Contract Silk Screen Printing
So ... you are searching for contract silk screen printing. You must have lost your mind! Just Kidding. If you are in the personalized apparel business and you make your living by printing logos and designs on clothing, you're no stranger to contract silk screen printing.
There are many great screen printers out there, us being one of them ;-) But if you are trying to find someone that will represent your brand well, there are a few things that you need to consider, because who you choose to represent you, could make or break your business, you don't want to produce bad work and lose hard to find customers. So here's a list of ten things to look for when choosing a contract silk screen printing partner.
- Location - Choose a partner that is located either near you or near your customers. Remember, you can use many silk screen companies; you don't have to settle for just one provider.
- Longevity - How long has your contract printer been in business? There are pros and cons to working with both large and small providers; I'm not going to cover that in this post, but check back for another post on that topic.
- Customer Service - You need a contract silk screen printing company that is going to answer the phone when you call and respond to your emails.
- Quality of Print - Make sure to get samples of the work that screen printers do. You can request print samples, online portfolio links and images of work that they've done. Remember, their work is your work so you need to be satisfied with the quality of print.
- Production Facility - Know where your screen printer is working. Do they operate out of their basement, a garage or a full facility? There are many basement printers that do great work, heck we started that way, but make sure you know where your screen printer works, and request a tour. If the shop is a mess, this could be an indication of the type of work that they do.
- References - Never get in business with someone that you can't get references from. Of course everyone is going to give you their best customers to talk to, but ask for two very satisfied customers and 1 not so satisfied customer to talk to. Then call them and ask about their experiences, because those will likely be yours as well.
- Guarantees - Find out what your contract silk screen printing partner's guarantee policy is. If they mess up are you responsible to replace the garments or will they do it? Here is where working with a small shop might be a problem. If they are working very close to cost to grow their business and they make a major mistake, can they afford to replace the garments and fix it for your client or are you on the hook?
- Management Staff - Meet the people that you are going to do business with. If it's not in person, then via phone. You want to talk to the people that you are entrusting your business too. Find out if the guy or gal that you talk to is also the printer, embroiderer, finance person, janitor etc ... Ask the management if they have an in house art department and if you have access to those artists or if you have to give them camera read art yourself.
- Finances - Can you get credit with this company or are you going to be working on an upfront basis? This could make a difference to you.
- Your Gut - You have intuition, use it. If you feel good about the people that you are choosing to do your silk screen printing, then go for it, if you don't feel good, then there is probably a good reason for it, listen to your gut.
Choose the right partner, it makes or breaks your business. If you are not happy with your current provider, then look around, test someone else out and if you are happy, make the change.