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Hey Everyone,

I have some quick questions that I need answered before I can feel comfortable taking on custom print jobs for other people. I am printing everything on a 6 color manual screen printing press.

Color Separations

Is there any trick to color separations other than just selecting each color, putting each color on its own layer and printing them all with the registration marks in the corners (same place on each layer so they line up). I have heard also that if there are parts where the colors touch that I should add a little bit extra on the edges of the underlaying color to make sure the colors overlay completely (I have heard this term called choke).

Half Tones and Gradients.

I have been doing some research and trying to figure out the trick to doing gradients. I have heard you just do them in half tones, but how to do you go about that. Is it necessary to buy expensive software that will make the half tones or can I make them myself in photoshop or illustrator? What is the best way to create gradient designs without spending a lot of money on software?

Printing Out the Design on a Tranparency

What is the best kind of printer to use to print out the positives on transparencies, should I use an inkjet printer or a laserjet or something else? Do I need to buy an expensive printer or buy expensive software that will lay down extra ink and print half tones or is the a way I can be cheap and save some money and use any printer? Is there a certain type of transparency film I should be buying?

What should I charge for printing serveices?

I was thinking about charging $20 for screen setup (per color) and $40 an hour for artwork charges. Then I was thinking about charging $4.00 for printing each shirt plus the cost of the shirt and I do mean the actual cost I pay for the shirts. I was also thinking about doing a minimum of 12 shirts. Do these prices seem fair?


If you guys could help me with these questions I would really appreciate it. I have a large organization that wants shirts printed within 2 weeks and then they want more stuff printed a couple of weeks later. I am so close to being able to run a decent shop, but I just need help with these questions. Thanks guys for your time!
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
What should I charge for printing serveices?

I was thinking about charging $20 for screen setup (per color) and $40 an hour for artwork charges. Then I was thinking about charging $4.00 for printing each shirt plus the cost of the shirt and I do mean the actual cost I pay for the shirts. I was also thinking about doing a minimum of 12 shirts. Do these prices seem fair?


If you guys could help me with these questions I would really appreciate it. I have a large organization that wants shirts printed within 2 weeks and then they want more stuff printed a couple of weeks later. I am so close to being able to run a decent shop, but I just need help with these questions. Thanks guys for your time!
I'm assuming you'll be going after local jobs, primarily. I think that the best thing you can do to answer this question is to break out the phonebook and see what your competition is charging. You can find out what they charge for screen set-up and artwork changes by asking a direct question over the phone and you can figure out how much they're charging to print each shirt, indirectly, by finding out what type of shirts they use and how much they charge for 12/24/48 pieces...

Those are all questions that a legit customer would ask anyway, so I say probe your competition. Then you'll get a sense of whether or not you want to pursue customers based on price or value.
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
Printing Out the Design on a Tranparency

What is the best kind of printer to use to print out the positives on transparencies, should I use an inkjet printer or a laserjet or something else? Do I need to buy an expensive printer or buy expensive software that will lay down extra ink and print half tones or is the a way I can be cheap and save some money and use any printer? Is there a certain type of transparency film I should be buying?

What should I charge for printing serveices?

I was thinking about charging $20 for screen setup (per color) and $40 an hour for artwork charges. Then I was thinking about charging $4.00 for printing each shirt plus the cost of the shirt and I do mean the actual cost I pay for the shirts. I was also thinking about doing a minimum of 12 shirts. Do these prices seem fair?
we use an ink jet printer (epson) and special (and quite large) coated vellum specially made for screen printing positives on an ink jet printer. i want to say that we got them from ryanscreensupply.com, they're about $100 for 100 sheet pack. they're so large that you can print out several designs at once and save yourself some $$$.

we charge a $20 set up fee/color and that seems to go over really well. the big places around here will charge upward of $60 per screen... i can't believe that.

your printing fees seem really good, but i would really consider making a markup margin on your shirts. you don't have to keystone them, but at least make some profit. do you get your shirts shipped to you? another thing to think about is rolling shipping costs into the price of your shirts.

personally, i am turned off by minimums. sure, it's a pain in the *** to set up screens and do all the prep work for just a handful of shirts, but the way i think of it is that some people like to get a "trial" first. if you treat them well, do wonderful work- they're more willing to come back and/or pass your name around. i think this is crucial when you first start out- any order no matter the size, is good exposure.

sounds like you're on the right path though, good luck!
 
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