First off let us define what exactly you are going to be printing, one color, 4-color or direct to garment.
Now-a-days direct to garment can be very good quality and for small quantities it can be pretty cost effective. With screen printing there is the set-up cost of the screen that has to be factored in and unless you are doing at least 50 or more shirts it might not be worth it.
The most important thing I can say about finding yourself a good printer is do your research. I will say it again, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Remember this is going to be your product, a representation of what to expect from your business. If you are just looking to print a few shirts for Joe Whatshisname’s picnic it might not be as critical. But, if this is what you want to do for a living then you need to choose wisely.
I have read articles that say you will have to go online or deal with a large company out of state but I prefer to always keep things as local as possible. It may take a little more searching but it will be worth it. You can establish a relationship with your printer and they will be more willing to work with you (usually) when you want to print something different or give you discounts on larger orders. See if you can go in and see the shop and some samples of their printing work. This can be very helpful. It will give you more insight into what you should expect in your final product.
You will also want to know if they will supply the blank Tees and at what cost. Most of the time they can get the tees at a bigger discount than you will be able to and that will save you some cash as well, but this will be for another post.
Once you have done your research and found the printer you want to use set up a meeting and let them know your plans for your business and this will help them be more invested in you and go that extra mile. It may sound a little weird but think of it this way. If you are investing in them to print your shirts and they know you have a plan to print more that’s will be a repeat customer for them and more money in their pocket. For you it’s reassurance that they will be doing their best to keep you coming back.
For me I kept it pretty local. I was very fortunate to find a printer that was a friend that I went to school with. Now I still did what I have described here in the article. I talked to him, told him what I was doing with my business and my future plans to print more shirts. I honestly think I would have gotten the same great service anyway, because that is how he runs his business, giving 110% to each customer. I was able to sample the shirts I wanted to use and he sent samples of his work. When I received the final printed shirts everyone was printed exact. There was no smudges, no blemishes, every shirt was perfect. High quality work. That’s what you want to make sure you get from your printer. I work with Baltimore T-Shirt Company. I have done my research and I wouldn’t have anyone else print my Tees. Great service and great quality printing.
So in conclusion, what do we need to do? Research, research, research and find a printer focused on quality and customer service. Remember it’s YOUR business reputation on the line.