Here is a few tips for people looking for fast turnaround screen printed t-shirts. (These advises are for people looking for fast screen printed t-shirts instead of digitally printed t-shirts. Digitally printed t-shirts are done in a different process than screen print t-shirts, they have the advantage in speeding up the process since they do not need color separation and screen burning process. However screen printed t-shirts have better imprint color quality as well as better imprint longevity.)
Here is a check list for you to speed up your custom t-shirts job.
How ready is your artwork? Artwork can be categorized into 2 groups based on their origins. First are scanned images and second are computer generated images. In the first group, paintings, photographs, printed materials or the similar are scanned and save as digital files of your artwork. Quality of your digital artwork has a lot to do with your scanning resolution. Normal requirement is 300 dpi (dot per inch). However keep in mind that your reproductions will not be better than your originals. So no matter how high your scanning resolution is, you are simply not getting a better reproduction image if your original is not. So in a nutshell for people using this group of artwork, find the best quality original you can. Scan it at 300 dpi or better. Save it and send it to your printer without re-sizing it. The file size of your scanned image will potentially be big. However, supportive printer should be able to accommodate your file sending by either increasing the mail box size or arrange a FTP transfer for you. In the second group, computer generated images, we have 2 sub-groups which are raster images and vector images. Raster images are resolution dependent images such formats as tiff, jpg, psd.
The only requirement for this group is to make sure they are created in actual imprint size (or close to actual imprint size), and are in 300 dpi as original resolution (not resample resolution). The file size of this sub-group is potentially big, make sure you talk to your printers about the size of your artwork file before sending. The second sub-group is called vector based images such formats as ai, eps. They are resizable, non-resolution dependent artwork. Their file size are usually reasonable. They are very welcome by most printers due to their non-resolution dependent nature. When you submit vector based images, just make sure you create outlines for your type (so your printer won’t run into missing font problem when opening your artwork), your image is created at actual size or close to actual size. And of course if you have a printer who is knowledgeable and capable in preparing artwork for you for a reasonable cost, that could be your best bet in making sure you don’t waste time going back and forth on artwork format and requirement with your printer.
Do you know the type of shirts you want? There are many choices of shirts you can get . Make sure you did your homework and know what you want when placing an order for your custom t-shirts. If you just want basic t-shirts, it is pretty simple. Even though there are many brands of basic t-shirts, they are normally in 2 classes of fabric weight, 5.6 oz and 6.1 oz. Then you have pocket and non-pocket t-shirts for each weight, as well as long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts. Beside basic t-shirts, you will have fashion fitting t-shirts such as American Apparel and Tultex, these are slimmer fitting than the basic t-shirts. They are in ring-spun 30 single fine jersey fabric, meaning softer and finer fabric. Then we have even more choices for girls and ladies t-shirts such as cap sleeve, raglan 3/4 sleeve, scoop neck, boys beater tank tops, baby doll spaghetti, ringer t-shirts, camouflage t-shirts etc…
Do you research on t-shirt styles ahead of time will not only save you time, it will allow you to find the best style for your event.
If your custom t-shirts job requires individual names or numbers printed (such as team numbers), prepare a list to indicate the names or numbers and their sizes to expedite the process.
If there is dead line to meet, make sure your printer is aware of it as well as taken shipping time into consideration.
If you are under press of time and without artwork. Ask if your printer has any kind of ready art library that you can pick and ask them to modify to fit your requirement. It will be much faster than having yourselves starting from scratch.
Give your printer the Pantone number to indicate your imprint color when submitting your t-shirts order. This will save some time in communication and help speeding up your order.
Your printer should provide a paper proof for you to review the accuracy of your custom screen print t-shirt order. As soon as you finish your review, get back to your printer immediately so they can process your order right away.
Last but not least, there are shipping options such as 3-day select, 2nd day air and next day air to accommodate your need in speed. Ask for full price quote with different shipping options from your printer.