Establishing A Relationship With Your Screen Printer

The first time you order custom shirts it can seem like an overwhelming experience. Find a printer that matches your style, personality, and can deliver what you expect can be a challenge. When you find that person or company, building a relationship is so important and makes subsequent orders smooth sailing. We’ve put together a quick list of things to look for in a printer, as well as a list of things that printers look for when seeking out potential business clients.

Things To Look For In A Good Print Partner…

  • Quality. Do some research and find a shop near you that is putting out quality work. Stay away from “print brokers” who collect your order, artwork, and payment, and then outsource your printing to another company.
  • Communication. Find someone who responds quickly to your communications, and answers your questions.
  • Style. Unless you intentionally want bland t-shirts, find a shop that works well with your style.
  • Price. You likely have a budget on your project. Some printers have more flexibility in their price than others. Caution should be taken if you’re using price as the determining factor. It’s not bad to let a shop know what your budget is before you get started.

Things Printers Look For In A Client…

Each shop has it’s own set of expectations for what they are looking for in a good client. Here are a few common to most shops.

  • Communication. Let your shop know what you’re looking for up front. Don’t leave them hanging on emails and other communication. Their goal is likely to get your order to you in a timely manner.
  • Don’t waste time. As blunt as it sounds, professional shops get several calls and emails each day from people who aren’t serious about placing orders.
  • Artwork can be a bottleneck in the print process. Shops need high quality artwork in order to create high quality prints. If you have it, awesome, if you don’t, it’s realistic to expect that there could be some fees associated with creating new or upscaling existing artwork.
  • Prompt payment. No-one likes to “chase” someone for payment after a job is complete. A sure fire way to make a printer hesitant to work with you again is to not pay on time.
  • There are a lot of moving parts involved in the printing process, and problems can arise along the way. Try to be understanding and flexible when issues come up in the process. Just communicate.


Hopefully this helped you understand some ways to establish a strong relationship with a printer near you. Once you have a good relationship with your printer, you have a person that you can go to with all sorts of fun and creative shirt ideas. The process goes from stressful to fun and exciting very quickly.

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