If you want to print a photograph or illustration containing gradients, or smooth tones, onto a T-shirt or other object, you must convert the image to a "halftone." This is an image made up of dots measured in lines per inch (LPI). LPI refers to the space between the dots in one inch of a halftone image. Adobe Photoshop, a graphics software program, is the industry standard for creating halftone images. However, the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a free, open-source alternative with many Photoshop-like features. Once you have converted the image, you can take it to a screen printing company to have it printed.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Other People Are Reading
Check the image size and resolution. For example, in GIMP, select "Scale Image" from the Image menu. This brings up a dialogue box displaying the dimensions and resolution of the image. For successful screen printing, your image should be the width it will appear on the final product and have a resolution of 150 to 300 pixels per inch (PPI).
Convert your colour image to grayscale. If you will be printing with just one ink colour, change your entire image to grayscale. In Photoshop's Image menu, select "Mode: Grayscale." If you will be printing a multicolour image, you will need to do this for each colour of ink you plan to use.
Convert the grayscale image to a halftone. For example, in Photoshop's Image menu, choose "Mode: Bitmap" and select "Halftone Screen." Input your desired LPI number, or how coarse to make the line screen. If you are printing on an absorbent surface like a T-shirt, use a coarser halftone screen of 35 to 65 LPI. If you are printing on a smooth surface, you may be able to use a finer screen, or higher LPI number.
Check your final image. Don't rely on your monitor--print out your screen-ready image with a high-quality laser printer if possible, and look at it both close up and from a distance. Make sure there's no "moire," or interference, pattern.
- 20 of the funniest online reviews ever
- 14 Biggest lies people tell in online dating sites
- Hilarious things Google thinks you're trying to search for