There’s no question achieving a perfected design starts and ends with the digital proofing process. Each custom apparel item you order has a corresponding digital proof and what’s on the approved proof is what will print – every time.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get the proof dialed in when you know what to watch out for. Below are three common mistakes most athletes make and some tips on how to avoid them.

What is a digital proof?

The digital proof is created by the art department after you upload all the artwork, logos, graphics, and designs into your account.

It essentially takes your design and makes it print-ready as it’s the roadmap our factory uses to print your custom apparel.

Custom Apparel Design Mistakes to Avoid

1. All artwork needs to be submitted in a vector-based file. 

Common Error: Saving a logo or image as .PDF.

Just because the file extension is .ai, .pdf, or .eps does not make it a vector-based file. If you place a normal image (pixel-based) into Adobe Illustrator, it will appear as a non-editable image.

Solution: Ask for vector files, or vectorize artwork.

Vector images will show “nodes” or points when selected in Adobe Illustrator and can be edited to fit any of our products. Either ask organizations you’re working with for their graphic in vector for or FIVERR is an excellent service to use to convert your images to vector artwork online.

2. Detailed artwork across seams will not perfectly match up.

Common Error: Creating a design with text or elements crossing the seams.

All of our printable, technical fabrics start out as white. We print on two – five different fabric types for a single jersey. These are printed flat, cut, then sewn back together. The seam construction and stitch integrity is our priority — lining up fine print, or busy patterns is secondary.

Solution: Avoid taking busy patterns across the seams of the garment.

It is incredible just how close our in-house seamstresses can match up these patterns but keep in mind they will not match up 100%. In most cases, you won’t even notice the seam differences when on the actual rider.

3.Center panels bibs, tights, shorts, and suits are best when non-custom.

Common Error: Creating a design across all panels on a bibs, tights, shorts or suits.

The center panels on all cycling and triathlon bibs, shorts, tights, and suits are intentionally crafted with pre-dyed lycra, which cannot be customized and comes in six color options.

Pre-dyed lycra offers more compression, stands up in high friction points (in between your legs) better, all meant to ensure your custom bibs, tights, suits, or shorts last longer.

Solution: Choose a pre-dyed lycra color to pair with your custom design.

We can print a design across an entire set of bottoms, but you sacrifice fabric quality.

The fabric needed to carry to design throughout the center panels brings less compression, it’s not as friction-resistant as the pre-dyed lycra, and it will show wear sooner.

But, the designs sure do look sweet.