ve created your artwork in your design program, you’ll want to format it in a way that the factory or decorator can understand. There is no right way to format your art callout page, but you will want to include the following information:

  • Draw the graphic to scale

  • Callout the dimensions of the graphic or repeat

  • Callout the colors (Pantone #’s for example)

  • Expand the artwork (including text)

  • Add an art #

The art number acts as a identifier for calling out decoration information in the tech pack. It’s especially important when you’re working with multiple artworks.



To callout any form of art or graphics in your tech pack, you’ll need to add an additional page into your tech pack. You can just use the same format as your cover page, a large box with your header information. Name it Art. You’ll take your created graphic with callouts from your design program (Illustrator) and copy and paste it as a PDF into your Excel Tech Pack. Be sure to update any sketches on your cover page or callouts page to reflect the added graphic.

When you send your artwork off, your factory or decorator will probably ask for the original art file. When they ask for this, they are requesting a clean version of the graphic. A clean version won’t have any callouts and it will be completely vectorized so that they can just plug it into their system.

Like this:


How to Place Art and Graphics with POM’s

Where possible, you’ll want to callout the placement of your graphic on your spec sheet. Use the consistent formula for writing POM’s that we talked about in Section 5. Here’s a few examples:

  • Art Placement from HPS: Measure down from HPS to top of graphic.

  • Art Placement from LPS: Measure down from LPS to top of graphic on sleeve.

Use other callouts on your callouts page to give the factory or decorator all the information they need. I like to call out the art number so that the factory knows where to find the graphic information. I also like to callout if it’s centered. You can draw an arrow for where the POM’s are if the placement is tricky.



When working with directional repeat prints you may need to callout some additional information. For each part (pattern piece) of the garment, you will need to callout the directionality and matching of the print. This will determine how the factory cuts your pattern pieces. You may choose to not match your print or to cut it on the bias. If your print is not directional, the direction the pattern pieces are cut in won’t matter.

Take into consideration the cost of using prints. If you are creating a custom print you will have additional fees to produce or print the fabric. Furthermore, if your print is directional and needs to be matched your marker will be worse, meaning that your fabric wastage will increase. The increased fabric wastage will increase your costs.

This image belongs to  Campsaver

This image belongs to Campsaver

This image belongs to  Tokyo Laundry

This image belongs to Tokyo Laundry

This image belongs to  Amazon

This image belongs to Amazon

To put it simply, a marker is how your pattern pieces are laid out in order to make the most of the fabric. A better marker means that you are using your space wisely and less fabric is wasted. A worse marker means that your fabric wastage is higher. A higher fabric wastage means you’ll need to use more fabric to produce your goods, increasing your overall cost.



There are so many types of printing methods! With new technology, there are new methods being developed every year. Here are some main ones that you can checkout to see if they will fit the aesthetic of your design. Simply plug these terms into a search engine. There’s lots of great sites that will give you a detailed explanation of what they are!

  • Screen Printing

  • Digital Printing

  • Flock Printing

  • Raised, Rubberized

  • HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl)

  • Sublimation

  • DTG (Direct to Garment) Printing

  • Embroidery


Thanks for following along! Section 10 will focus on the Sourcing and Manufacturing and will launch on Thursday, 8/29/19.

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Natalie SmithDIY TD