Screen Printing FAQ

Screen Printing FAQ

How do I place an order?
Placing an order is simple if you know what you want and have the information to get started. Here’s what we need:

• If you don’t have print-ready professional artwork, we’ve got the skills to help you out. See our Apparel Graphic Design for more info or contact us for a custom quote.
• If you think you have print-ready professional artwork or if you think you can create it, please see Art Guidelines for directions on file preparations.

• We offer thousands of styles, hundreds of colors and a variety of sizes, let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll get you a custom quote, but remember we can’t give you a complete quote without seeing your artwork and knowing the number of ink colors, print locations, and estimated quantity. Contact us with the garment styles and colors you’re looking for and we’ll get your some options to fit your needs.

• If you have a specific event or date that you need your printed garments, we need to know that date when you place your order.
• See the Custom Screen Printing for info on order Turnaround Times.

• If we’re shipping your order – we need to know where to send it!
• Once we have your order details confirmed and you’ve approved your art proof, we can get your order invoiced. We accept cash, business checks, and credit cards, however we do have a convenience fee for credit cards and paypal to cover the associated costs.

When will my order be ready?
Our standard turnaround time is 10-15 business days based on our current workflow. That period of time begins the day we receive approval on Offbeat-supplied artwork proofs, final garment quantities, and payment is received. Shipping is not included in our standard turnaround time; all standard shipments go out UPS Ground, please plan accordingly or make other arrangements. See Custom Screen Printing for more detailed information on turnaround times.

How do Rush Charges work?
We will do everything we can to accommodate your deadline without a rush charge. However, in some cases we may require a rush fee if overtime is needed to meet your deadline. Rush charges apply to all printing and artwork totals on your invoice. Check out the Custom Screen Printing page for more information on Rush Charges.

What are the costs associated with my order?
We try hard to eliminate hidden costs, setup fees, screen charges, etc – however every order is unique and requires different needs and thus potentially different costs. We charge for the following services and products, but few orders get charged all of these:

Professional Graphic Design and Illustration – Basic artwork is billed at $50/hr, custom designs are billed at $50-$75/hr depending on the complexity of the project. Every project is unique, contact the Design Office for more information.

Screen Charges – We offer 2 FREE Screen setups starting with all orders over 12qty per design. With 4 FREE screen setups at orders of only 24qty, 6 FREE screen setups at 48qty and unlimited FREE screen charges for orders of 72+ garments per design. When necessary, screen charges are billed $20/screen.

Garment Cost + Printing – The cost of your garment and printing are combined, together this becomes the majority of the cost of your printed order. On many orders, this is the only charge on your invoice. This price varies with every garment style, order quantity, print locations, and number of ink colors per location. Please contact us for a custom quote and feel free to send over your print-ready artwork if you have it. If you still have artwork to finish or have us design, that’s not a problem either.

Oversized Garments – Every garment sized XXL or larger comes with an increased cost from our suppliers. Each garment style has a different price but usually we bill oversized garments all the same at an additional $2/ea. Please note that not every garment style is available in every size, in fact a few only come in sizes S-L but most come in sizes S-XXL. Please let us know if you need some big sizes.

Color Change Fees – When our customers request us to change the ink colors during the print run for different ink colors on different garments during a single order, we charge $10/color for color change fees. We waive color change fees on larger orders.

Water-based + Discharge Printing – Water-based and Discharge screen printing come with additional costs because of the additional setup time, complexity, and cost of materials. Our standard minimum for water-based order is 48qty with all the regular price breaks. Your cost depends on your artwork and order qty, but expect to pay about 10% more for water-based ink and 15% more for discharge orders. Please check out  water-based screen printing for info. Remember some garments can’t be printed with water-based or discharge inks, so contact us to get the low down on your order.

Less than Minimum Qty from Specialty Suppliers – We request a 48qty minimum when ordering specialty garments from specialty suppliers because shipping isn’t cheap and somebody has to pay for it. In some cases we’re able to combine small orders with larger ones and eliminate this cost. In other situation we have to charge Less than minimum fee of $20 to recoup expensive shipping costs on small orders. Some customers add garments after we’ve ordered their blanks and then we need to place an additional garment order and pay for shipping twice, in these cases there is also a Less than Minimum fee for the ad-on garments. This cost is easy to avoid if you want to!

What are your screen charge fees?
Screen charges are only billed as necessary and all orders with a minimum of 12 garments per design get FREE screen charges. See the FREE Screen Charges page for the full breakdown of screen charge setups, but here’s the quick and dirty breakdown.
12 qty = 2 FREE
24 qty = 4 FREE
48 qty = 6 FREE
72 qty = Unlimited FREE
All other apparel screens are billed at $20/screen for apparel printing.
All poster screens are billed at $40/screen for screen printed posters.

Can we do a press check?
No. There are a few reasons we don’t offer press-checks. Working primarily with water-based screen printing inks as we do, leaves us a matter of minutes to make on press changes to an order before inks start to dry and press problems occur. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for our clients to arrive, answering questions about our processes or for our poor photography skills to be in question. Any hold to an order once it’s on press can result in inks going bad and the order getting torn down and a waste of our time and resources. All print details should be finalized long before press time. If you really need to see a printed shirt or approve printed details before committing to a full run, please order print samples in advance (see below).

Can we get samples?
Blank garment samples are encouraged if you are looking for a specific color, style or fit. Provided you place an order with us using the sample(s), we bill the samples with your regular order. However, if you decide not to order the samples or not to order at all, then you will be required to pay a sample cost for the blank piece and any necessary shipping.

Printed sample costs are the equivalent of ordering one t-shirt and will always be subject to setup charges. Screen printed samples are subject to the same processing times as regular orders so please plan accordingly. Sample shirts generally start around $80/shirt and can be as much as $300+ depending on the number of ink colors and print locations. We do about 3 sample orders per year because our customer service staff is incredibly knowledgeable.

Can you ship my order?
Of course we can ship your order, UPS loves taking our customer packages when they deliver our goods. We ship via UPS or USPS depending on the size of your order and your deadline. Shipping times are not factored into our standard turnaround times. If you need an order to arrive on a certain date, please provide us with that date when you place your garment order. Shipping charges based on order details. We are not responsible for lost or stolen garment orders and we always insure shipments for the replacement cost.

How do I pick my ink colors?
For complete info on choosing ink colors, visit the Ink Colors. When selecting your colors be sure to use our Ink Color swatches or the Pantone Solid Coated book. This book most accurately represents final cured ink on actual garments. If you cannot provide a Pantone number, please provide a printed sample of the color you’re looking for and we will color match according to that sample. If you’re only picking ink colors off a computer screen or inkjet print out, Beware! Every computer and every printer are color calibrated differently, there is no industry standard for color calibration. Your computer screen will differ from ours and your printer will differ from ours – this is a dangerous option especially if you’re particular.

What are my garment style options?
Fortunately for our customers we offer thousands of garment options, styles and colors from a variety of manufacturers and suppliers. If you’re an indecisive person, this can be a problem, but we’ll do our best to guide you through the options or set you free to browse websites for an endless evening of indecision. Unfortunately there is not a single website or catalog we can provide to view all available garment options and their prices. Our staff does have a wealth of knowledge and resources so we encourage you to contact us to help you find your ideal garment style. While most printers work with just a handful of manufacturers or suppliers, we specialize in custom printing and are focused on working with customers to deliver the right blend of garment style and function. We offer Bella/Canvas, American Apparel, Royal Apparel, Alternative Apparel and a variety of other specialty garment options in addition to the more standard Gildan, Anvil, and similar product lines. We print on a large variety of items including t-shirts, sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts, polos, youth shirts, infant onesies, shorts, sweatpants, jerseys, handbags, totes, patches, jackets, bandannas, scarves, napkins, wine sleeves, burlap sacks, head bands, hats, and even fabric books. We also work with specialty suppliers for restaurant industry options, workwear, sports apparel, and hats

How do you need my artwork?
All artwork is preferred in vector format, saved to CS5 at full size as Adobe Illustrator or Illustrator pdf files with all fonts outlined. Raster graphics must be created at full size, at 300 dpi or higher and should have each color on its own layer. We accept the following hi-resolution file formats: ai, pdf, eps, svg, psd, tiff, and some hi-resolution jpgs. Vector files and color-separated, print-ready artwork is strongly encouraged and will eliminate or minimize all art charges. All fonts must be converted to outlines or the font file(s) must be included with artwork. If you have questions regarding the print readiness of your artwork, please contact your graphic designer or our art department. Please do not send any Microsoft documents for printing. There are no Microsoft programs that allow users to create hi-resolution graphics for professional screen printing. If you do submit your artwork as low-resolution graphics, it will be subject to design charges necessary to re-create your artwork as a print-ready graphic.

What are your graphic design capabilities?
We are experienced graphic designers and illustrators whom work with a variety of print mediums on a regular basis, with a focus on custom graphic apparel design for our customers. Beyond t-shirt design, we offer a variety of graphic design, illustration and marketing services to small businesses and non-profit organizations. Please see our design gallery for samples of our apparel design work. Please contact us if you’re interested in our other design and marketing capabilities. Our creative design rates are $50 – $75/hr based on the extent of your project. If you’re having trouble determining exactly what you want, please contact us to discuss your design needs and we’ll help walk you through the process.

I have an idea, can you design it?
Yes our design office (HYPE Visual) can bring ideas to life, but there are a number of things to keep in mind if you’re considering hiring our creative design office for your apparel graphics:

Check out our Design Office to read more about these considerations and our creative design process.

I have shirts, can you print them?
Printing on customer-supplied garments is something we do regularly for a small variety of customers. If you’re interested in providing garments for printing, please ensure they are all new, unworn, and unwashed for the best printing results. Used, old garments may cause problems during the printing process. If you’re interested in printing with water-based inks, on any type of specialty garment, or with custom print locations, please contact us to be sure the garments that you want to work with will work for the printing. We know the many limitations of the garments that we work with, but if you’re ordering you’re own garments we can’t take responsibility for the quality of your garments or if your garments will be ideal for printing.

Do you offer embroidery?
Yes we do offer embroidery. Embroidery is quite different than screen printing and comes with its own opportunities and limitations, please contact us for a custom quote for your embroidery project.

What is your payment policy?
Payment is required in full at the time your order is placed unless other arrangements are made in advance. We accept Cash, business and local checks, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Paypal. We must receive payment before your order is printed and late payment will delay your order.

What is your misprint policy?
We inspect all garments before, during and after printing to ensure the highest quality; but we are human. We do our best to provide the highest quality garment possible. All of our shirts are hand-printed and sometimes there are some print or color variances. Through our specialty printing processes there is a possibility that not every shirt will be exactly the same. Subtle difference between each printed shirt is part of the brilliance of manual screen-printing. From time to time human error surpasses our limits of professional printing and misprints occur. We do not charge for misprinted shirts that are brought to our attention immediately. Misprints that exceed 3 shirts or 3% of the original order–5 shirts or 5% for water-based orders–and those orders below our quality levels may be replaced at our expense. If you have a complicated order and are in need of an exact number of shirts, we recommend that you order a few extra, particularly in the case of an order printed with water-based inks. Any misprint issues must be brought to our attention within 2 weeks of garment delivery and garments must be unworn.

We are not responsible for any imperfections in provided garments (contract printing) and cannot offer misprint replacements on provided garment orders.

Will you print this artwork?
Our world views are quite diverse, and we are very open-minded, but we reserve the right to refuse an order if we find it to be of a questionable nature. We will not print artwork that seriously promotes hate, racism, sexism, or other offensive materials.

Will you sponsor us and give us a discount on our order?
Probably not, but maybe. We’ve been asked by hundreds of organizations, individuals, sports teams, friends, fundraisers, political campaigns and small businesses to put our logo on their shirts in return for a discounted or free shirt. Sorry, but giving away our service is not a sustainable marketing strategy for any small business and a logo by itself does very little for us. There are ways to get a discounted price on your shirt orders and the most reliable ways are through referral discounts, non-profit discounts and taking advantage of our special offers.

If you’re looking for a FREE order or heavily discounted order, please be prepared to offer us some equally great and FREE advertising and marketing services in return and we’ll consider it. If you’re looking for FREE shirts for your crochet club in return for printing our logo on the back, you better be in the Olympics or you’re probably wasting your time.

If you’re already a loyal customer working on an awesome community-focused event, you’ve already got our ear. Let us know the details and we’ll be happy to see how we can help!

What’s with this Non-Profit Discount?
Offbeat Press has supported local organizations in a variety of ways since our beginning. We offer non-profit discount screen printing rates for community-focused, non-profit service organizations. If you’re non-profit is larger than most small businesses, you might not qualify – but it can’t hurt to try. The discount is available towards the printing of your apparel goods. Please contact us to see if your organization qualifies for our non-profit sponsorship discount.

Many non-profit customers would rather forgo their discount for an opportunity to receive FREE, pro-bono or discounted custom apparel graphic design and sometimes thats a much better investment. There are some specific requirements necessary to make this available to your non-profit. Please contact us to discuss the opportunity for pro-bono, complimentary design or illustration work for your organization.

The Offbeat staff is involved in a variety of local organizations, volunteering with non-profits and working towards progressive change on a local and national level. We actively support a variety of causes both in our daily work and in our personal lives.

What’s with the Referral Discount?
A lot of our customer’s find us because their friends tell them about us. When our happy customers tell their friends about us we appreciate the kind words and we send positive vibrations in their direction. Those positive vibrations are absorbed by our customers and then re-directed through satellite signals, keystrokes and spoken words to their friends and family. Then our customer’s friends and family absorb the redirected fractal vibrations and contact Offbeat Press to receive a 10% discount on the new customer’s order and more positive chi. After our existing customer’s place their order with us, we also pass along a 10% Referral Discount to the existing customer and complete the cycle, creating a sustainable business through positive chi and happy customers. In the end everybody gets a high-five and we and a discount.