There is a true art to designing a t-shirt for the all over press. It isn't as simple as taking any piece of art and blowing it up huge and slapping it on a tee. For a successful all over print, it's important to work with the machine as a screen print medium and consider it's drawbacks and weak points.
We printed Her Hair by Federico Rodriguez Morice for Threadless and it is a perfect example of a design that works well as an all-over print. There are 3 points to a design that will surely work well as an all over print:
1. The design is one color.
Registration on an all over press is not exact. This means that if the design is more than one color, the colors will not line up exactly the same each time. If the registration can be a little off and the design still works - great! Otherwise, it's best to stick with one color.
2. The design is loose and organic in shape - not tight and geometric.
Misprinting occurs by the collar and seams when printing on an all-over press. Collars and seams create an uneven surface and the ink deposit is unpredictable in these areas. Front and back prints will not line up, exactly. This misprinting is barely noticeable when designs do not rely on the exact nature of clean screen printing.
3. There are no solid fill areas.
T-shirts have a tendency to crease and fold a little when printed flat on a press. By avoiding solid fill areas, you will also avoid minor imperfections that are considered acceptable when print all-over designs.
Here are a couple of other designs we printed for Threadless that are designed perfectly for all-over printing. You can see that these three points apply to these designs as well.
Wake by Phil Jones
Never-ending Challenge by Lim Heng Swee
If you ever have questions about whether or not your design will work as an all over print or what print issues might come up, just send us a file or call to discuss!