For apparel, everything comes down to turnaround time, availability and price.
and then you have different types of print and stitch.
DTG is direct to garment ( basically a shirt printer ) I like this but some places cant do black.
Screen Print ( cant do complex designs )
Dye Sublimation ( great for polyester material – cotton can be a problem ) – designs are soft and smooth.
Heat Transfer Vinyl ( what we get with team sport shirts a lot of times ) – for small orders
Heat Press ( what you see at a lot of t-shirt shop )
Then of course there is embroidery as well. ( for hats, polos and coats and things like that ).
There are a ton of places that offer custom one off printing. This is generally really expensive and what we have been doing on the rush orders for athletes – not suitable for bulk orders or products for the store.
Local places are generally what we need when we need them fast and printing in multiple locations…..
Most online systems only allow for a couple locations – without a phone call first and proof.
- My process is to find out what we need ( QTY ) Sizes and Materials.
- How many print locations and how many colors for each. –
- Do the design and get it approved
- Then start calling all the places to determine what is available and who can meet the deadline.
- Get the price
- Prepare the files to their requirements – usually vector graphics are required.
- They will need placement of each graphic – front, back, side ect… and will usually need to know how big you want it in each.
- You Get your proof, approve, pay and then off to the races.
https://snidercustomapparel.com/ ( these are the guys that did the last two because we needed fast turnaround )
https://www.spreadshirt.com/ ( we do have this integrated into the store to make life easy on os for selling apparel but very low margin. )
BULK ( more than shirts )
https://queensboro.com ( bulk printing )
4imprint.com ( bulk printing )
https://swag.com/ ( expensive but cool stuff )
I use these guys for buying blanks ( but you need to have a relationship with a local printer first to make sure they will print on what you provide )
I use these guys for stickers, poly bags and some t-shirts
I use these guys for banners, t-shirts, packaging, postcards, business cards and everything else
https://www.uprinting.com/ ( bulk printing )
I use these guys for business cards, catalog printing, and post cards
Business Cards ( expensive but the best looking and feeling I have ever seen )