Image cutlines for T-shirts and apparel

We are often asked what is possible when it comes to customising your T-shirt and apparel prints.

Same Day Printing offer several available finishes as standard options to help you meet your design and costing requirements. We have listed the available standard finishes below – but as with everything we do, we are here to help you achieve your desired results, so if you need a custom finish, just let us know.

We’ve achieved some amazing results so far and would love to see how we can help you stand out from the crowd.

What is a Contour Cut-line

A cut contour line is a digital marking incorporated into a vector based image created in a vector graphics program such as Adobe Illustrator. Its purpose is to indicate to a die-less digital cutting machine the precise locations for making cuts. The line is not intended for printing and serves solely as a cutting guide.

Alternatively known as a "digital die-cut," the cut contour line is typically automatically aligned with the boundaries of the artwork's canvas. In the case of square-cut projects, the artboard's dimensions are utilized as the cut line. For projects requiring non-linear or custom-shaped cuts, an outline is created to depict the desired cutting path. This outline is given a 0.25pt stroke, set to 100% magenta color, and designated as a spot color. It is then placed on a new layer named "Cut Contour," which should be positioned as the topmost layer on the artboard.

Two quick tips to keep in mind when deciding on your artwork and cut-style:

  • 1
    Your artwork is printed on white media as standard (not clear), so if you want a background colour other than white, you will need to include it in your art. We also have speciality stock including metallic, fluro and puff, crystal and many more.
  • 2
    The blue lines on the images below indicate where your image will be cut with the different cutline styles.

Rectangle Cutline for Digital T-shirt Printing.

If you have a photo, or raster image such as a .jpg or .psd file, a standard rectangle cutline with either square or rounded corners will often be the most cost-effective finish for your t-shirt print. The result has your image or logo printed on a white or coloured background (depending on your artwork), professionally applied on your t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies or other apparel.

Ellipse Cutline for Digital T-shirt Printing.

Similar to the Rectangle Cutline, the Ellipse Cutline is another cost effective option if you have a photo or raster image such as a .jpg or .psd file that better suits a rounded finish. Your image will be printed and applied to your choice of t-shirt or other apparel, providing a professional full colour finish.

Bubble Contour Cutline for Digital T-shirt Printing.

The Bubble Contour Cutline provides a clean finish to your vector logo or image print without the need for editing files to add bleed. Available as an external cutline that follows the outer edge of your artwork (ideal for small fonts and detailed patterns), or with internal areas also removed, the Bubble Contour Cutline is a popular choice globally.

Note: minimum gap width for removable areas is 1mm

Flush Contour Cutline for Digital T-shirt Printing.

The Flush Contour Cutline provides a premium finish. Your artwork is edited to add a bleed to each individual element of the design (see image 1 below). Once complete your file is printed and cut to the very edge of the print, and looks like a seamless element of the shirt (See image 2 below – shown after cut).

Flush contour cutlines are most suited to artwork with smooth outlines, as this allows the excess print to be removed (weeded) relatively fast, keeping costs in check. This being said, we love a challenge, and our team have output some phenomenally intricate designs – so if your project needs detail, and you have budget available, show us what you need and we will let you know how we can help.

Don’t have vector artwork?

If you do not have vector artwork but would still like a Bubble Contour or Flush Contour finish… it’s likely we can still help. Send a sample of your artwork to our talented creative team ( and we’ll provide a quote on drawing the cutline for you.

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