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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was going to call some local screen printers to print a couple of my shirt designs maybe two/three then start to sell them.

Not being the best phone-caller on earth (I get really agitated, start forgetting to ask stuff, talk too fast, etc :/) I would like to know:

1) What should I have decided before I call the printer? right now I have decided on the - type of printing, amount of shirts to print, shirt colors and ink colors. What am I missing?
2) What should I learn about printing processes? are there some questions that printers almost always ask and which I should learn about beforehand as to prevent being thought-of as unprofessional?
3) What's a job-spec sheet anyway?

Thank you for your time,
 

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Just ask them to email or post their standard price lists for spot and process printing, and a list of shirts they stock. If they're in any way professional, that'll probably answer every question you could have. Every printer I've ever been involved with worth their salt has had a comprehensive fact sheet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
monkeylantern said:
Just ask them to email or post their standard price lists for spot and process printing, and a list of shirts they stock.
I am going for screen printing as I hear this is the highest quality printing available. (Am I wrong?). So what are spot and process printing? :/
 

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m4nti said:
I am going for screen printing as I hear this is the highest quality printing available. (Am I wrong?). So what are spot and process printing? :/
And I agree with you.

They're the two main branches of screenprinting:

Spot is the most popular, where a number of different screens, with one solid colour per screen:



Process is using 4, 6, or 8 screens of the basic process colours (with sometimes a few extra spot colours on top), for more photorealisitc sort of prints:

 

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Process requires a large quantity of shirts to be printed to be cost effective, though.


Screen Pritning is essentially the highest quality, though it of course still varies with individual printers. You might also look at doing plastisol transfers which you can apply yourself (ordered from another company) - they are basically screen prints on to a carrier paper, which can then be transfere dto the shirt and have about the same quality as a direct screen print.

The next highest choices for the top quality prints would probably be dye sublimation (only works on poleyster, not cotton), direct-to-garment printing (very expensive startup cost), and vinyl/flock (cut with a vinyl cutter; some design and color limitations). After that, the quality of regular heat transfers (for light shirts) is still pretty good as long as good inks and papers are used.
 
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