Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Why do dark-colored tees cost more?
Dark colored tees cost you more because they cost us more. Also, they require a "flash layer" to ensure that the print is opaque--basically, they require an extra layer of ink so the dark fabric doesn't show through the ink. [top]
What is the screen printing process?
The screen printing process is can be complicated but we can sum it up in four steps:
First, a screen is coated with light-sensitive material called "emulsion".
Second, each color of the artwork is printed out and transferred to the emulsion-covered screen. Basically, the image is printed on a transparency and is placed on top of the screen. The screen is put on an exposure table which hardens the screen, except for the area blocked by the image. This area is then washed out so that the screen is now a 'stencil'. Each color of the graphic requires its own screen.
Third, the screens are fastened to a carousel. The shirts are placed on the stationary 'pallets'. The screens are lowered and its corresponding color is printed on the shirt.
Fourth, after the print, the ink is heated to over 700 degrees to cure it (so it won't come off in the wash).
That was more information then you will probably ever need to know, but there it is, just in case you were curious. [top]
Why is it more expensive to do more colors?
Each color requires its own screen so naturally, it costs more to do more colors.[top]
How can I get my shirts done cheaper?
Three things can help decrease the price of your shirts:
1) Eliminate a color from one or more of the graphics. This is sometimes a small thing that can save you a lot of money. Doing a company shirt? Try a singlecolor logo on the front instead of a two-colored graphic.
2) Eliminate a location.
3) Order more shirts. The more shirts you order, the better the price for each individual shirt gets. Also, understand the price breaks. If you are ordering eleven shirts, you can get twelve for pennies more. [top]
Are there any additional costs that are not listed on the pricing page?
Not usually. The prices listed include apparel costs and most screen set-up fees. Occasionally, additional costs are necessary depending on the order. The possible additional costs are:
- $.50 per piece for light colored shirts
- $1 extra per piece for dark shirts
- $26 screen set-up fee for each screen required after 2 (e.g. when printing 3+ color graphic or multiple locations) *This may seem high, but remember that Octopus Ink charges NO screen set-up fee for the first two screens.
- $8 ink swap fee for changing ink color during a run [top]
Can I use an image from the internet on my t-shirts?
No. The images on the web are 72 dpi resolution. For a good print, the graphic must be around 200 or 300 resolution. As a rule, if the graphic doesn't look good out of a laser printer at the desired size, it won't look good on a t-shirt. And then there's the whole copyright issue. [top]
How should I prepare my artwork?
We will try to make this simple:
When preparing your artwork, please design in actual size. If you want the finished graphic to be 11" wide, please design it 11" wide. Also, please use a high resolution, like 200 or 300.
We accept the following file types: .psd, .tiff, .eps, .ai (please save it so it is compatible with Illustrator 9.0), .jpeg. We prefer Photoshop files or Illustrator, and if possible separate the colors by layers.
We do not accept .pdf files unless it is a one-color design--if so, make it black and white despite the color of ink you want on the t-shirt.
Basically, if the graphic looks good when you print it out on a laser jet printer, it will probably look good on a t-shirt. If it looks blurry or sketchy, it will look the same on a t-shirt.
We can print nearly anything you give us, but it is up to you how clean you want the image to look. If you need help putting together a design and would like our assistance, our art department can help you for a fee of $26/hour.
How fast can you get my shirts to me?
Our standard turnaround time (starting from when we receive the deposit to when we are ready to ship) is 12 to 16 business days. Often, we finish before 12 business days. If you need your job rushed, let us know and we will try to work with you. Rushing typically costs 25% of the job subtotal. [top]
What is your return policy?
See 'What if I am dissatisfied with my order?' [top]
What if I am dissatisfied with my order?
If we print your shirts wrong, we will redo them right. If there are any errors on our end (wrong ink color, wrong shirt color, or wrong location) then we will reprint the shirts for free. If we have made a mistake, please let us know within 14 days.
If you are dissatisfied because you picked out the wrong color, brand, size etc. or didn't proof your images, we will work with you to reprint them but we don't accept responsibility for the error. [top]
What is your refund policy?
If we goofed on the printing (wrong color, location, or size) we will reprint your shirts correctly. If for some reason you do not want us to reprint the shirts, we will refund everything but the material costs. [top]
When do I pay?
When we receive your order details, we will send a Paypal invoice for 50% of the order subtotal as a deposit. When we are ready to ship your shirts, we will send an invoice for the rest of the order total plus shipping. [top]
What forms of payment do you accept?
We recommend credit or debit cards through Paypal. We also take personal checks and money orders. [top]
Do you ship outside of the United States?
Yes, but be ready to pay international shipping charges. [top]
How do I know you are going to print the images where I want them printed?
Please provide a rough guide of where you would like the graphics printed on your shirts. If you need a premade photoshop template, please email us. You could also tell us in inches the location (e.g. 2" down from collar) [top]
How do your price breaks work?
The price breaks are at 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 144 shirts. Email us for the price breaks for bigger jobs. [top]
How much is shipping?
That depends on your zip code. Each order is different, and the handling charge depends on how many shirts you are ordering. [top]
What type of shirts do you recommend?
We recommend American Apparel t-shirts, hands down. We love these tees. They are excellent quality, come in over 30 colors and offer a stylish fit. Not to mention, they are soo soft.
Gildan tees are slightly more 'heavy-duty' but are still very comfortable. They make a great standard tee. [top]
What is your minimum order?
We have no minimum order. We'll print a single tee for you if that's all you want. See our low-minimum pricing guide on our pricing page. [top]
What's the difference between heat-transfers and screen prints?
There's a world of difference. Heat transfers are like big stickers on your shirt, that wear off easily. They have great colors and detail while they last. Nearly every other t-shirt is screen printed. Basically, heat-transfers are not made to last. After a handful of washes, the graphic starts to split and crack. Screen prints are more durable and look better longer. [top]
I live in Utah, can I pick up my order?
Sure! We do a lot of local business as well as intranational orders. See our contact page for our physical address.
Can you match pantone colors?
We can match most colors nearly perfectly. However, sometimes nearly perfect doesn't cut it, if you would like a perfect Pantone match there is a $16 fee for this. We would suggest this only if a perfect match is vital because we can usually get very close.
Do you offer dishcarge printing, water-based inks or foils?
Currently, we offer plastisol ink only. We have not found a water-based ink that rivals the quality of plastisol inks. We can print very thin, soft layers of plastisol if that is the effect you are looking for. We have experimented with other effects but are not currently offering them. Check back in the future if you are interested in discharge, foil etc.
Can you do all-over prints?
Have a design that goes all over the shirt? Currently, our maximum printing size is 13.5' by 18.5'. That covers big-pattern tees that have a graphic cover from collar to bottom and shoulder to shoulder but not over seams and on sleeves.