Repeat flaws are one of the most common reasons that a customer might return a Marketplace item; therefore, it is very important that you double check your designs prior to uploading.
Spoonflower will never modify or edit any of your designs and will print all orders using your uploaded design file. The design preview window on the design preview page offers a good representation of your finished product, but we highly suggest that you check for repeat flaws before uploading to our site. This will ensure the most correct version of your design is printed.
Tips and Tricks to Check for Repeat Flaws
Design, or repeat, flaws can be gaps along the edges of your design tile. Flaws are sometimes hard to see but will print as lightened or unprinted areas, solid colored lines, or appear like squares around the entire design. We commonly refer to these as pixel lines, and they are a design issue we see everyday at Spoonflower.
Artists often use the design preview window and proofing their design with Test Swatches to determine if their artwork will print correctly, but these two methods alone are not a failsafe:
- This design preview window can be slightly fuzzy. This is intentional - we use lower resolution to protect your original artwork - but it may obscure design flaws and faint pixel lines.
- This preview has a margin of error of 1-2 pixels. This is more obvious in larger files and those with vertical lines, but it can make confirming a repeat difficult.
- Depending upon design dimensions, a Test Swatch might not print everything you need to see. For example, if your repeat size is 12” x12” (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm), a Test Swatch (8” x 8” or 20 cm x 20 cm) won't actually print the edges of your repeat.
This is why we always encourage artists to also double check designs for flaws prior to uploading them to our site. When you confirm that design repeats seamlessly in your preferred design software, it will almost certainly print properly at Spoonflower. There are many ways you might check your design repeat. We explore some of these below.
Tips and Tricks to Check for Repeat Flaws
Below we offer instructions to check designs for pixel lines using Adobe Photoshop® and Adobe Illustrator®. If you are familiar with a different design platform, these steps may still be useful with the basics, but you will find links to alternative design programs here.
Option 1 with Photoshop®
1. Open your design file in Photoshop®.
2. From the Select menu click all (or press command/control + a)
3. Now go to the Edit menu and select Define Pattern.
4. Create a new canvas set to a large dimension, say 42" wide x 36" height to test the repeat of the design for 1 yard of Petal Signature Cotton™.
5. In the new canvas go to the Edit menu and select Fill.
6. Select pattern from the drop down menu and choose the design you intend to test.
7. The canvas will fill with the design. Be sure to zoom in on the design and check for repeat issues. You can see some pixel lines highlighted that appeared when filling with this design below:
Pro Tip: Be sure to check the edges of your design file after this step to crop out any lines that may form when repeated.
Option 2 with Photoshop®
Another quick option to check the repeat of your design, is to proceed with the same options until Step 5. From this point, you can just use the file you have already open to add the repeated design on top with a new layer and then delete it after testing.
1. Create a new layer and select the new fill or adjustment layer option at the bottom right hand portion of the window. Then, select Pattern.
2. A pop-up menu will appear for the Pattern Fill options. Select the pattern you just added in the menu on the left hand side and then change the scale to 50% if you would like to view 4 repeats of your design at once. This is best for Basic repeats. Hit OK to proceed and close the menu.
3. Once you have found any breaks in repeat, you can fix them in the original by filling colors, cropping out areas, or adjusting elements. Then, save the design with a different file name and upload to our site. If you need to remove any old, flawed designs from your Design Library, you can always click the small X that will appear when hovering over the design or use the Delete Design option directly from the design page.
If you have already uploaded the design and discovered a flaw later on, you can upload a revision to the same design page. Note: If the file name is not changed and remains the same, the updated file may not appear once a revision is uploaded.
1. Select the option for Upload Revision on the design page (left hand side of the preview window).
2. Click on the button for Choose File to locate the new updated design file. Then, click the button for Upload Revision to start the upload process.
3. Once the page refreshes, you'll be able to see the updated design file in the preview window.
If you are using Illustrator to create your design, make sure that your Artboard and artwork are the same. If not, it can cause pixel lines or missing design elements when you upload your file to Spoonflower. You can adjust the Artboard in the Object menu. Go to Object and then Artboards and select the option below that best works for your design.
- Convert to Artboards - adjusts the artwork to fit inside the Artboard
- Fit to Artwork bounds - adjusts the Artboard to the artwork
- Fit to Selected Art - Adjusts the Artboard to a selected piece of art
For any resources creating a seamless repeat with many different program options, be sure to check out some of the tutorials within the Spoonflower Blog.
See also: How can I make sure my design is the color I want?
See also: Repeat Options
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