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Creating multi-colored designs for plot printing

We print your designs onto our products by hand. In the plot printing process (flex and flock), the parts of your design are first cut from printing foils. Then each color is pressed individually onto the product. In order to achieve the best printing results, we take a look at your vector design and decide in which order we print each color.

This tutorial explains how to create a multi-colored vector graphic that we can print in the best possible quality.


1. 3 Color Maximum

We are only able to print a maximum of 3 colors with plot printing (flex and flock). Designs with 3 colors are pressed three times; designs with 2 colors are pressed 2 times etc.


2. Make Each Color one Layer

Make each color a separate layer in your design. Your design should then have a maximum of 3 layers.

The following star design will serve as an example. This vector design is made up of 3 layers. When printing this design, the first layer is pressed first, followed by the 2nd and then the 3rd layer:


3. Stamp/cut through designs

Example 1 – three colors, connected layers.

An other way to print the star is this one:


Mind the gap: The danger with this variation is that unwanted lines may appear. These lines are small gaps between the prints where the product's fabric can be seen. They occur when the different foils are pressed onto the product under high heat. Sometimes the foils can shift, warp or move slightly from their original position, thus creating these small gaps:


On how to avoid gaps, please refer to section 4.


Example 2 – three colors, non-connected layers

Sometimes it isn't possible to set every color as a full layer, as seen in this example:


One possibility here is to stamp or cut out a small star from the grey and red layers.


You will be able to achieve the desired results with three layers, however, small gaps between the foils can also appear here (between red and grey):


4. Avoiding gaps:

This is how you avoid gaps:

You need to widen the notch of the grey star a bit more so that the grey area will not penetrate into the red star, even if the designs shift slightly when pressed:


5. Are the layers of my vector graphics in line?

First make sure that your vector graphics can be set as a full layer (see point 2). You need to combine all elements of the same color to a single layer (Corel: highlight all relevant curves > Ctrl+L). If you can still see every element of your design, then it can be printed.

If you cannot create the vector graphic as a full layer, you need to emboss its parts. Be aware of overlapping (see point 4).



Uploading vector graphics - where and how?

Vector graphics can unfortunately not be uploaded with the T-Shirt Designer. In order to design products with vector graphics, this is what you need to do:

  • Log in with your Spreadshirt user account now.
  • In case you haven’t already registered an account, just click on “Sign me up” next to “Login”. Registration is free of costs and without obligation.
  • Then go to your user account and click on “upload a design”, choose the graphics file you want to upload and follow the instructions.

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