Same Day Screen Printing

We often get calls asking if we can screen print shirts for a same day pick up. Honestly, we wish we could. Screen printing is a complicated process that takes a bit of time and here is why…

Custom Art

The art for each order is custom made for the person, school, business, church or organization that is requesting it. Custom art takes time to create. I mean, it is custom right?!

We have an artist here on site that goes over what you want on your shirts, what color shirts you are wanting, how many print locations, how many colors you are wanting to use and then puts it all together for you. Because of all that we have going on, we do not create any art while you wait. It can be a time consuming process and can take a while to get it put together.

After the art is done, a proof is put together and emailed to you for you to look over and make sure it looks the way you want it to look. Generally, this process can take a day or two depending on how quickly we get a response and how many changes may need to be made to the art.

Pre-Screen Printing Processes

Once the artwork has been finalized and approved, we have to print films. Films are what we use to create the screens for your custom order. We print one film for each color being used.

Once films have been printed everything goes into the dark room so we can create the screens. There is an individual screen created for each color being used in your artwork. Screens need to be burned, rinsed out, and then they need to dry. Living in a humid climate some days this process can take a bit longer than other days.

Blank Garments

While artwork is being done, we often get the deposit for the garments. We do not keep any blank garment inventory here. We order as we need the items. Our building isn’t large enough to house and inventory blank items. Most apparel decorators work this way.

Once we get an okay on the work order and a deposit (we will email you a work order that shows all the details of our order and require an approval) we place the order for the blank items you are wanting decorated. We can get most blank garments in a day or two, but that all depends on what items you pick, when we receive the okay on the work order and get the deposit on your order.

Sometimes, however, it can take several days to get the blank garments here. If we can only get the items from a distributors warehouse that is several days shipping from our location or if UPS or FedEx misplace a box it can take anywhere from 5-7 days to get the blank items. We generally try to inform you if the items are a 5-7 day ship to allow you to either okay that time frame or to pick a different item. We cannot control what happens with UPS or FedEx and do our best to notify you if this becomes a problem.

Print Schedule

We place orders on the print schedule based on artwork being finalized and approved, having an approved work order and deposit, and when the blank goods arrive here. 

While all of this is going on, we are going through this same process with others and often other orders are already on the print schedule and in line to be printed when your order is being worked on.

Your order will be placed on the schedule once we have all of the moving parts in place and it is ready for production!!

Set Up Time

The time it takes to set up a print job on the screen printing press is determined by the number of colors that are in your artwork and the complexity of the art. Fine details can be a challenge when lining everything up.

This is where the films and burned screens come into the process. An order that has just one color takes very little set up time as long as the films were done correctly and the screens were burned without any problems. We simply line up the artwork on the press, print a test to make sure everything is good and start printing!

With each additional color being used there is added set up time. We have to line up each color correctly or the final image will not be correct. An order with 6 colors in the print can take several hours to set up before we can even print a test shirt. Lining up all those colors can take a lot of time!!

Order Pick Up

Because of all the different steps involved in printing your custom order, it generally take 7-10 business days from the time we get the artwork finalized and approved, a list of sizes and a work order approved, and half down, to get your final project done. This is a general timeline and can vary depending on how many other orders are already on the print schedule when your order is placed.

Our ultimate goal is to get you a final product that you will love and get it done in a timely fashion. If the day comes when we can do same day printing you will be the first to know!!

 

Supplied Vector Art

A lot of business already have their logo in a usable vector format. If you already have your logo in a usable vector file, great! We can use that art and there are no art fees to be paid. And why should there be a fee? You’ve already had the hard part done for us!!

Your graphic artist should have given you a couple of different formats (.ai, .cdr. eps) and should have given you a full color version and a monochromatic version of the art. If you are wanting a single color print we will need the monochromatic file. We also need all fonts converted to outlines so we don’t have to worry about having the font already.

Don’t know what files you have? Send them all to us. We can take a look at the files and let you know which one we need or if none are actual vector files. We promise we won’t print your logo without your okay.

Artwork Services

Most people are not artists (it’s okay, we understand, not all of us at Mr. Tees are artists either) and need someone to put something together for them. We can do that! And not to brag (totally going to brag here), but we’re pretty good at it!!

We have an artist on staff that is great at what she does. You can stop by most days and talk to her about what you are wanting done. She works in Adobe Illustrator and can piece together something just for you!!

It does, however, take time to put together the perfect piece of art for your project. Since art is time consuming and does require some skill, we do charge an hourly fee to put together the art for your project. 

Generally, if you already have a good idea of what it is that you are wanting, it takes about an hour of artwork time to get it put together and get a proof ready for your approval.

If you are unsure of what you are wanting or if there are a lot of changes to the art, it can take more time and that’s okay. Just keep in mind that we may need to charge a bit more.

Ultimately, we want you to have a finished project that you like and can help to walk you through the process and get it all figured out.

***Artwork for screen printing needs to be in a vector format. Vector format is art files that have been created in a graphic design program. JPG files, screen shots or other files not created in a graphic design program cannot be used and will either need to be recreated by our artist or converted using a outside service. You can see the previous blog post regarding vector art vs raster art for more information on the different file types.

File Types

Vector Art vs Raster Art vs Ditigized Art

Vector art files, raster art files and digitized art files are three different file types. Each is created in it’s own program and each has it’s own purpose. The three different types are not interchangeable files.

Vector Art vs Raster Art

The difference between vector and raster graphics is that raster graphics are composed of pixels, while vector graphics are composed of paths. A raster graphic, such as a gif or jpeg, is an array of pixels of various colors, which together form an image. A vector graphic, such as an .eps file or Adobe Illustrator file, is composed of paths, or lines, that are either straight or curved. The data file for a vector image contains the points where the paths start and end, how much the paths curve, and the colors that either border or fill the paths. Because vector graphics are not made of pixels, the images can be scaled to be very large without losing quality.

All vector art files are created in graphic arts programs such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw and are necessary for screen printing or any other type of signage that will need to have the sizing adjusted to fit the item it is going on. Vector files are not the same as raster files, or what most people know as jpeg or jpg files, gif files, or png files. You can save vector files as raster files for use on the web.

Raster files are files that are made up of pixels. These files are often used on the internet since they don’t take up much space. Raster graphics become “blocky,” since each pixel increases in size as the image is made larger causing the edges to look jagged and the image to blur making it a poor candidate for screen printing. This is why logos and other designs are typically created in vector format because the quality will look the same on a business card as it will on a billboard. Because of this, we cannot take images from the internet and use them to print shirts. You cannot save a raster file as a vector file and convert it to a vector file. 

Digitized Art vs Vector/Raster Art

Digitized files are files specifically for embroidery. The most common embroidery file is a DST file, but different machines will use different file types. Embroidery machines require formats which Illustrator does not export. The embroidery machine is dependent upon a file which plots coordinates, in correct sequence, for each stitch. It’s not just a simple matter of drawing an outline and then telling the machine to “fill it with stitches.” Because there are many kinds of stitch patterns, all of varying density, the code driving the machine has to explicitly tell the machine where to insert the needle for each stitch. What this means is that embroidery machines cannot read a vector or raster file since those files have no way of telling the embroidery machine where to place each individual stitch that will make up your embroidery art.

Converting vector art to a digitized file is a specialized process so we send that out to the experts to have that done. This guarantees the best stitch file we can get and that your shirts look great when we are done.

File Types

Keeping It Local

We love doing work for our local small businesses. Here are some samples of some local business that wanted shirts that had a simple print that would be noticed!

Soul Bar Original Soul Shirt

Sky City Keeping Downtown Augusta Funky

Harlem Java House Full Back

Harlem Java House Left Chest

Screen Print Hats

There’s more options available than just embroidery on hats!

Screen printed hat

Sometimes artwork has a distressed look to it or the art has small, thin lines that doesn’t work well with embroidery. When this happens an alternative might be screen printing on hats!

Another misconception is that screen printing on hats is only really viable on a trucker hat. Not true! While is does look really good on a trucker hat, it looks good on your standard “dad hat” too.

In order to screen print on hats we do still have a minimum of 12 and we can only do it in 1 color. But it is a nice option to have available and in some cases is a more cost effective option.

The Shop

Sometimes people wonder what it’s like out in the shop. The first thing I tell them it’s hot, very hot sometimes in mid-July. And with the humidity it only gets hotter! This pic was taken on a day that it was about 85 outside. With all the equipment running the temp gets up there. In the winter it can be quite cold without the equipment running warming things up for us. Spring and fall aren’t too bad!!

After we talk about the temp I get to tell them about some of the cool stuff we do and the equipment we get to play with all the time. We have an M&R 6 color, 8 station automatic press and a 4 color, 4 station manual press. We also have an M&R Boomrang gas dryer.




This is just the big stuff!

We also have embroidery equipment, a vinyl cutter and a heat press, not to mention all the equipment that is needed in order to get to the printing part!

Giving Back…Our Foster Dogs

Here at Mr. Tees we like to give back a little bit every now and then. One way we do that is by fostering dogs! We work with a local rescue group, Dog Networking Agents. They find homes for dogs that come from a variety of situations. Some are strays others are owner surrenders. Either way they need a new home and a family of their own. We’ve had 3 fosters find homes since February!

Here is our first foster Stella! She is such a sweet baby. She came into the shelter as a stray. No one knew her story but they knew she was too sweet to leave there by herself. Being a pitty mix AND heart worm positive made her chances of adoption slim. So we agreed to take her as our first foster. We gave her all of her treatments and taught her manners. We showed her love and watched her little personality come to life. After several months of looking for just the right family for her she hit the jackpot and went to her furever home.

Stella

She found a great family!!

Here is Lil Miss Fancy Pants! Okay, her name really isn’t Lil’ Miss Fancy Pants. It’s just Fancy, but she was so sassy she deserved the full name! She came into the shelter as an owner surrender. She was terrified and didn’t understand what was going on. So we decided to foster her. It didn’t take long for this lovely senior pup (she is 10 years old!) to find a momma that just loves her to pieces.

Fancy Pants

Our third foster is Fantastic Mr. Jack, or as I like to call him Jumpin’ Jack Flash. We got him by accident. He just need a place to stay while his original foster mom had to go out of town. At not quite a year old he’s was still a puppy. He bonded with our grand pup so now he’s kinda a foster failure since he’s staying in the family with his new BFF.

Fantastic Mr. Jack

We hope to have many more successful foster dogs in our future.

Artwork, Concept to Completion

It’s often interesting to see how artwork can start as a hand drawing or a basic concept and ends up as a completed, digital, ready for screen printing piece of art.

Often people come by or call and have an idea in their head of what they want their finished product to look like. For some they know exactly what they want and have something put together for us to use. For others they have elements and general ideas of what they want but need some help putting it all together. Below is an illustration of what artwork sometimes starts as and where it ends up.

We started with an idea. We wanted a new Mr. Tees. A rat fink Mr. Tees to be specific! So we called a friend of ours, Mat Woodworth at Bold Line Design and told him our idea. A few days later he sent us this! And it was a good start. From there we discussed edits and changes.

Original Concept

Then it was put into a graphic design program which smoothed out the edges, cleaned up the lines and added more details to the line drawing. He’s starting to look pretty good!

Digital No Color

And finally some color was added! Once all the details were worked out and we made all the changes it was time to add color. This is the final product. From here we can print films and get him on some shirts!

Full color

Pretty neat huh?