Artwork guidance for vinyl inflatable Body pillows and dakimakura
Minimum resolution must be at least 150 dpi, which means:
- 12000 x 6000 pixels per side for a 200 x 100cm inflatable body pillow
- 10800 x 5400 pixels per side for a 180 x 90cm inflatable body pillow
- 9000 x 4500 pixels per side for a 150 x 75cm inflatable body pillow
- 9000 x 3000 pixels per side for a 150 x 50cm inflatable body pillow. Fabric dakimakura may have lower resolutions but we do not recommend anything less than 100 dpi.
Suitable file formats are:
- .jpg (uncompressed), .png or .psd for vinyl inflatable pillows
- .jpg (uncompressed), .png for dakimakura
Please ensure you can provide evidence that you own the rights to the artwork or that you have permission to use it!
2:1 vinyl inflatable body pillows (and covers)
There are 3 main types of inflatable pillow styles: the rectangular "daki" style (sometimes referred to as float bar) and the "bop bag (also known as punching bag or stand float) and the "blimp", which is like a float bar but with semi-circular rounded top and bottom. Unlike fabric dakimakura covers, the height-to-width ratio (deflated) is 2:1. The different types also expeand differently when inflated, showing off the artwork in different ways. This should be considered when slecting the desired type of body pillow and/or when positioning the art on the canvas.
The surfaces of inflatable body pillows are curved more than on fabric dakis, especially on the blimp, where the material curves sharply not just around the vertical axis but also at the top and bottom. When you or your artists designs a character for aninflatable pillow, then it is advisable to keep the bulk of the character within the red-dotted line. Small details, tails, manes and accessories can extend outside - you can also crop designs. However, if you want to avoid heavy distortion at the edges, then keep within the inner boundary and also ensure that the drawing has a balance around the vertical axis (i.e. the character shouldn't be off too much to just one side of the axis).
If you plan to have your art printed on a transparent inflatable body pillow, then you need to ensure that there is a version of your artwork with no background for the character.
3:1 inflatable body pillows and dakimakura
Although the classic Japanese dakimakura format is 160 x 50cm, the "standard" in much of the world outside Japan is 150 x 50cm, or 59 x 19.5 inches. The standard dakimakura format is ideal for fabric covers, but body pillows can be made in that format as well. Also: blank inflatable pillow inserts can be used on the 150 x 50cm dakimakura covers and you can even have classic daki designs printed onto a 150 x 50 cm inflatable pillow. This will significantly alter the shape and the way the artwork looks on the dakimakura cover compared to a normal pillow filling.
It is generally acceptable that elements of the character are cut off at the edges of the canvas in this format (e.g. tail, parts of extremities etc.). However, we do not recommend it, especially if you choose the printed inflatable "daki". A small margin of is recommended, but unlike for 2:1 inflatable pillows not essential for a good result. Some distance (about 10% of the canvas height) to top and bottom of the canvas edge for the head/feet (excluding hair/mane/tail etc.) is recommended though, for a more pleasing appearance.
Inflatable matresses come in 4 standard sizes and use the same material like the inflatable body pillows:
Size "S": 162 x 90 x 16 cm (deflated size)
Size "M": 180 x 100 x 18 cm (deflated size)
Size "XM - playmat"": 180 x 120 x 18 cm (deflated size)
Size "L": 215 x 120 x 22 cm (deflated size)
Since there is no curvature of the printed side, characters for air mattress prints can fill the entire canvas and have any orientation that you want to. You should leave a small margin (1-2 inches - ca. 150-300 px) for the "bleed" and welding of the panels. However, if you plan your layout smartly, then you can also extract a body pillow template from the air mattress template and get your design printed in different formats. The "XM" air mattress size lends itself as a template for blankets, which have the same height-to-width ratio (1.5-1).
Guidance for colours and drawing styles
Experience has shown that digital printing on vinyl inflatables supports nearly any drawing style, including 3D-renders and lineless art. However, some styles work better than others.
- Ensure that (especially dark) colours chosen for the artwork are a little lighter than what looks good on a screen. The absence of the screens backlighting will make dark colours and shadows look even darker and details may be lost on the actual item.
- Avoid fancy lighting effects with strong contrast between light and dark/shadows. The printers will over-/underexpose some part of the drawing.
- If you are keen on the soft vinyl's feeling, then avoid using a lot of black, dark blue and dark grey. These colours tend to harden the material more than lighter colours. This does not apply to printing inside transparent material.
- If you use fading effects, then your drawing's image resolution should be at least 300 dpi to ensure there is no banding during the printing process.
- Please note that there may be some colour variation, depending on whether the printing is on opaque or transparent vinyl or on fabric! Colours may also vary slightly between the standard inflatable body pillows and the "Made in Japan" products.
Selecting and configuring your custom order
Looking for artists to commission? Then check our list of artists, most of whom have completed several daki and inflatable body pillow commissions!
Sizes are a matter of taste, although common sense dictates that if you're big and heavy, then you should select a larger size inflatable body pillow. Generally, though, the inflatable pillows can support heavy persons, with the blimp shape being the most robust shape. 150 and 180 cm sizes are suitable for "riding". The 200 cm size - especially the daki-style pillow - may be too large for some persons. The daki-styles pillow's best point is actually their use in a partially deflated state, more along the lines of the original Japanese concept of "hugging pillows".
The inflated sizes differ by up to 20 cm from the stated "deflated" product sizes. The blimp shape generally "contracts" most, followed by the daki-style pillows. The bop bags tend to be close to their stated sizes, due to the bottom panel's curvature offesetting some of the height loss at the top.
If you want to find out more about the different styles and types of inflatable body pillows, then please look here.