A screen printer is like a dance partner: good ones make you look better. But they must be a good fit for your product, too. A fantastic ballerina is useless to a tap dancing act. So how do you determine which screen printer is best for you? It depends on what you feel matters most important to you.
Some people think finding a good screen printer is simply about finding the cheapest one to do a job. While budget is certainly one of the hard realities of business, it would be a mistake to make price your sole determining factor. There are many considerations which are just as important, and could end up affecting your bottom line, anyway.
- Customer Service: Perhaps the single most important factor in screen printing is customer service. Screen printing involves coordinating so many moving pieces that good communication can mean the difference between success and failure. You need a screen printer you can trust to follow through with job completion dates and expectations.
- Price: Know your budget and find screen printers within it. Get 3-6 quotes and compare. Make sure the companies give you the TOTAL price, as some businesses provide quotes that include fees and charges that others keep separate.
- Quality: With so many good screen printing shops, there’s no excuse for low quality products. Check out personal referrals, testimonials, and samples—online if you must, but ideally in person, and get the best you can afford.
- Strengths: Different shops have different areas of expertise. Some are more artistic, others can source special or hard-to-find shirts, and still others are volume shops that excel at orders of 5,000 or more items.
You can find online shops that do bulk orders at economical prices, but don’t discount your local shops, either. They can be a good way to satisfy all the criteria mentioned above, especially when it comes to viewing samples and gauging their reputation. Using local can also boost the value and marketability of your product.
Check out this related list of helpful starting questions to ask your local screen printed apparel vendor! Hopefully this checklist is the start of a beautiful relationship—between you and your screen printer!