Once you are ready to start manufacturing your clothing line, you are faced with the important decision of finding the best company to print your designs. Here are a few quick tips to make that process a little easier.
View Their Samples And Previous Work
Before you contract the company to print 500 of your shirts, make sure that you have a look at some of their samples and previous work to make sure that they are up to the standard that you require. You can always view their website first, as most reputable printers will have a portfolio of their previous work displayed here, and contact details on ordering a sample. You could always call them up and ask if you could come in to see some of their work first-hand, as not all printers will print exclusively for the market that you are in, and this may affect the overall quality of the work that you need.
Can The Printer Print My Entire Line?
Not every screen printer is set up to be able to print every type of design that you have in mind. Some may only be able to print up to 5 colours, where your design may require 10. Or maybe you need some embroidery work done, or are looking for a company which will provide the shirts as well as print them. Check out the Federal Wool and Trade Act which also outlines the laws and regulations outlining shirt tags. You see, some printers will refuse to print on them so that they are not held liable, even though all they need on them is things like fabric information and country of origin, so this can often be an overlooked requirement that you will need from a printer. What can help, is if you write down a complete list of absolutely everything you need in your design process so that you can present this to the screen printer that they can check-list off.
Turnaround Time To Print
Don’t leave your printing to the last minute if you have something big planned, only to discover that the printer needs an additional week past your deadline to have the print completed. There is a general standard in the screen print industry of a 2 week turnaround, although there are some printers out there who will have your designs ready in one week or less. Some will have an option to pay a higher cost for a faster turnaround, but just remember, you are not their only client, so if something goes wrong, you are not the only one affected.
Printing On Contract
This can be a very affordable option for those who are able to send the printer their own shirts and garments for the screen printer to print. In essence, you become a subcontractor, but not all companies will allow this for the risks involved should something go wrong. A great place to check out if you are interested in this is to open up an account in a trade show like ISS (Imprintable Sportswear Show). Just remember, your price per piece should be cheaper than the per piece price that the screen printer offers, but do your research first so that you are not undercutting the people of whom you are working with or sourcing your products from.
In addition to these helpful tips is to be willing to be patient and accept compromise as a part of the industry. Sometimes you may have an award-winning design in your head or on paper, only to later find out from a printer that it is logistically impossible to print. Another great tip is to build up a strong relationship with your printer which can provide many rewards and benefits in the long-run. Also, when setting your prices, do quality research. I have seen too many times of people thinking they are the cheapest in the market, only to find that the cost of delivery makes it the same price for somebody to go an pick up the goods in person.