So you finally finished creating a design that you can’t wait to get on a T-shirt. The artwork is vectored, you’ve completed all the colorizing and finishing touches. Now it’s time to send it to the printing company right? Almost. The printing company will need any text in your file converted to outlines, and this article will help walk you through the process.
Preparing your artwork for screen-printing is easy once you know the steps. We only need two items:
- A vectored file with the logo or artwork to be printed, saved in either an .ai file or .eps file.
- Any text in the artwork file is converted to outlines.
When you want to convert text to outlines:
- When you have a paid or custom font in your artwork.
Sending an .ai or .eps file with the text still editable (has a blue underline and box) to another person can create some problems unless its packaged. The fonts you use do not copy over with it unless it’s a packaged file (only available with Adobe Suite CC). So when the file opens on a different computer, their program looks in their computer for matching fonts. If the font isn’t installed, the file will not load properly and try to substitute the font for something else.
Converting text to outlines makes the text in-editable in regards to changing the font or spacing. The text becomes shapes, allowing them to be used as is even if the font it came from isn’t installed. This essentially sets the text in stone, which can then be transferred anywhere and display properly.
Note: Always keep two version of your logo, one with live text and one with text converted to outlines. This way if you want to change a word you still have the original to work from. It’s very difficult to edit outlines directly, as you can no longer use the Character Panel to change the text properties.
How to Convert Text to Outlines — Step-by-Step Tutorial
- Open your existing logo/artwork file.
- Make sure to select the text, then go to the menu line and click Object > Expand. When you select the text it will have a blue underline and border around it.
- The text should now have blue dots outlining the shape of the letters. This denotes that it is now just a shape and can no longer be edited by the Text Tool or Character Panel.
- The text is now converted to outlines. At this point, keep two version, one of the live text and one with the text converted.
- Save as an .eps file.
- You can now send this file to us for some screen printing, vinyl printing and embroidery.