Everyone is working within a budget. Large or small, we’re all accountable for the money that we spend. The most common question that we get here at Liberty Custom Designs relates to item cost. “How much would it be to get…” is how the conversation typically starts. And we don’t mind a bit. We understand that everyone is trying to maximize every dollar that they spend.
In thinking about this, we thought it would be beneficial to write a short article outlining a few key suggestions that people can keep in mind for their next screen printing project.
But we’ll start with a pricing credo:
“The number of colors multiplied by the number of garments equals the total cost.”
Written another way this would be: Colors x Garments = Cost. Within the screen printing process, each color represents another layer of ink that has to be applied (ink cost), and additional time for applying that ink as well as drying (time costs).
So let’s get to how you can keep the pricing down on your next screen printing order:
Sure, everyone likes to use color when they can. But when you’re trying to stretch your budget, do you really need a colored shirt? White shirts cost less to manufacture (no dyes), so that savings is passed along. It’s generally about $1.50 cheaper per shirt to order white instead of another color. While that may not seem like much, over the course of a 12-dozen shirt order, it can definitely add up. Your Prints will also be cheaper, for colors prints to show on a colored shirt there has to be a white underbase layer. Which will cost you more as discussed in step 3.
You’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute, they said this was going to be tips for saving money, now they’re telling me to buy more!” Well, you’re right on both counts. The costly part of printing is, of course, the apparel items (shirts, etc.), but also the costs with setting up and starting a job. What that means is that the first shirt we print is very expensive (and why most printers won’t print orders for 1 shirt). But the 100th shirt in that same job is much cheaper. When we quote you a price for your order, we’re averaging the production cost of every single shirt in that order into a single, per-unit price. The more you order, the lower your per-unit price. It’s the law of averages.
As you would probably expect, an order that takes more time and uses more raw materials is more expensive. If you’re looking to save money, it’s helpful to reduce the number of colors in your artwork wherever possible. We have an artist on staff and can help you with this. The per-unit cost difference between a 4-color print job and a 1-color print job can add up to savings of 25% plus less set up fees! Again, it’s not a huge difference on one shirt, but across an order of several dozen, the savings adds up!