Frequently Asked Questions

Mid-Atlantic Specialty Graphics > Frequently Asked Questions

Ordering Questions

What is the minimum order quantity?
For screen printing 1 and 2 color prints there is no minimum. There is a minimum of 10 pieces when screen printing 3 to 9 colors. There is no minimum quantity for custom heat press vinyl services.

Why are low quantity screen printing orders so expensive?
With traditional screen printing there is a substantial cost and effort in creating the print before the first garment is even printed. So while the cost of the first shirt itself is only a few dollars, the cost of creating the first print is significantly more. As you add more shirts to an order that initial setup cost is shared by all the shirts in the order and that’s why the price per printed garment goes down as the order quantity goes up.

Are there less expensive options than screen printing for lower quantity orders?
For many small orders custom heat press vinyl may be a more affordable option.

How fast can you get my order done?
Our turnaround time can be as fast as 5 business days after you place your order (conditions apply, see ordering guidelines). Rush production is available so contact us to see if we can make your deadline.

How and when do I pay?
We only require a 50% deposit to get your order started. The remaining balance needs to paid before we release the order. We accept cash and all major credit cards. You can pay us any time by using the “Send Payment” box in the lower right hand corner of this website.

Printing Questions

How many colors can you print?
We can print up to 9 spot colors on white garments, 8 colors on colored garments, and we can print full color images using 4 color process printing.

How big can the print be?
Print areas are often limited by the dimensions of the garment being printed. We have included the max print area on each of the garment style pages on this site so make sure to look there if you know what style you will be ordering.
The overall maximum standard print area is 14″ x 17″.
Consider the particular garment style, and the smallest and largest garment size in your order when sizing your artwork. Pockets and extra seams in some garment styles can restrict the maximum printable area.

What kind of ink do you use?
We use mostly phthalate free plastisol inks from leading manufacturers such as QCM, Rutland, and Wilflex.

Why is printing on white garments less expensive than printing on colored garments?
Because screen printing inks are not totally opaque, a single layer of ink printed onto a colored shirt can be affected by the shirt color. For example a single layer of yellow printed onto a red shirt will appear orange. To address this issue we add an underbase screen to the print – usually white ink – that is printed and dried on the garment before the other colors are printed on top of it. Adding an underbase ensures that the print looks bright and vibrant and accounts for the price difference between printing on white garments and printing on colored garments.

Garment Questions

Can I use multiple garment styles / colors in a single order?
Absolutely. You’ll want to make sure the print will fit on all the different garment styles in the order, and that the print colors look ok on all the different colors in the order. Please contact us if you are considering using multiple styles together. We can help!

Will the garments shrink after I wash them?
The shrink factor depends on the garment material. Although all garments from major manufacturers say pre-shrunk on the label, shrinkage can still occur. In general, 100% cotton will shrink the most, 50/50 cotton/polyester blends will shrink less, and 100% polyester garments don’t really shrink at all. Shrinkage can be almost entirely controlled by laundering with care – the less heat you use the less the garments will shrink. We recommend washing in cold and hang drying or tumble drying in low heat. More info on garment care here.

Art Questions

How much are art charges?
If you are providing print ready art there will not be a graphic design charge. If you cannot provide art but your concept is very simple there may not be a graphic design charge. Otherwise we can design your art in house ($25 per 1/2 hour) or you can work with your own 3rd party graphic designer. Read more about print ready art and art guidelines here.

Is my art file print ready?
With a couple of exceptions, print ready art files need to be in vector format. Raster files supplied for photographic and 4 color process jobs need to be 300 dpi or higher at full print size. See more detailed art guidelines here.