Custom T-Shirt Printing: The Top 5 Things you need to Know

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You find yourself in charge of ordering custom t-shirts for an event, a business, or the next family reunion but aren’t sure what to expect from a custom t-shirt printer. If you’re inexperienced with purchasing custom products, it can be a little scary since the end product reflects your decisions and probably represents a significant portion of the budget allowed for the entire venture.

We’ve printed millions of custom t-shirts and shipped them to customers across the U.S. so we’re decidedly the experts when it comes to identifying potential issues and educating our customers on the best course of action. Here are the top 5 things you need to know when engaging in custom t-shirt printing.

  1. Quantity and pricing are like peas and carrots, they just go together
  2. Most t-shirt printers offer quantity discounts but it’s important to understand the logic behind it. Burning screens for a screen printing job is part of the setup process and is built into our pricing. Because it involves a lot of work, a small number of t-shirts are going to incur a greater price per item.

    However there are price breaks where we’ve been able to rationalize a significant decrease in the price per item. It’s a point of cancelling out the cost of production and maximizing our screen printer’s awesome powers of speed if you will. Our most generous price breaks are at 12, 36, 72, 144, and 300 pieces.

  3. What’s the difference between screen printing and digitally printing a t-shirt?
  4. There are 3 factors you want to consider for this question. The type of t-shirt product, the design, and the number of t-shirts desired. Screen printing is the traditional method by which custom printed clothing has been produced. However, since the innovation of polyblend materials, (a certain percentage of the fabric is made from synthetic materials) and the demand for photo quality finished designs, a distinction has to be made when choosing a t-shirt product. If your design is relatively simple or if you need your design printed on performance wear, (typically a polyblend) you’re going to choose screen printing.

    Typical Screen Print Design

    Typical Digital Print Design

    The digital print method would be the default if your design is complex or photo like. Digital printing requires that the garment you choose be made of 100% cotton for the inks used in digital printing to adhere properly. Additionally, if you’re looking for six items or less, you would choose the digital print method because it will be cheaper per item than screen print.

  5. This t-shirt design is just for my personal use. Why can’t I use images I found on the Internet?
  6. We all love popular icons from movies, music, and other forms of entertainment. However, most images that are found on the Internet are owned by someone unless released under a Creative Commons License. That means an ethical custom t-shirt printer would not print images, and thus, make a profit from someone else’s copyright protected or trademarked images.

    Additionally, many times when images are downloaded from the Internet the quality is low resolution and would not reproduce to your expectations. It may look fine on a computer screen but when blown up to actual size the result can be disappointing. If you’re not sure of the legality of using an image, contact us and we can do a reverse image search to verify copyright concerns.

  7. I have a deadline, how far in advance do I need to order my t-shirts?
  8. If you need your t-shirts by an exact date, placing your order 10 calendar days ahead of that date will ensure you receive them in time with no extra shipping charges. Although we do offer lightning fast options in as little as 3 days, giving yourself plenty of time to review choices, artwork proofs, and customer service questions is of course the most tactical. Especially if you have more than one decision maker involved with your t-shirt order.

    If you request a proof, be sure to follow up with our customer service department on the approval. Since we want to make sure you’re happy with your custom products, we need that verification before proceeding with the order.

  9. I’m a reseller. How do I know my artwork will be protected?
  10. Your design is your design. We never make your artwork available for others to print without your express permission. Some online custom t-shirt printers offer ecommerce stores for their customers to sell their t-shirts designs on demand. However, if you’re a serious reseller looking to build a clothing line, read the fine print.

    These stores require you to relinquish total rights to the design and they use them for marketing and make a profit every time your design is sold. While this may sound like a low hassle way to run a store, it makes it very hard to build a brand that’s under your control.

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