Custom T-shirts – Tips to save you time and money on Screen Printing

T-Shirt PrintingWhen was asked to write an article for on T-shirt printing, I decided it was important to teach customers the basics of custom printing. It is surprising, how many customers contact without really understanding what they want or how to get it. Our goal is to help customers understand the basics of custom T-shirt printing and making printing a fun experience.

Key Lessons:

  • Pick the right printing process
  • Know how to save
  • Pick an experienced company that you can trust

Screen Printing

When people want a custom T-shirt made they usually think of screen printing. Screen printing has its advantages. It is known for crisp colors and ideal for large print quantities. The reason it is great for large quantities is that once the screens are set up, it is very easy to print a large number of T-shirts at very little additional cost over the price of the plain T-shirt.

But the set-up is not free and that is why companies require a minimum order quantity for screen printing. Every color that is laid down on the T-shirt requires a screen. The more colors, the more screens. The more screens, the more cost to set up the order.

Alternatives to Screen Printing

There are alternatives to screen printing. The most common alternative and the most effective is commercial transfers. Transfer technology offers full color as it is printed out with a photo quality inkjet printer. The design is then cut out and applied using a commercial heat press.

This technology is great because there are no set-up fees. This allows good printers to offer T-shirt orders with no minimum and incredible photo quality designs. But be sure to send the printer a high resolution image or you wont like the results. The printer can only print what you send.

Tips to save you money on screen printing

  • Print fewer colors as each color requires additional set-up time and materials
  • Print in few locations on the t-shirt to avoid added cost from printing complexity
  • Order light colored T-shirts as manufacturers charge more for dark colors
  • Order in large quantities as it is cheaper per T-shirt to print
  • Choose the Printer’s Favorite brand as printers get quantity discounts from the manufacturers
  • For photographs or small orders, use Design Online services instead of screen printing

Pick a company with lots of experience. For example, our printers at combined have been screen printing for well over 40 years. This experience helps companies know how to save you money and get excellent prices from T-shirt manufacturers.

Tips to save you money on transfer T-shirts

Use a company that has a lot of experience. For example, has sold thousands and thousands of T-shirts. This experience and quantity insures great pricing and great quality.

  • A one sided T-shirt is less than a two sided T-shirt.
  • Do not compromise on quality – Always order 100% cotton brand name T-shirts

Pick a T-shirt company you can trust

It is very important to pick an apparel printing company you can trust. The signs of a good company are more obvious than you might think.

  • Look for a wide range of custom and printed t-shirt services. This denotes a breadth of experience.
  • Don’t be fooled by unprofessional looking sites offering unbelievable prices. U get what U pay for.
  • Customer service matters. You or a friend will likely be ordering again.
  • Work with sites than are well established. For example, has been online since 1998. We have seen lots of sites come and go. In Internet years we are an old timer. This matters online.
  • Look for real customer testimonials. Sites without customers are a little scary if you ask me.
  • Look for a company that cares about your privacy and your security online. was created to help you find the right printing companies. Trust an informed friend like to make sure you get the best T-shirt company. Be sure to let us know if you have additional questions about custom T-shirts.

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