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Fitting Your Custom Print Job into Your Budget

Even before the global economy took a dive, saving money was cool. It’s not very often that you hear somebody say they want to spend all their money. At DFC Screen Printing, we know you’re on a budget, and you should know that we want you to get the best value for your order.

We’ve compiled a list of things you should consider to keep an order for custom printed apparel inside your budget. Notice that none of these considerations is meant to cut corners on your order, but show you ways that you can get the most for your money. So, let’s get started.


More Bang For Your Buck


Number of Colors

Simply put, more colors in your design translate to a higher cost. It makes sense that more ink increases the production cost, but it’s not only the cost of the ink that drives the price. You’re also looking at a higher screen cost. In screen printing, every color is applied separately, and every color needs a screen. More screens means a longer setup time, and longer production time, since that’s just one more step in the process.

An extreme solution to this issue is to just use black and white. One ink is about as low as you can take the cost of screen printing. On a more pragmatic level, you might not need seven colors to get the message across with your print. Can you do it in four colors? Take a look at your design and see if a minimalist approach will harm the clarity of your print.

Quantity of Garments

If you order too many garments, you are spending money that doesn’t make sense to your bottom line. But it’s also possible to make an order that is too small. For instance, if you plan on selling these garments, and you know you can sell out, a small order reduces your profit margin. Small orders have a higher per garment price. When you know you can sell out of either 10 or 100 shirts, go for 100, since your profit increases with a larger order of less expensive shirts.

Shirt Color

Plain white cotton, and un-dyed natural cotton are the cheapest shirts you can find. Start your project cost out low by starting with a white cotton tea.


Number of Print Locations


Number of Print Locations per Garment

DFC offers quite a few locations to place a print on a garment. Front, back, and sleeves are all options. How many of these do you really need? We’re happy to print all over your shirt, but we’d rather make you happy than run over your budget. A higher number of print locations is a more labor intensive production process, and more costly, so it’s worth considering what is necessary for your print job, rather than how to make your dream shirt.

Print Size

Print size is a factor that many people might gloss over. Standard print size here is 13” by 15”. Prints any larger than that are considered jumbo prints and are going to cost you. Large prints are good if you have an intricate design that loses definition in a smaller print, or your print needs to be legible from hundreds of feet away. Very often, though, a standard print size does the trick.

Shirt Size

How many plus size shirts do you need? If you know the answer to this, don’t order more than you need. Shirt sizes 2XL and up average about $2 more per shirt. That doesn’t sound like much, but consider that industry average for a deluxe screen printed T-Shirt is somewhere between $10 and $15. Add the $2 and multiply it over 100, 200, 500 shirts, and it adds up.


Screen Printing Ink Colors



There is some fancy ink out there that really makes your shirts stand out. We love to use them, and clients enjoy the added effect of glow-in-the-dark and puff. If you suspect these inks might cost a little more, you’re right on the money. If you are hoping to use some cheap ink, consider the long-term effects. Poor quality ink has a short life, and doesn’t look that great while it lasts. We only use high quality ink, anyway, because we want you to have the best product.

These are a few things to chew on as you start brainstorming your next custom print job. Knowing all these things before you get a hold of us helps you develop an outline for your budget as you work through our Custom Products page. By the time you talk to a sales representative, you might even know exactly what you need. But don’t worry, we’re standing by to help you explore all the options.

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Tagged in: Budget Custom T-Shirts