Tag: tshirt

There is no Reason You Cannot Do This…. T shirts

Martin Atkins stated “There is no Reason You Cannot Do This” in reference to on demand posters and tshirts. He was not referring to on-demand like in cafe press, but more so, actually screen printing while on tour. As a fellow who consulted on massive screen printing operations such as used for tshirts sold in dept stores, I can think of tons of reasons why not to even think of screen printing on tour. By the same token… why not rethink the norms, and with some planning, give it a shot. It has the potential to really boost promotion, and also maximize revenue through merch sales.

Reasons why not to do so

  • its messy and can be a bear to clean up
  • screens are easily damaged
  • multicolor printing requires precise registration and equipment
  • transporting ink across state lines can be a challenge
  • do you want hazmat in your bus or van
  • flash dryers require 240V
  • conveyor ovens are huge, many require 480V 3 phase
  • quality may suffer without process control
  • finished good racks are huge
  • raw materials + finished goods take up valuable space
  • labor is always a concern

And while the above are very legit reasons why not to do so… I have to remember that a band doesnt need to produce a multiple color glow in the dark tshirt with puff or high density rubber ink at high volume, nor do they need to do design change overs in 10 minutes. Low volume tshirts are a different animal than high volume shirts with specialty inks, and most of the other issues can be worked around.

Whats super cool, is lots of folks are already doing this, and there is a wealth on info online, albeit nothing beats experience. Some great forums to get rolling areĀ http://www.gigposters.com/forums/ andĀ http://www.t-shirtforums.com/

I also found this cool link on building a four color press… its no high speed robotic job, but for making a few hundred prints, it sure looks like it could do a great job.

Beyond the labor and overhead savings, on demand also provides for a high degree of customization, and specialty merch, far beyond tshirts.