Your Guide To Ordering Customized T-Shirts
Whether it’s for sweet 16, bar/bat mitzvah or just for your company – people all over are always ordering customized tee’s. This is why it’s important to know the right way to go about ordering your shirts. The process is quite simple, but is often confusing for the average Joe Shmoe customer. Most customers don’t notice that regardless of the amount of shirts being printed, there is still much work that goes on behind the scenes to get the product from blank to printed.
The thing that I find customers have the most difficulties comprehending is artwork. I believe this is because most of the “average” customers don’t have much experience withsoftware’s such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, while us printers use the programs on a daily basis. So on that note, lets start with artwork.
- Once you have an idea in mind, its time to get it in to an actual drawing. This involves either drawing the art by hand, then scanning it onto the computer and retracing it using a vector software (Photoshop or Illustrator). Or you can actually draw out the artwork from scratch using photo editing/vector software. I personally prefer to draw out the artwork using Illustrator, since everything in Illustrator is vectored, This means no matter how big or small you stretch out the design, it will always constrains the pixels and not distort. When preparing artwork in any software, you should always keep in mind that you want to scale out your artwork to size and keep your resolution at 300 dots per inch. That means don’t make the artwork 1” wide by 1” tall when you want it printed 13” wide. You also want to make sure your artwork is screen printable.
- Next you want to make sure your artwork is worth screen-printing, rather than embroidery, direct to garment printing, or sublimation. You’d be surprised the number of times customers come in with a 12 color design and ask to get 6 shirts printed! Sometimes printed less than 24-36 using the screen printing method is simply not worth the money since we have to create one screen for every color in every location of print. So a 6 color design will cost 6 screen set up fees. So before placing your order weigh out all methods of printing and see which is the most worthwhile for you.
- At this point you are just about ready to place your order, all that is left is picking the type of garments you want printed.
- Once you arrive at your local screen printing company, give them your artwork and place your order. Please always make sure to ask for a spec sheet or mock up and sign off on it. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is! In the event that there is a typo, or an error with your order this is what will save you. Check the mock up or spec sheet thoroughly; because once you sign off on it, the printer will start printing.
After you sign off on the spec sheet and place the order, just sit back relax and wait for your amazing finished goods. What will happen behind the scenes is the company will break down your artwork into colors (or layers), then print out a film for each layer and expose them onto screen (templates). Then they will align the screens on the press, add ink to each screen and begin printing. Keep mind, the more screens (colors) your design has and the more garments you want printed, the longer the process will take –so have some patience!