Screen printing faq

What is your typical turnaround time?

Our typical turnaround time is 7–10 business days from the time that art mockups and quotes are approved. Large orders and projects that entail multiple designs may require longer time.

Do you offer rush service?

Yes. For a fee we offer rush service for any order needed sooner than 7 days. Please contact us to discuss your project.

Do you require a minimum order?

No. Whether you need 1 piece or 10,000, we can handle it.

What are your preferred art files?

Sights Ink takes pride in our design work and we love offering our design services to our customers, but some clients have their own creative abilities or resources they wish to utilize for their projects. We’re happy to accept artwork from our customers for their screen printing projects.

Submitting your own designs allows you to avoid our design service fees, and in some cases can improve the turnaround time of the screen printing process. Please follow the below artwork guidelines and recommendations to ensure a smooth and timely process that meets your expectations.

Preferred file types

Sights Ink prefers: Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Adobe Photoshop (.psd), or Encapsulated Postscript (.eps).

Submitting other file types, including JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP may incur design fees. In some cases, if you submit artwork that is not our preferred file type, but is a large and clean file, we can often prepare that design to be an acceptable and useable file.

Artwork sizing

Ideally, any submitted artwork should be prepared to the scale that it would be printed.

We’d recommend, in most cases for adult unisex apparel, that front and back artwork not exceed 12.5” wide x 15” tall. This ensures that the artwork could fit nicely on an XS shirt and above. If any larger, the artwork may come close to, or actually touch, the seams of a smaller shirt which may affect the quality and appearance of the print.

Left chest artwork is typically 4” wide, maximum. If any larger, the artwork would likely veer to the center of the shirt on small shirts (XS and youth / kids sizes).

Youth sized apparel (youth XS-XL) artwork should typically not exceed 10” wide x 13” tall.

If you plan to order both adult/unisex sized apparel AND youth sized apparel, you may consider setting artwork at 10” wide x 13” tall. This size would fit on all possible adult and youth sizes and would still appear to an average scale. If you prefer the maximum sized artwork for the adult tees (12.5”x15”) and the youth tees (10”x13”) then this would require two sets of screens and would incur additional setup fees. Keep in mind that some apparel must be sized smaller due to pockets (hoodies) or seams.

Onesie / Toddler sized apparel (2T-5T) artwork should typically not exceed 6” wide x 8” tall.

What brands do you carry?

We can source a wide selection of brands, garments, and products. Contact us to see if we can source the brand/item you have in mind for your project, or feel free to check out some of our vendors’ selections: S&S Activewear, TSC Apparel, Sanmar and Augusta. We offer a wide range of options to meet your garment and budget preferences, from Gildan, to Bella + Canvas and Alternative Apparel.

Can I sample some apparel options?

Yes. Feel free to visit our shop to browse the items we currently have on-hand. We suggest you contact us first to ensure we have what you are looking for.

How do you ensure that you print the correct ink colors?

We offer several ink choices in house, but if an exact color is needed, we can order a Pantone match. This may incur an added fee and affect the timeline (plastisol ink-type only).

What is the difference between plastisol and water-based ink? What are the pros and cons?

Plastisol ink

This type of ink is most widely used in the screen printing world. The printed ink sits on top of the fabric.

  • pros
  • Cheaper
  • Colors never fade
  • We can order exact, custom Pantones
  • CONS
  • You can feel the ink on the shirt
  • After many, many washes, the ink may crack (think of the hoodies you are still wearing from high school or college—it takes years to happen)

Water based ink

The printed ink is absorbed into and actually changes the fiber colors of the fabric. Most water based inks work by bonding to the cotton in fabrics, so, fabrics that are anything other than 100% cotton will not have their full effect.

  • pros
  • You can’t feel the ink on the shirt/softer overall
  • Ink will never crack
  • CONS
  • More expensive (slower for us to print and inks have a shorter shelf life)
  • Colors will fade, considerably more so if the blend of the fabric is anything other than 100% cotton. The fade can happen as soon as after the first wash (the fade could be a pro though if you want a soft, vintage vibe)
  • Shirts are manufactured all over the world. Even shirts of the same style and color may have some coming from the US and some from Kenya, for example. And each country may produce their fabrics with slight differences. Country of origin can have an effect in how water based colors turn out
  • Custom Pantones not applicable

Often, water based ink is seen as the “green” ink printing method; that it’s healthier or better for the environment. This isn’t entirely true. The ink is water-soluble pre-cured, where plastisol is not, and that’s about it. Both ink types are non-natural chemical compounds that have their own make ups and proper disposals.

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