Graphic Terms You Need To Know When DTG Printing
When you venture into the world of graphic design there is a lot to learn. To do this you need to learn the lingo that people use to communicate with each other. The following terms are the bare minimum for graphic designers. There is so much to know, but this will get you started
Pixel - A small dot of pure color. The small dots are most often squares, but they can also be round or hexagonal.
Raster Image - A graphic computer image comprised of a grid of pixels. The configuration of those pixels create an image. When a raster image is enlarged the picture becomes blurry (pixelated). When a raster image is shrunk it becomes sharp. Think of a raster image as a normal photo that is taken with an image. Some common vector file types are .JPG, .PNG, .BMP, .TIF.
Vector Image - an image that is created with a mathematical formula. They are shapes, points, lines, and curves combined together that create the image. It does not matter what size a vector image is. There will be no change to the appearance of image no matter how large or small it is. This is because the design is created using a mathematical formula. It does not matter what inputs you enter into the formula, the resulting output will always be the same. Some common vector file types include: .AI, .PDF, .EPS, .SVG.
RGB - One of the color modes. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. This color mode is used for representing color on the web. When using the RGB color mode different percentages of the three colors can be used to create a new color. The percentages are in a range from 0 to 100 based on intensity. So for example R at 0%, G at 0%, and B at 100% is pure blue, whereas R at 50%, G at 0%, and B at 50% will give you a purple color. This color mode is only used for the web. It does not translate well to print.
CYMK - One of the color modes. CYMK stands for Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Key. The color mode is used for representing color in printed objects. When using the CYMK color mode printers combine different percentages of the four colors to create a new color. This color mode does not work well with the RGB color mode.
Bleed - A term used in printing to describe a document that has colors or images that touch the edge of the document. The color or image actually extends past the edge of the page. It bleeds over the edge. There is no white margin. When a printer prints a document that has bleed the printer prints the document on a larger piece of paper then they cut it down. This way it appears that the color or image runs right up to the edge of the paper.
DPI - DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. The printer will print this exact number of dots per inch of paper. The higher the DPI the better the resolution. Lower DPI creates a low resolution image. High DPI is regularly used for printed materials because the print quality needs to be crisp and clear. Low DPI is commonly used for web images because load times for web pages must be low. An image having high resolution images won’t load fast on a computer. Sometimes another term called PPI is used. This stands for Pixels Per Inch. It is basically the same thing as DPI because pixels are small dots of color.
Print Resolution - When a printer prints it refers to DPI (dots per inch) to indicate the output of the design. PPI (pixels per inch) indicates the resolution of a photograph or image.
Screen Resolution - This refers to the number of pixels that a screen can display. Higher resolutions create sharper images.
Camera Ready - When your art is ready to print.
There you have it. These are some of the terms that you need to understand to get started in DTG printing. These terms get used by graphic designers and printers everywhere. They are not uncommon to screen printers as well. They use CMYK and vector images all the time. It is important to know these terms cold so that you can explain them to customers and staff when questions arise.