Mass producing T-shirts

My company has been releasing CDs for bands for about a year now. Finally we have decided to take the next step and start touring and merchandising.

What is the cheapest way to produce t-shirts and other merchandise for my bands.

Right now we use Cafepress, but the pricing seems to be pretty high.

Any insight?

How many bands, and how many shirts? My guess is that you can get a short run made locally for far less than what Cafe Press quoted you, but I have no idea how big of a job you have or where you live and what companies serve your area.

I have at least 3 bands i need this done for. Not really sure, maybe 75-100 shirts each band.

Also, what type of color process are you using? Are you going with a 4 color CMYK photographic separation process, multiple spot color (separate screen for each color) or a single color? I find that internet vendors are much cheaper than local silk screen shops for multiple spot color. Photographic separation seems to require a very tight registration tolerance and not many mom and pop silkscreen shops actually have the technology.

The huge advantage with a local shop is that you can proof the print before production which is not really possible using an internet vendor. I notice that there can often be fuckups during the process of color separation that can only be caught by checking the proof. Also, you can check the actual t-shirt construction, material, and color from a local vendor. These t-shirt characteristics can vary widely between manufacturers.

And almost any alternative will be cheaper than Cafe Press, which is good for one off types of shirts.

These are black metal bands, everything will be black and white.

Do a google search for “(your city) corporate logo clothing”.
You should get a few local companies that will print tees with your image on them.

I’d check prices at 3 local silkscreeners, and a couple of internet vendors. There’s not much people can fuck up on a white ink on black t-shirt (except coverage and resolution issues). Keep in mind that the cost differential between a Hanes 100% cotton Beefy-T and a Chinese 50-50 poly blend will be considerable so remember that when getting quotes. Also sizes seem to vary considerably between manufacturers.

And in an illegible font? :smiley:

Don’t forget, you’ll need L and XL.