Follow these 10 money-saving tips to get the lowest price on your next screen printed t-shirt design project!
Whether you’re ordering screen printed t-shirt designs for your school’s athletic team, cheerleaders, or a family reunion, you want to pay the lowest price possible, right? Of course you do. Keeping these tips in mind will save you hundreds.
1. Plan Your T-Shirt Design Order Well In Advance of Your Deadline
A little planning ahead on your next t-shirt design project can save you a lot of money and frustration. Always check with both your graphic designer and your screen printer to find out their turn-around time. Last minute ordering can add rush fees—or even worse, cause missed deadlines!
2. Large Quantities = Best Price Per Item
Avoid placing small orders when possible. You’ll pay more for press set-up time to print small quantities, which can double the per item cost of your t-shirt order. Order larger quantities and you’ll see your cost per t-shirt go down dramatically. This also explains why the next tip is so important…
3. Avoid Re-Orders – Plan For More Than You Think You Will Need
Customers tend to under order, thinking they’ll save money and just place a re-order for more t-shirts if they run out. This common misconception ends up costing MORE in the long run due to press set-up costs.
Order about 10% more than you originally think you should need. Inevitably, once people see the new t-shirt designs, you will get additional requests for them!
4. Order White or Light Colored T-Shirts
White or light colored t-shirts are always the cheapest. Avoid dark colored t-shirts. They will cost more from the mill and can also be more costly to print.
Dark t-shirts often require printing an extra, white “underlay” to prevent the dark shirt color from showing through. This requires additional screens, ink, and time, which can significantly add to the cost of your project.
5. Limit the Number of Printing Locations on Your T-Shirts
Get the most for your money by choosing to print on either the full front or full back of t-shirts. Each print location requires additional screens and set-up, costing you more.
6. Limit the Number of Colors in Your T-Shirt Design
Fewer colors require fewer screen set-ups and less time. Try to limit your t-shirt designs to 1-2 colors. You’d be surprised how an experienced t-shirt designer can make even a 1-color design appear multi-color using special techniques!
7. Use Standard Ink Colors in Your T-Shirt Design
There are standard ink colors that every screen printer keeps on hand and uses regularly. Requesting special order colors for your t-shirt designs will definitely increase your cost.
8. Provide Your Screen Printer with Camera-Ready Artwork of Your T-Shirt Designs
As the name suggests, camera-ready artwork is the final design printed out and ready to make the screen. No matter what color of ink will be used, camera-ready artwork must be a high-density, black laser printout the exact size of your finished design. For large designs, email the artwork file to your printer, who can print it on a large format printer.
9. Provide Your Screen Printer with Color-Separated Artwork for Multi-Color T-Shirt Designs
For multi-color t-shirt designs, you must provide the printer with color-separations. You will need a separate piece of camera-ready artwork for each color in your t-shirt design, including registration marks to assist the printer in lining up the different colors.
10. Hire a Graphic Designer Who Specializes in T-Shirt Designs for Screen Printing…This Tip ALONE Will Save You Hundreds!
Now you know the important factors to consider when planning a t-shirt design project. You will save a lot of time and money (and headaches) by hiring an experienced screen print t-shirt designer (like me :) who can assist with every phase of your project, from initial t-shirt design ideas and color proofs, to delivery of camera-ready, color-separated final artwork file(s) directly to your screen printer via email. They will soon become your best friend!
Use these tips the next time you’re faced with a t-shirt design project to save time, money, and receive VIP treatment at your local screen print shop!