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The colors on my printed garment don’t match my file
The colors on my printed garment don’t match my file
Updated over a week ago

This article clarifies why the colors on your printed apparel might not perfectly match what you see in your digital design files. It explains the factors at play and offers insights into how to get the best possible results.

Understanding Color Representation in Printing

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing utilizes a specific color model (CMYK) that differs from the RGB model commonly used in digital design. While we strive for accuracy, achieving a 100% color match is not always feasible due to the inherent differences between how colors are displayed on screens and how they appear when printed on fabric.

Factors Influencing Color Variations

Several factors can contribute to color disparities in DTG printing:

  • Different Printers and Color Profiles: Printers use specific color profiles calibrated to their ink systems, leading to slight variations.

  • Fabric Color: Ink interacts differently with various fabric colors, influencing the final printed hue.

  • Out-of-Gamut Colors: Certain vibrant colors, especially neons, might appear less intense when printed compared to how they look on your screen.

Direct-to-Film (DTF) Printing and Color Considerations

Depending on the product and for optimized production efficiency, specific areas like the inner neck and sleeves might be printed using the Direct-to-Film (DTF) method. While DTF offers advantages like vibrant colors and detailed designs, it's important to note that slight color variations might still occur between DTG and DTF prints.

Visualizing Color Differences

The images below illustrate how bright RGB colors in a design file might appear slightly different when printed on black and white fabrics. As you can see, the ink tends to appear brighter and more vibrant on white fabric compared to colored garments.


Best Practices for DTG Printing

For detailed guidelines on creating artwork for DTG printing, refer to our comprehensive article: What are the guidelines regarding design files for DTG printing?

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