Decoration Spec Sheets or Magic 8-Ball?

June 6, 2023

When it comes time to decorate new or unfamiliar items, your first run might feel a bit like asking a Magic 8-Ball for help. “Magic 8-Ball, can I use DTG on this new garment?” or “Will this logo artwork fit here?” And then the answer slowly floats up – uh-oh. “Outlook is hazy, try again.”

I don’t want to tempt fate and deny the power of the Magic 8-Ball, but adding our Decoration Spec Sheets into this process can give you confidence in your testing and comfort when adding new products. Magic 8-Ball says, “You may rely on it.”

Deco Spec sheets are a great reference tool for products that are not familiar, giving you an excellent starting point for your own pre-production testing. They’re also constantly being updated from valuable decorator feedback, so even if you’ve used them before, checking the most recent updates to our Deco Spec Sheets will put you in a position for success when trying out new products.

Without a Doubt

When your Magic 8-Ball comes back with one of those indecisive answers, the Decoration Spec Sheet helps to eliminate guesswork before any job hits the production floor. It provides a starting point, calling attention to available equipment, product details and preferred decoration methods before decorating a new product.

Where To Find Decoration Spec SheetsDesign teams can take advantage of the line art to show seams or pockets that are often overlooked in photos. Production teams can use our decoration tips for callouts on specific product needs like low heat or bleed blockers to mitigate the risk of dye migration.

These recommendations are all designed to help you save time and avoid costly errors. Depending on your expertise, equipment and the decoration method you choose, you may be able to exceed these guidelines and go beyond what we recommend.

The Decoration Spec Sheets can be found on As you search for and view specific products, you’ll find a link to this powerful new resource located just below the main product image on each product’s page. Just remember to log in to your SanMar account to be able to access the spec sheets themselves.

Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll see on our Decoration Spec Sheets.

Signs Point To Success

Each Decoration Spec Sheet is broken down into three sections: Line Art, Placements & Measurements, and Techniques.

  • Line Art
    The top section is a line art rendering that highlights common decoration areas. It also spotlights the most common decoration placement location.
    Line Art

    This can be a great starting point when considering decorating any unfamiliar piece or when training new staff. Remember that these are just guidelines – your expertise or equipment may need to be considered when putting them into practice.

    The line art drawing can also illustrate problem areas by showing seams and pockets. Having these views helps avoid pitfalls on items that often go unnoticed in photographs. Since these are common placements, your equipment or the method you choose may allow for a more creative use. Consider this line art as your first step toward successful decoration.

  • Decoration Placements & Measurements
    Placements and MeasurementsThe middle section gives the measurements of the common placement targets. Again, expertise, equipment and method may allow for variances.

    For each of the targets shown in the line art section you will see corresponding dimensions listed. These dimensions should allow for a comfortable decoration space while also alerting you to potential limitations where construction of the garment may have critical things to be aware of, such as seams, pockets, linings and other points of concern.

    Remember that the measurements listed in this section can vary about 1/4 inch higher or lower, depending on the size of the product being decorated. “Adult” measurements are based on size Large garments, and “Women’s/Youth” measurements are based on size Medium.

    Coming Soon: Decoration spec sheets will soon include the location and width of a decoration access pockets (AKA the Port Pocket) for products that include this feature.

  • Decoration Techniques
    The lower section contains suggested decoration methods with easy-to-visualize icons that give you a quick visual reference on preferred methods. Below that you will find a matching icon that details tips and techniques from our experts for each particular decoration method.

Decoration Methods

Outlook Good

SanMar’s Decoration Spec Sheets are living documents that will continue to evolve with trends and technology. We’ll be adding more updates as we work with decoration experts across our industry. If you have suggestions or ideas, we’d love to hear what you think – send an email to anytime.

In the meantime, we welcome you to explore how this tool can help you and your decoration needs. As our valued partners, you can help transform this into an even more powerful resource as we continue to work together.

What’s that, Magic 8-Ball? Are the Decoration Spec Sheets a more reliable resource for decorators than guesswork or a fortune-telling toy?

“It is decidedly so.”