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What is the Canvas size and Resolution used to make T-shirt Designs?

Hi people,
I would appreciate much if someone helped me on this:
What is the Canvas size (& Resolution 72dpi ,300dpi etc..) used usually to make designs.
I made my designs on an A2 size canvas with was too heavy a file;
And the design got blurred and pixelated when I reduced the final design to fit the T-shirt(probably because the size was too high initially)

Sorry the question is too lengthy(and this line didn't help much either)
But I would be grateful if someone helped me to find the optimum canvas dimension for creating T-shirt designs.

Watch this
Ronin60 profile pic Alumni

Best using vector instead of raster (pixels) that way you can make it any size you want it to be (even the size of a bus if you wanted to).

JacquesMaes profile pic Alumni

I think A3 size at 300dpi is probably enough, it depends on your design... you can always take a shirt and measure the size of where you want the design to be and use that as a reference.

Also when you want to place your design on a shirt, save your design again as a seperate file, flatten and set it to 72dpi. Use this file to make mockups and test the placement on shirt-templates.


I'am not good in vector, i use bitmap on A3 300 dpi too, i think that should enough!


@Ronin60: I suck at Thxx mate. @syarief:Thx I'll try that. :) @Jaakie201: Hope A3 300dpi works(A2 was unnecessarily big I guess)..and what is the need to make 72dpi flatten?Wouldn't it reduce it's quality?

radiomode profile pic Alumni

The bigger the file, the better it is. A3 should be enough for t-shirt design. I read a lot about people saying the image becomes blurry when reduced, however it never happened to me.

Flatten means combine all the layers into one layer. Press control E (or go to layer menu -> merge down).

To resize the image, press crtl+a (select all), right click, choose "free transform".

Hold shift+alt together when you resize so the image will be transformed proportionately.

Morkki profile pic Alumni
Ferz said:

and what is the need to make 72dpi flatten?Wouldn't it reduce it's quality?

That's the copy for your submission slides. Don't flatten your original file!

For resizing I almost always set Image Interpolation to Bicubic (Edit - Preferences - General). The important thing is to only scale down. If you scale something back up you will lose quality.


@radiomode:that's some good tips..thxx a lot.

@Morkki:Thxx for your reply :) ..I don't flatten my original file..My doubt is;even when we make a seperate file with 72dpi flatten,wouldn't it look bad on the Tee?

Interpolation to bicubic..thts totaly new to me..have to try..thx heaps

JacquesMaes profile pic Alumni

Flattening it (a separate file!), won't make it look bad/worse on a tee. It's just all together easier to work with when making a presentation. Like mentioned, never upscale your design or it will get more blurry. I even feel that downscaling it more than once can cause a slightly more blurry look instead of just transforming it one time. What I usually do when I'm set on how the presentation will be, is to measure the final height of the design inside my presentation (also of the one in the shirt-mockup), and then I re-scale my original flattened file to that size in a one time-transform-action (image size), and re-import it to my presentation file.

Also, don't forgot that you have 3 optional presentation slides, you can always show larger detailed parts of your design spread over these slides, in case your fully (template)scaled design doesn't do it's details much justice.


jaakie201: lots of useful tips in there..Thx mate!


i've got what i wntd in this thread.Love all.

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