Graphic Preparation for Printing Part 1
This is the first part in a number of tips to graphic preparation with your AnaJet printer. One of the most important aspects of printing is the quality of your image. We will start with a basic over view of a few very important factors that will give a good starting point.
All the files that are going to be printed must be created in or converted to RGB mode. If a file is CMYK you may notice that your colors do not look correct when printed. Another problem with a file being in CMYK is a transparent background will not work. Depending on what program you are using you can change the color mode to RGB. In Photoshop it is located under "Image" and then selecting "Mode." In Corel this can be done under "Tools" and then "Color Management."
For most all graphic images you will want to use a minimum of 250 pixels per inch. When less than 250 dpi is used the artwork will lack in detail and begin to break up into dots when enlarged. Another thing to keep in mind is a maximum amount of 300-350 pixels per inch when printing on a t-shirt, any resolution amount more than that would be considered over-kill because a shirt has a limited amount of detail that it can hold. (However, if you are printing solid text like a last name onto the back of a garment, 150 pixels per inch is sufficient.) To find the resolution of an image in Photoshop, click on "Image" at the top of the screen and then select "Image Size." For Corel you will need to right click on the image and then select "Document Info." A very important thing to know is that when an image is low in resolution you cannot do anything to make it better. The only exception to the rule is if the image is much larger than the print size. If an image is 30" x 30" at 72 DPI you can bump the resolution up to 300 DPI and then shrink it down to 12" x 12." You cannot do the opposite.
Quality of Artwork:
One of the most common Tech questions we get is "Why does my print look fuzzy." First off, check that your print table is not too low. A low table will cause ink drops to have more tendency to drift. Most of the time fuzzy prints are due to a low quality graphic. An image that was originally 2" x 1" with the resolution of 72 DPI was enlarged to 12" X 10". This will cause the image to get pixilated and look fuzzy. The best way to confirm it is the image and not the printer is to print it out on a home desktop printer. Try to make it as large as you can on your home printer, if it looks bad it is the image. Before you try and print any image it is always best to make sure the color mode and resolution are correct. The industry has a saying "Junk in, Junk out," yes! It is a little harsh but very true. If an image looks bad on your monitor, good chance it will print the same.
Good Starting Points for Printer Settings
Knowing what settings to use for print jobs is a vital part to printing with the AnaJet printer. First thing is making sure that your settings will give you the best reproduction of the graphic possible. Another important fact is making sure you have saturated your garment with the right amount of ink for washability. Once you have some time invested into the printer, knowing what settings will work for each graphic you print will become second nature. Here are some good starting settings for different graphic types.
Light garment printing with no white ink.
Printing a standard graphic not a photo image: Ink drop size Medium, Level 3, Mode- Graphics
Printing solid text: Ink drop size Medium, Level 4, Mode- Text
Printing a very highly detailed image or text with a gradient of color: Ink drop size Medium, Level 4, Mode- Text 1
Printing a photo image: Ink drop size Light, Level 3-4, Mode- Graphics.
(One thing to keep in mind with all photos is that they will be darker looking when printed. If you notice your print is too dark, go to ink settings in EK Print Studio and move the Brightness slide bar all the way to the right. Another trick I have found is making the image itself brighter in the graphics program you have, example: PhotoShop. I will add 15%-30% more brightness to the image before I import it to EK or printing from the driver directly.)
Dark garment printing with white ink.
Printing a standard graphic not a photo image: Ink drop size Medium, Level 2, Mode-Graphics. White ink underbase setting: Ink drop size Med, Level 3, Under Base Choke value 6. (Note, If you notice white ink appearing from the edges of the image, increase the choke value)
Printing a solid white image with no other color: In this case it is only important to set your Level to none in your color settings; this will tell the printer that no color pass is needed. White ink underbase setting: Ink drop size Medium, Level 3, Under Base Choke is not needed.
Printing a highly detailed image or text with a gradient of color: This setting is going to be personal preference , the standard setting mentioned above may be exactly what you need. Another option you can try is; Ink drop size medium, Level 4 , Mode-Text 1. White ink settings are the same as standard graphic settings.
Printing a photo image: Printing photos on dark garments is the most challenging of all print types. It is crucial that the following requirements are achieved. Pretreatment, nozzle checks and graphic quality all must be perfect! Printing a photo on a white shirt is much more forgiving. The best settings to start with are the same as printing a white shirt photo. The white under base settings: Ink drop size Medium, Level 3, Under Base Choke starting at 6.
Keep in mind that your graphic quality is the most important part of your results, a good way to test this is printing it out with a home printer before you start. Make the image as close to size as you can in relation to the final print size. If it looks bad on paper then the same will happen on a garment. Please refer to the Graphics Preparation info also located in this section of the website. Happy Printing!
Printing A Pocket Drop:
Pocket drops are relatively easy to print with your AnaJet. There are two methods you can use to do this. The first method requires one printing on paper. The second method requires one to measure to achieve proper placement.
Method 1: Gently tape a sheet of paper to the table near the upper left-hand corner of the table. Use the lightest ink settings you can so your ink will dry quicker. If you are using a light colored shirt, you will be able to see the image on the paper through you garment. Now all one needs to do is adjust the garment until the image on the paper is located in the proper place. Press print and your image will print in the same place on your garment perfectly positioned.
Method 2: Position your image on your software so it is approximately 3 inches from the collar and 2 inches from the side of the edge of the table. Place your shirt on the table and measure the same distance. This is where your image will print. Adjust your garment as needed to achieve proper positioning.
Note that some individuals find it easier to print pocket drops with the youth sized table. This reduces the total printable area and allows more of the garment to be tucked underneath.
Often when printing on larger garments, you will want a print wider than 12.5 inches. The AnaJet has the ability to print a full 16 inches wide. To do this, select the landscape mode from the table size you are using in EK print studio. A "P" next to the table indicates portrait. A "L" nest to table indicates landscape.
Slowing Down Your Prints:
Your AnaJet as the ability to push a large amount of ink very quickly. If you find when printing your white base layer, you have to wait before you can print you color layer, you can slow down your print. Set microweaving to 1. This will slow down your print long enough that when your white layer finishes, you can immediately begin printing the color without any hesitation.
In EK print studio, there is a Photo mode designed specifically for photographs. However, because this mode changes the drop pattern to focus more on detail, some may perceive this mode as lacking the "pop" of other modes. To achieve this "pop" with your photographs, print them on Graphics mode with medium ink drop level 2. If your image looks dark, increase the brightness setting in located under the ink settings button of EK Print Studio.
Please check back soon for more tricks and tips for your AnaJet printer!!!
Please contact our customer care team if you have any questions about your printer, or to request technical support.