If you are thinking about getting any type of apparel printed using a screen printing company, here are some pretty good rules to consider prior to hiring that company for the job. No particular order listed below

1- PRICE     

Unfortunately price is the factor that most companies rely on to make their decisions. But smart companies know that although price is very important, they know the importance of stepping back and taking a look at the big picture. That old saying “If it sound too good, it’s probably not.” The bait and switch still one of the most used rules in advertising, well in the imprint apparel business is no different. You may see ads for T-shirts and your design for $2.96. By the time they have added all the fees and additional charges then added a high shipping charge that $2.96 t-shirt just became a $12.96 per shirt price.

Price alone should never be the deciding factor. This is where many companies make their mistake. Smart companies know the low quoted price can become much higher and a drain on time and resources when problems arise. There are three primary types of screen printing shops and knowing these types can really help the consumer.


High Volume Printer– This shop is usually running around the clock with multiple automatic presses they cater to the clients that need 100,000+ shirts.

The Online Screen Print Shop – There are many of these shops on the internet today, just google custom t-shirts. Example “Custom Ink” large online company that spends huge dollars on advertising. Very limited service they would prefer you just not ask questions, simply fill out the on-line form, design it through the template provided, pay the invoice and your shirts will arrive in 1 to two weeks.

Mid Volume Printer – This shop has some regular large clients that make up the bulk of their business and then mix in some smaller jobs. They may be running around the clock as well, they just don’t have the equipment the High Volume Shop has or the amount of work. There is some customer service but would rather just do the job with as little interaction as possible.

The Local Screen Printer– This is who you get the customer service from, this is the shop that does in the $300 ,000 to $800,000 a year and offers the best consumer service for those people look to get anywhere from 12 to 5,000 shirts. They will help work with you, with the art work and with any other needs or questions you may have.


You need a company who is reliable and can get the job done on time, on budget and completed correctly the first time. The custom apparel industry is, unfortunately, known for unreliable people and when you have a deadline to meet, these are the people you don’t want to entrust your order to. Unreliability is probably the number one complaint among customers dealing with screen printing companies.


An in house full service art and marketing department to help take your design to the next level is extremely important. It’s like the foundation of a house, if your foundation is off just think as it is being built upon what is happening and by the time you get to the roof, you are in serious trouble. Initial art work is the same way, you want it to be perfect. This is also why there is a charge for fixing client art, in most cases if you are bringing in a sketch of what you want, that is an idea not usable art work. The good news is the in-house art department can fix that for you.

Some clients work with their own artists to design their shirts and do not need this feature but for those customers who do not have access to artists and marketing personnel, this is an invaluable resource that is available to them as a client.


While you may think you’ll only print on one type of garment, ie. a shirt, hat, hoodie, etc. there may come a time when you’ll need to print on a specialized garment or with specialized ink. Having a company who can do all forms of specialized garment printing saves you time and allows you to avoid the hassle of establishing, ordering, tracking and the general logistical nightmare that comes with adding a new vendor or supplier to your business line.


The screen printer must realize the custom apparel you get from them is a direct extension of your company and it’s important to treat it as such. When it comes down to it, the quality of the products is of the utmost importance. Taking pride in the quality of work and the control checks employed to ensure you get a product you’ll be proud to represent your brand.

The “P” word, presentation is important – It is not difficult to fold shirt before delivering to a client, you don’t know how many times I’ve seen shops just let the shirts fall into a box at the end of a dryer, seal it up and send it out. That is not acceptable ever and shows little respect for your customers. Quality checks must happen throughout the process of screen printing to assure a great product in the end.

These small things help make your company more professional and stand out and it’s these little extras that help elevate you above the competition.


An account executive is a dedicated person who is your point of contact for that company. They handle orders, designs, updates and any issues that arise. AE’s are usually found in larger media and distribution companies. Many apparel companies don’t realize the benefit to this person, nor do they realize how much it is affecting you and your business.

Having this single person is essential on many levels:

  • They get to know your company and the products you get. If there is a new product that fits your needs, they can contact you to let you know about it.
  • You have a direct line of contact to someone within our company who can help you right away.
  • You save time by not having to explain yourself over and over again. You shouldn’t have to re-explain your entire situation to a customer service representative because every time we call a vendor or supplier we get someone different. This not only creates frustration but lost time.


At the end of the day, it all comes down to relationships. If you’re getting a great deal but loathe the thought of communicating with the personnel at your print company, it puts a lot of unnecessary tension and stress on you and it’s only a matter of time before something gives.

BILBRY Ink knows the ins and outs of the screen printing business and have incorporated our client’s feedback to make the communication and process easier for our clients.

Review this chart again and pick you screen printer.