I started this business back in 2009. I was just finishing up 25 years in the automotive collision business and was burned out. I had done screen printing in the early 80’s and had a desire to return to it. It was a way to fulfill several requirements in my life…
- Be able to work with my hands. I have always felt the need to do physical work.
- Create physical things that can be touched, seen and felt. Might seem crazy but it’s very satisfying to produce tactile products. From this you can tell I could never work in an office crunching numbers on a computer.
- Work for myself. Now there is only one person I can point my finger at for any success or failure I have.
So here I am at the start of my sixth year. I have a wonderful customer base with potential to grow even larger. And I’m not going to do it. In fact I’m working to get back to my roots. I realize I enjoyed my business the best when I was running out of my sun porch.
I would rather do less work but turn out shirts with the best artwork and print that’s possible. I have no interest in mass producing or doing budget jobs. I’d rather do art that people will say “That’s awesome, where did you get it!?” and still find a way to do it at prices that will shock other print shops.
The Legal Stuff
Unfortunately even I have to address this stuff. Very seldom does it come up since my customers are fantastic but like all businesses I do have to have some rules. For now I don’t have a clue where to put it so I’m just going to dump it here for now (and in no particular order).
All inks, materials and supplies used in the printing process are as green as possible. All inks are at a minimum CSPIA compliant. The few chemicals used that are not enviromentally friendly are handle in a safe manner and disposed of using approved methods.
- Turn Around Time I strive to turn all work in 7-10 days but being a one man shop that has a high seasonal work load there are times I have to go to 14 day turn around. I can and do pre-schedule for many customers but the turn around time actually starts when I have final approval of art and garment order.
- Pricing Every job tends to be unique and tailored for each customer. I do not publish my pricing but will give you a quote by phone or email.
- Up front fees This is probably what makes me different from other print shops. I currently do not charge any initial fees. Most print shops charge you to setup the art the first time. Unless you ask me to setup some crazy hard artwork I don’t charge this fee so your first print is the same cost as a re-print.
- Screen Charge Every job requires “screens” to be printed. Screens have to be created every time the job is printed. This is factored into my pricing for every job. The cost of the screen is divided by the number of garments so the larger the job the better the per-shirt price gets. This applies to re-prints also.
- Art fees I give every customer a free hour of art to setup and create proofs of their design. Some art requires specialized separation fees.
- Separation fees Art that requires “separations” will have an additional fee of $15 per color. This is to cover the specialized software and time to create separations.
- Down payment Generally I waive the down payment since I am only working with local customers. If you can trust me to do the job I’ll trust you to pay me when it’s finished.
- Artwork All artwork, screens, proofs and/or printouts are the property of Expression Screen Printing. This may sound scary, especially if you provided the art for me to work with. What this is all about is protecting my time used to setup and create your art on my computer. I will respect your art and will only use your art for your projects. In return I ask that you do not use me for a design service and send artwork I created for you to other printers. I will happily provide “print ready” artwork if you need it for printing services I do not provide.
- Payment Payment is expected on delivery. Customers that have a history with me may pay on their next billing cycle. Cash, check and credit cards are excepted. Returned checks are subject to a $25 fee plus any bank charges.
- Job Completion When the job has finished printing the screens are cleaned and removed from the press. I will not be able to go back and add shirts to the job without re-setting up the screens. This takes time so please make sure you have ordered what you need to avoid an extra setup fee.
- Waste Factor In this industry there is a 3% margin for waste. This covers misprints and/or garment flaws. It is up to the customer to make sure they order enough garments to cover this.