APPAREL PRINTING FAQsFrequently Asked Questions about all aspects of apparel screen printing
HOW ARE MY T-SHIRT PRICES CALCULATED?
Prices are based on the total number of shirts printed with each design, the number of colours in that design, and the style and type of shirt you’re printing. To lower the cost of your job, keep the total number of colours and locations to be printed low, the number of colours in your design low, and print on a more economical shirt.
CAN I ORDER DIFFERENT COLOURS AND SIZES FOR MY APPAREL ORDER?
For sure! You can mix and match shirt sizes as much as you want (XXL and bigger always cost a bit more) and you can order different coloured shirts in minimum quantities of 12 units.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE INK COLOURS?
All our apparel inks are chosen using the Pantone Matching System, chosen out of the Solid Coated book. Our ink mixing system has the ability to match every colour in the book. Always remember that colours will look different if you’re not printing on a white underbase, or using one of our vintage or tone on tone printing options.
WHAT THE HECK IS A WHITE UNDERBASE AND WHY DO I NEED IT?
Think about it like painting a wall in your house. If you have a dark blue wall and want to paint it yellow, you need to prime it with white first so that the blue is sufficiently covered for the yellow paint. Same deal with shirt printing. Screen printing inks have various degrees of transparency depending on colour, so it’s necessary to put a layer of white ink under them to ensure the overprinted colour remains bright.
WHAT IF I WANT SOME MENS SHIRTS AND SOME WOMENS SHIRTS?
That isn’t a problem. If you ordered 100 shirts, you could get 50 men’s and 50 women’s tees. The only change is the cost of each different garment.
Keep in mind that an Extra Small Womens tee can only accept a 10″ Image, so if your men’s shirts have a 14″ wide image, you may need to make extra sets of screens to shrink the image. This will add additional setup and printing fees to break the run into two parts.
WHATS THE DEAL WITH SETUP FEES?
Setup Fees cover the expense of producing screens, film, separations as well as setting up and tearing down our printing presses. Setup Fees are free for orders of 100+ shirts of any design, and any setup fee is discounted 50% for any repeat orders of the same design. Some of our competitors claim they don’t charge setup fees, but due to the cost of this part of the process they are often hiding those costs in their garment or print pricing. We try to be as transparent as possible when it comes to how projects are priced.
ARE THERE SETUP FEES FOR REORDERS? DO YOU KEEP MY SCREENS?
Setup costs for exact reorders are $15 each, instead of the initial $25. If you reorder 100 shirts, then there’s no setup fees. If you happen to reorder within 10 days of your last order, there’s no setup fees. Due to costs, screens aren’t stored for reorders and are instead reclaimed after production and use for other jobs.
HOW MANY COLOURS CAN YOU PRINT ON T-SHIRTS?
Our automatic presses can print 7 colours on light or dark shirts. Our manual presses can print up to 6 colours. The minimum order size to go on our automatics is 50 pieces, so 7 colour prints are only available for 50+ piece orders.
WHAT ARE YOUR MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITIES?
Our minimum order is 24 shirts, with price breaks at 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2500 and 5000+ pieces.
POSTER PRINTING FAQsFrequently Asked Questions about the ins and outs of Poster Screen Printing
WHAT'S THE MINIMUM ORDER FOR POSTER PRINTS?
The minimum order for posters is 50 pieces. We use high end automated printing presses for this process, which print very fast, so a run of 50 posters is considered to be a small run in terms of production time. We can certainly only print 30 posters if you want, but the overall costs won’t be much lower than a run of 50.
DO YOU KEEP ANY POSTERS? OR SELL THEM LATER?
Our business model doesn’t include taking our customers artwork and selling it to customers directly. We’re strictly hired as a print house to produce work for customers. We don’t stamp the work as printed at our shop, or any indication that we were involved. We do, through out terms of service, retain the right to use a picture of the work in our social media or as part of our portfolio, but we don’t sell your product to your customers. We maintain an archive of every piece we’ve printed simply for historical documentation
WHAT'S THE LARGEST SIZE YOU CAN PRINT?
We don’t like to print anything over 22″x30″ final size.
WHAT INKS DO YOU USE? MY LAST POSTER PRINTER USED INKS THAT SCUFFED.
We hear that, and we totally know why this happens. Lots of poster printing shops use hobby grade inks, acrylic paints, or other “inks” that aren’t perfectly suited to the process. Cheaper inks have a lot of chalky fillers, which means if you drag your fingernail over the print the pigment scrapes off and white or grey fillers are visible.
We only use TW Graphics or Nazdar commerical grade waterbased inks. They are much more expensive, they do take longer to import into Canada, but they are made with automotive grade pigments, with an ultra fine grind. This allows us to get both very solid colours, but excellent colour saturation and depth during production. In turn, you can do a tint of 95% clear ink and 5% coloured ink and be sure that you will get even pigment distribution across the whole layer.
WHAT SORT OF PAPER DO YOU PRINT ON?
We stock 100lb cover stock in both Natural and White. This is our preferred and the ideal stock for poster and general art printing. It’s cheap, it prints well, it doesn’t warp extensively and it’s widely available. We can order in coloured paper stock, but the minimum orders are high and the overall costs are much higher than our in house paper stock.
WHAT IS TRAPPING?
Poster printing has a lot of variables, a lot of which are due to expansion and contraction of the printing paper during production. Trapping aims to eliminate that by enlarging the first colours in areas that they overlap (as opposed to butt together perfectly), so that any minor paper shape changes or registration issues don’t leave gaps between colours. This ensures that the final print looks as clean as possible.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR A FIRST TIME POSTER ORDERER?
- The paper is going to change shape during printing. Design your print so that colours have outlines, or if they don’t perfectly match up the final product isn’t ruined. We’ve seen paper expand as much as 3/8″ during production. Try to keep colours with minimal coverage printed first, and larger areas printed later. This allows as many colours to print perfectly in register before we hit the poster with larger areas of ink which tend to distort prints.
- This is a hand made process. The machines are automated, but the human element is even more present than in apparel printing. Your poster production is a combination of your art, and our printmakers skill and experience. Our best print relationships involve customers that understand that number of variables that are present in the work we do, and plan ahead in terms of design and production.
- Don’t put borders around your print that have to be cut 100% perfectly. Your paper is going to warp a bit, and cutting partially warped paper is a nightmare in terms of perfect accuracy. All our cutting has a 1/8″ tolerance in any direction, so keep that in mind.