One second...

Question about 8 colors

I hope I am not asking something redundant, but I've looked through and haven't been able to find an answer to this specific question---

I'm very new at this, and the minimum color has me stumped. For example, if you are painting,say, orange, with a brush in Photoshop, will the anti-alias effect (all the pixels around the color to blend it in with the background) count as different colors, or does Threadless ignore the anti-alias and count it as only orange.

And if it DOES count it as 30 colors or whatever, and I get rid of all the anti-alias to lower it to 8 colors with no anti-alias, will the jagged nasty edges that result PRINT jagged if they were to pick the shirt?

Someone asked a similar question a while ago, and people said "Don't worry about it now that there's simulated process." But I'm interested in how it is without simulated process. Thanks!!

Watch this

I'd like to know too.


I'm glad I'm not the only one!


yet noone will answer. sad face.

fc gravy

i'll bump this because i'm in a bumpin' mood.



with photoshop, if you were to do what you said, it would be the 30 colors or whatever.

this is why illustrator or inkscape is a popular choice. they are vector programs, rather than the raster program photoshop. if you design in photoshop at higher than 150 dpi, it seems that they accept that too.

try this for vector vs. raster help


Wee a real answer! Thank you! I know about vector but I find it's harder to make the drawing look like I hand drew it with sketch line and all, which is what I want.

What I did in Photoshop was actually use the pencil tool so there WAS no anti-aliasing... at around 480 dpi... so that when it is small it still looks good and not pixely. At least I hope that's what it will do! If not, there's always simulated process... Anyway, thanks a ton for an answer! I had given up hope!


seems like that should work!


The question is whether or not you want to use individual solid colors (or "spot" colors) or all the blended (or "process")colors of the rainbow. Spot colors are like coloring a coloring book. You pick crayons of the color you want to use and fill in the space with that color. Like this sub I did:

See? Solid colors and defined shapes. If you do it that way you can only use 8 unique colors. You can create a file for a design of this type in Illustrator or Photoshop. Illustrator is preferred! If you use Photoshop you want the original file for the design to be at a resolution of 300dpi at the size you want the design printed. 11" x17" for example. And to make it easier for Ross and Joe and everyone else that does file prep for the printers, separate every unique color onto a different layer in Photoshop.


Thanks for the info! Is there a noticable difference in quality between using spot colors and the simulated process method? Does simulated process look "worse"? Because if the quality is just as good I may just say to hell with the limit and go with process.

This is one the one I made using the pencil tool in Photoshop to literally keep it under 8 colors with no anti-alias. The colors are all on separate layers:

Would that be better to use simulated process?

Le Dobermann

i think thats fine..and a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery good design :)


Geez, you did that with just the pencil tool?


If you are using just a straight up flat color brush in photoshop and if you work with a large enough file, then you shouldn't have any problems. All the other 29 "colors" that only take up the space at the edges of a pixel or two to blend into the background aren't going to even show up on the screen when printing. I do all of my screenprints in photoshop and it works out just fine, clean edges and everything.


grracexx-- When you work large enough, and shrink it small enough after, the pencil tool just ends up looking like any other, it's not any harder or anything! :}

Lonkiponk-- Weird (in a good way)! I love your characters. I checked out your design and left a comment!

Olie!-- so you did your mole man shirt using the pencil tool in Photoshop? With each color on a separate layer?

I'm worried because I did my design "Abstinence is Key" before I figured out the pencil tool thing... so that's using the brush tool, and so some of the pixels are partially transparent and I don't know how that works with printing. But I imagine if it got picked I could work it out with Threadless... thanks for the info, it's helpful hearing from someone who has a shirt printed :) Thanks everyone else for your comments, too!


Greed would totally work better as a traditional print with 8 colors. You'd lose a lot of that hatching with simulated process. Process looks good from far, but it's not as good as a print on paper. Because of the rougness of the shirt and the inks you use it can't be. Olie is right too, you don't need to use the pencil tool. While I convert most of my stuff to vector, I begin in Corel Painter. I just use a flat brush, the anti-aliasing isn't a problem at all.


Ah yay. You have great designs, jadefrolics (or Jade)!


not with the pencil tool, but yes I did my mole design in photoshop with a flat brush, colors all in separate layers, just like you said. It's the most comfortable way for me to work, and it turned out just fine I'd say!


Also, I don't work at Threadless but I would imagine they would have people that work for them whose job it is to "clean up" designs so to speak once they are handed in and prep them for printing. Either way if your design is picked I think it's a good idea to do as much cleaning up as possible on your own and make them as print-ready as you can.
All in all, I wouldn't worry so much about the intracacies of prepping them to be printed until you get the e-mail. I would say first just making sure you've got an awesome design that follows the rules--which you have two of IMHO ;)


Thanks so much for the info! Knowing that someone did their designs with a flat brush including the anti-aliasing, and that it looks fine in print and doesn't cause troubles (your shirt looks WONDERFUL!) really helps me out for when I think about my next designs. Might I ask how long you waited before you got the coveted e-mail, olie? I know it varies I'm sure, just wondering about yours.

And thanks MrDomino for the process info-- I didn't know much about digital process at all!

I'm glad you like my designs, grracexx, thanks!

I think my colors questions are finally all answered :D


Yes it does vary quite a bit. I personally got the e-mail 6 days after scoring finished, if I remember correctly.

No account?