THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PRINT TEMPLATE
When using the template to create your artwork, pay close attention to the green Safe Zone. The most important aspects of your design should remain within the safe zone to ensure they are printed on the final product. Anything outside of the safe zone runs the risk of getting trimmed off.
The red Bleed Area represents the edge of the print area and then some. The bleed area will likely not show on the final print but if you do not have artwork/color/texture you run the risk of having blank portions that appear on the headphone insert. Bleed areas within print templates are in place as a preventative measure in case of errors that can occur in the printing and cutting process.
1.) White Is The Absence of Ink: A unique aspect about the Wrapsody headphones is that the print area is not white like you would normally see on most other Print on Demand products. Typically in Print on Demand, where there is white in your design, there is no ink applied. This is important to understand for these headphones because if there is pure white in your design, it will actually appear more greyish-silver on the final print. If this is something that negatively effects the final result you are trying to achieve with your design, you will need to convert all pure white aspects of your design to an off-white color or add 5-10% color to the white so it registers with the printer to lay ink in those locations.
Because the print area of the Wrapsody headphones is not white, it is also important to note that designs may not appear as bright and vibrant as you are accustomed to with other products. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it adds to the modern look and feel of these stylish headphones. We have tried to make the mockup images as accurate as possible to represent this so please be aware of that when you upload your designs to the mockup generator.
2.) Upload High Resolution Files: It is highly recommended that you upload art work at 300dpi. 300dpi is the standard resolution for print while 72dpi is reserved for web applications. If you upload artwork lower than 300dpi it will likely show pixelation which can cheapen the overall quality of your design. You may not notice the low quality on the mockup images, so it is up to you to use your best judgement before uploading your design.
The Wrapsody headphones do have slight texture and a subtle granular pattern to them that can help hide imperfections within your designs, but it is recommended to NOT rely on these aspects of the print area to solve/improve low quality artwork. Please see our blog post on image resolution HERE.
3.) Font Size: We commonly get asked what is the smallest font size that is acceptable for designs. This is a difficult question to answer as there are many typefaces with different weights, styles and size variations. A rule of thumb for choosing typefaces and typeface size is if it is difficult to read in the template at 100% view, it will be difficult to read on the final product. If you insist on using a smaller typeface, we recommend choosing a font that is legible as well as spacing your text out enough to easily distinguish what each letter is. More often than not, serif fonts tend to work the best in these situations due to the unique stems at the top/bottom of each letter that makes it easily identifiable.
4.) Drop-Shadows: Drop-Shadows help add depth and dimension to designs, but they do not always play nice in the sublimation process. Often times drop-shadows tend to bleed into other aspects of the artwork making the final product look less than ideal in comparison to the uploaded design file. One way to combat this is by using halftones. Halftones are varying sizes of solid color dots that give the illusion of gradients while applying solid color rather than fading from dark to light opacity like you would find in a drop-shadow.
5.) Low Opacity Elements & Blending Modes: Using varying opacities and blending modes helps designs appear more dynamic and, in some cases, more realistic. The sublimation process can blend these effects further than your liking. We suggest erring on the side of higher opacity and blending items to be brighter than what you would prefer on your computer screen. For example, if you like the way your graphic looks at 15% opacity, we would suggest increasing the opacity to 25%-35% so it is not lost on the final print.
6.) Give Your Artwork Room to Breathe: A common mistake made by most beginner designers is when they try to cover as much space with their design as possible. This isn’t always a bad thing, but in most cases, it can be the difference between a graphic looking like it was created by an amateur vs a professional. Give the important aspects of your design plenty of room from the edges of the insert. This allows your artwork to shine and stand out rather than feel cramped within the confines of the print area. Don’t be afraid of negative (empty) space. Negative space can be utilized to make your graphic appear more clean and polished.
7.) Understanding The Flow of the Print Area: Unlike the Beebop headphones, the Wrapsody headphones have a print area that is more angled to the degree of the average human ear. You can see this in the print template, but it is worth noting in best practices. We strongly recommend creating your designs to fit the flow of the print area. This could mean slightly rotating aspects of your design and in some cases even rearranging the layout of your design. Also, the left and right print areas are not at the same angle, so it is important to adjust accordingly before uploading your artwork – Inverting or flipping your artwork may have serious implications such as backwards text or logos. Please try to avoid this technique whenever possible.
8.) RGB vs CMYK: Knowing your color codes may be the most important practice when using Print on Demand. RGB (Red, Green & Blue) is the color code for web applications. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) is the color code for print applications.
We ask that our users upload artwork in RGB because they are uploading a graphic to the web. We strongly recommend checking the files in CMYK prior to upload because the graphic uploaded in RGB will be converted to CMYK at the print facility. DO NOT upload artwork to the app in CMYK – this will cause issues with how your design colors are represented on the mockup images. Upload your artwork in RGB, but check your file in CMYK first and adjust accordingly.
Some colors are created specifically for your screen using RGB. We call these backlit colors as they are using light from your computer monitor to add more intense vibrancy that cannot be reproduced in the printing process. This is why we always recommend checking your files in CMYK before uploading because there can be drastic shifts in color that completely change what is shown on your mockup image versus the final product. Please see the example below.