How To Create and Save Your Artwork in Adobe Photoshop (The Right Way)

Learn how to create and save a file with the correct resolution, color mode, and size for screen printed heat transfers.

Tired of feeling like you're missing something? We'll walkthrough the easy steps to set-up and save your file in Adobe Photoshop that will help you get great looking transfers and reduce delays due to artwork concerns. 


Before We Get Started, a Disclaimer

We are not affiliated with Adobe. We're just users of their software, sharing tips & tricks that we've found work best. This tutorial will include images from Adobe Photoshop 2022. 

Now that we've cleared the air, let's get started!

Creating a New File

Part One: Begin With Proper Page Setup!

Start with New File - you should see this New Document window. Your default options may vary, but might look something like this.

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Let's focus on the Preset Details section on the right hand side. Before clicking Create, we'll want to make some adjustments to these settings. 

  • File Name: This first field is optional, but definitely helpful.
  • Artboard Size: We recommend adjusting the artboard to the sheet size you will be ordering.
    • If your unit type is not already set to Inches, click on the dropdown menu and select Inches. In our example, we're changing from Pixels to Inches.
    • Once you've confirmed the unit type is set to Inches, type in the sheet size dimensions. In our example, we're typing in the Width field and 12.75 in the Height field
    • If you need to adjust the orientation, you can select portrait or landscape
  • Resolution: Super important! Set your resolution to 300. For small, detailed artwork, we recommend 600.
    • Remember, you must set the resolution before you create your artwork. If you create your file at 72, make your artwork, and then try to adjust your resolution to 300, your file will look jagged/pixelated and lose quality.
  • Color Mode: Select CMYK Color
  • Background Contents: Select Transparent - this ensures you don't accidentally keep a background you don't intend to print

Those are the vital details. See how we adjusted them below.

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Once you've confirmed your file settings, go ahead and click Create

Part Two: Save Presets to Save You Time!

 Pro tip! You can save these options as a Preset, saving you time for the next file you create. 

  • After adjusting all your settings, click on the Photoshop 2022 Tutorial 03 to the right of where you entered the file name.
  • Photoshop 2022 Tutorial 04-200x107 Enter your preset name and click Save Preset. Next time you need to create a new file, just select the Preset you need before clicking Create.

Once you've confirmed your file settings, go ahead and click Create

Saving Your File

Congrats! You've completed your masterpiece. Now for the final step, saving your file. Choosing the right options is just as important as creating the file with the right options. If the save settings are incorrect, the quality of your artwork can be severely compromised.

Part One: Choosing the Right Options and File Type

  • Begin the saving process by selecting Save As from the menu bar: File > Save As

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  • Select where you want to save your file on your desktop, or Creative Cloud
  • Select Photoshop PDF as the Format
  • Uncheck the Embed Color Profile... option
  • Click Save

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  • Select High Quality Print as the Adobe PDF Preset
  • Click Save PDF

And that's it! You've successfully saved a file with the recommended resolution, correct color mode, and in the most stabile file format for ordering. You're now ready to place your order. Need help with that? Check out our tutorial on how to place an order here.