Can I see a sample print before I order?

The short answer to this question is no, but let us explain. For solutions, please skip to the last paragraph.

The biggest costs in any custom t-shirt order is the set-up and clean-up of the project. In order to make your final screen printed product look its very best, we take time to do each and every step carefully. This includes: the digital artwork preparation, ordering the blank t-shirts and possibly preparing custom digital mock-ups. On the press it includes the actual creation of the screen, making sure everything is lined up correctly, mixing the ink colors, and doing a test print. And then there’s clean-up: scraping the ink for re-use, cleaning the ink off the screens, taking off the tape, and ultimately, reclaiming the screen so that it can be reused for a future job.

That’s a lot of technical information. But the point is that there’s a lot of prep and clean-up in screen printing. Unfortunately, whether you’re printing 1 t-shirt or 8,709, the time involved in setting up is the same. Once everything is set-up, screen printing is the best and quickest way to get quality images on apparel.

Solutions:

If a sample is essential for your process, we can create one for you – sample prints start at $75 for one colour, one print area on a standard t-shirt. This price does not include a specialty garment, additional colours to print areas will have extra costs.

We can prepare a digital mock-up for you. We use your artwork and create a JPEG image that shows the approximate colors (ink and t-shirt), placement, and size of the screen printing. If something doesn’t look right (“Can we lower the print a little bit on the back?”) we will adjust the mock-up prior to printing until it’s perfect.

If you’re interested in seeing a sample screen printed t-shirt we have plenty in the studio that you can stop by and see. The tee won’t have your specific design on it but it will give you a sense of the look, feel, and quality of our work.

How does pricing work?

Screenprinting is based on 3 variables:

  1. The number of colours in your design
  2. The number of print areas in your design (i.e front, back sleeve)
  3. The type of garments to be printed

In order for us to give you an accurate quote for printing costs, we need as much of the above information as possible.

Why do more colours cost more?

With screen printing, each colour in a design has to be set-up on a separate screen. So each colour undergoes the process detailed above (see Can I see a sample print before I commit to a full order?). Each colour is then printed separately onto the garment. Screen printing is not a digital process, it is a manual process.

What format does my artwork need to be in for screen printing?

The first step in creating a screen is creating a digital version of the artwork on a piece of clear film. Ideally, we receive your artwork in a vector-based format, fonts outlined, sized as you would like it printed. We can accept Adobe Illustrator files (.ai), Photoshop files (.psd), or editable PDF files (.pdf). These are the best way to send us your artwork.

If you do not have your artwork in one of these formats, we can advise you on what is possible and we may be able to convert it. We provide 15 minutes of free artwork and charge at a rate of $35/hour thereafter.

The best way to get a great print is to start with great artwork. High resolution, vector-based files are the best way to ensure this.

Do you have a minimum order?

While we do not have a technical minimum order, screen printing is most economical for larger orders because of the set-up costs. We suggest no fewer than 10 units. You can order a few very expensive garments, or more less expensive garments. We do have a minimum charge of $125 for most projects. If you require a small number, please get in touch and we can provide some suggestions for alternatives.