Often time’s customers will ask us to produce a screen printed sample. Wanting to see one sample before printing the entire production seems reasonable enough. People want to visualize what the final product will look like, feel like and have an opportunity to make modifications before final go ahead. If your production includes thousands of units and you have a complex graphic, paying for a sample is not just strongly recommended, but sometime required. Samples avoid huge monetary loss due to errors and or help manage unrealistic expectation of how a graphic translates to textile printing. This saves not only money, but precious time if the delivery of the final printed t shirt order is time sensitive and saves potential aggravation for all parties.
The issue for us as t shirt screen printers and for our customers whose orders are not thousands of units, is that creating a one piece sample for say… a hypothetical 36 piece order is that it takes us just as long to set up to print one t shirt as it does to print thousands of the same graphic. Before the sample job is set up to print, it has gone through multiple departments and personnel, starting with a sales person, following to the screen print art department where films are printed, then the screen burning department, the ink department and then finally a screen print operator who actually does the printing. Finally, the job has to be taken off the presses and the ink cleaned up and the screens washed. This one hypothetical sample has now been in production for about 4.5 hours and taken 5 or more staff members to produce. By now, you can probably start to imagine the cost associated with producing this one t shirt. For our customer, the cost ranges between 150.00 to up to 400.00 for the shirt, plus the cost of the films and screens at 30.00 per color. Remember this hypothetical customer only wants 36 total pieces after he approves this sample. (IF he approves it…. if he/ she doesn’t approve, the process starts all over) It’s pretty evident to see that it makes little sense for our customer to incur this enormous expense for small run orders.
There are several options for our clients who want to see a proof of their small run t shirt printing order, but yet don’t want to break the bank.
- 1.T shirt digital proofs. We can send you a virtual mock up. Noting that digital mock ups do not represent anything other than approximate imprint locations. They do not represent the actual t shirt style of the exact colors of the final product.
- Direct to garment sample. We can produce a one piece digital sample to show approximate imprint location. DTG samples do not represent the actual plastisol ink colors since DTG technology uses CMYC to get as close as possible to the colors, but not exact color matching as is possible in screen printing.
In any of the above two options, if there are any modifications to be made to the art, it is as easy as the click of a mouse to make adjustments and send a new proof by email.