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I am designing (commissioning an artist to do actual artwork) and marketing a line of kids shirts to boutiques. They are each 2 sided, 8-10 colors on each side. I am supplying him the shirts (American Apparel).

Screenprinter wants to charge me $60 per color for screens +$20 per color for film. This means that just getting my samples is over $1,500 per shirt.

Also - just to verify. Since screen size is static and I'm printing a range of sizes, I have to pick an image size that will work with all size shirts in the range or pay for another set of screens and films?

Also - I'm trying to compare price locally for printers. How do I find other printers. I'm in NJ. I've tried Verizon superpages.

Comments please.
 

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With that many colors screen printing verse cost would not be the best option! I would look for print houses in your area that can do DTG or Can print plastisol transfers and a reasonable price. Seeing how many screens are required it and the variation in size stay away from screen printing... I personally without seeing the design would recommend DTG or some quality transfer.
 

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DTG is a good economical way to go.. You can like Chris said get one off's done. And if you find a local DTG print house you can see samples of there work and judge for yourself. If you want a soft-hand feel this is the way to go and will be much more cost effective.
 

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For that many colors I'd agree with everyone else, either use a DTG or other transfer material to bring down the cost
 

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They are each 2 sided, 8-10 colors on each side.
Eep! Sounds garish. Opinion aside, that's a lot of work (and therefore a lot of cost). If you stick with screenprinting, cutting it down would certainly save you a lot of money. It's hard to believe you need all those colours.

Screenprinter wants to charge me $60 per color for screens +$20 per color for film.
That's on the high end, but setup charges are only half the story. It's pretty irrelevant the setup charges are above average if the actual print charges are sufficiently below.

This means that just getting my samples is over $1,500 per shirt.
If the printer is even willing to do a one-off sample on a 20 colour shirt, that's pretty amazing. Not that you'd want to take them up on it anyway at $1500. A press check would be worth it though.

Also - just to verify. Since screen size is static and I'm printing a range of sizes, I have to pick an image size that will work with all size shirts in the range or pay for another set of screens and films?
Correct.
 

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Why is this so much cheaper
Because it's a digital process, not capable of spot colour or specialist inks.

by the way, how much cheaper are we talking?
If you're doing low quantities, significantly cheaper (no setup charges, so... up to $1485 cheaper ;)). If you're doing large quantities, it's more expensive.

If you're willing to do four colour process with DTG though, you could also do it with screenprinting and halve your costs.

And the quality - how does it compare to screenprinting?
Definitely a matter of opinion. This is a back-of-the-envelope guess, but I'd say maybe 30% of people think it's the same as screenprinting, 10% think it's better, and 60% think it's worse. That's my (biased) guess though, not surveyed fact.
 

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Hi! Just a quick reflection. Why do so many diffrent colours? What i have learned during my time as a screenprinter is that you can make almost anything with 4-6 colours.

I would re-make the design to make it fit for 4-6 colours!

Does any1 agree?
 

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You seem to be in a catch 22 of sorts. Not enough demand to get the screenprinting price breaks that come with large quantity orders and If you go with DTG you will have established your brand with a manufacturing process that doesn't have the same volume discounts as screenprinting. The Screen fees and film fees were not in line with most screenprinters. Having been in the business for a while. I suspect the printer didn't want to do a 16 color short run job. Nobody does since it takes the same amount of setup to do 1 or 1000 pieces. I also recomend going with the DTG to start and then if demand dictates it, trying to make the transition to screenprinting later. with DTG there is no need to reduce the colors. However if you do go with screenprinting I highly recomend you find a balance between you art and your production costs. I personally wouldn't ever have so many colors on both sides of a shirt. Most Multisurface designs have a main (more complex) design and a complimentary( usually 3 or less colors) on the second surface. Just another view point to consider. Hope this helps.
 
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