Before You Start!
How Merchfoundry works
Merchfoundry is an all-in-one custom merchandising platform for both businesses and individuals. Merchfoundry handles inventory, manufacturing and shipping. Our prices are transparent and you can instantly get quotations for the products you need.
Can I just get a quote?
Yes you can! You can get quotations straight from our website without even signing up for an account. Just head over to the individual product page and input several key details about what you want to print, including a quantity number. You will receive a price quotation per piece along with an estimate lead time.
What do I need to prepare before using Merchfoundry?
To print out a custom design, the first thing you need is to prepare your design in the right format.
- SVG or PNG format
- file size of less than 5MB
Mockups on Merchfoundry are to scale on M sized products.
Preparing your Design
We recommend you set-up and prepare your design along these guidelines to ensure the most accurate price and the best printing solution. Adobe Illustrator is the recommended software to use during this process.
- If you already have a vector version of your design
- If you have a jpeg or just a picture of your design
Creating an SVG format of your design
In this tutorial, we will be converting a JPG image of our Merchfoundry logo into a print-ready SVG format.
Open up Adobe Illustrator, navigate to the ‘Print’ tab and select either the A4 or A3 preset.
Check the unit of measurement on the document and ensure that it is set to ‘Centimetres’. You can change it by clicking on the drop-down menu and selecting ‘Centimetres’.
Select landscape or portrait orientation, depending on your design.
Under Artboards, input ‘1’.
Make sure that the color Mode is set to ‘CMYK’
Twirl down the dropdown menu for ‘Advanced Options’ and change the ‘Raster Effects’ to 150ppi.
Finally, click on ‘Create’.
Illustrator should now show a blank Artboard.
Next thing to do is to import the JPG image!
Go to File > Place.
Select your JPG image from the finder.
Make sure that the ‘Link’ checkbox is deselected, and finally click on ‘Place’ to import the JPG image.
Sometimes, the imported image would be bigger than the Artboard. Scale the JPG image so that it sits inside of the Artboard.
Next, we need to convert your flat image into vectors. To understand why, check out our article “Vector vs Raster Images Explained”.
The gist of it is that vectors allow your design to be scaled up or down without any degradation and they allow us to accurately detect how many colours are in your design and reduce the price per piece.
Go to Window > Image Trace.
Click on the ‘Preview’ checkbox so that you can see the results live. Your design will look a little different now as it’s being converted into vector paths.
Under the View selection, choose ‘Tracing Result with Outlines’. You can toggle between the traced image and the original image by clicking on the Eye icon beside it.
Under Mode, change it to Colour.
Under Palette, flip through the few options between “Automatic” , “Limited” and “Full Tone” until you get a result that is close to your original design.
If your design does not include any white, twirl down the Advanced tab, and select the checkbox ‘Ignore White’. This turns the portions of your design with colour into vectors, deleting anything that is white.
For silkscreen jobs, please note that there cannot be any gradients in the design. The printing method would automatically switch to Direct-To-Garment once it detects gradients.
Make sure the image is selected and go to Object > Image Trace > Expand.
This converts the traced JPG image into editable vector points!
Press the ‘A’ key to switch to the Direct Selection Tool. Notice that suddenly there are a bunch of dots all over your image. These dots are referred to as Vector Points and this is exactly what we want!
Refer to your Layers panel and twirl down the arrows to double check the vector paths created.
Switch to Outline Mode to double check that there aren’t any stray vector points.
Go to Object > Artboards > Fit to Artwork Bounds
This trims the Artboard to the size of your design.
Go to Window > Info to open up the Info panel.
Click on your design and check that the size is appropriate. It generally should not be too small (1 -2 cm) or too large (50 – 70cm).
Select your design one last time and go to File > Export Selection.
Change the format to SVG and click on ‘Export Asset’.
Now you have a Print-Ready SVG version of your design!
Go to our MerchFoundry website and navigate to ‘Products’. Select the “Gildan 76000 Premium Cotton Unisex Adult T-Shirt”.
Click on the ‘Design’ Button to open up the Design Editor.
Select your print size (A3, A4 or A4 Vertical) and upload your design.
The Design Editor will automatically place your design in the centre.
You can scale your design and move it around the rectangular bounding box to place it exactly where you want it.
All mockups are to scale for M size.
Select the colour of the garment from the swatches available and input the number of pieces per size that you would like to order.
A quote will automatically be generated and updated when you edit the number of pieces to purchase.
And that’s it! You can either choose to Save your order or Add to Cart and get it printed!