How to Choose a Screen Printer

A screen printer is a company or individual that uses a process called silk screening to place text or artwork onto fabric, such as T-shirts, hats or a variety of materials ranging from cloth and plastic to steel. The silk screen is the image you want transferred, such as baseball team logos on 20 shirts, for example. With silk screening, the various ink colors required for the image are pressed through the screen directly onto the shirts. Follow these tips when choosing a screen printer for a particular project:

  • Get the names of several companies. Chances are you can find companies in your town that offer screen printing services. Don’t hesitate to search on the Internet for companies to consider as well. The screen printer industry is perfect in an online setting because free shipping allows companies around the country to be as competitive as storefront businesses in your city.
  • Decide on the specifics of your order. Even if you know that you want 300 T-shirts for employees of your company as part of a particular promotion, there are still details to be worked out. What type of shirt and fabric will you choose? Talk to a couple of screen printing companies to get an idea of what to choose. The best way to decide on a screen printer is to compare potential orders from several companies. But it’s vital that you have all the details of your order so that you can compare apples to apples in all case.
  • Get quotes from at least 3 to 5 companies. Make sure that the quotes for the job specifically include the type of shirts involved, so there is no chance later than a less expensive fabric is used. Ask the company to break down all costs, including shipping and any additional charges for larger-sized shirts, for example. Have the screen printer also include a time frame.
  • What is the company’s guarantee? A screen printer is offering a professional service that may or may not end up exactly as you envision. Many companies have computerized services that allow you to design your own shirt so that you can see what the finished product will look like. However,
    it’s important to clearly understand before making any order what kind of policy existing for returns if you are not satisfied with the finished product.
  • Ask for references. Any screen printer that won’t give you the names of several customers should be avoided. Make sure you call up the customers and ask if they would recommend the screen printer to others.
  • Check credentials. Finally, before choosing a company for your job be certain that you are dealing with a reputable business – particularly if the screen printer is online. Don’t deal with any company unless you can talk to the owner or company officials on the phone. Most companies – both online and in storefronts in your city – will be members of the Better Business Bureau. Check if the company has a large number of unresolved consumer complaints.