Guidance

I think this could easily be our blog... We've got a nice handful of entries here. Just need titles and maybe an image for each one, and we're good to go.

 

How many ink colors are recommended?
You might guess that we'd push for more ink colors. But that is far from the case. The fewer the number of ink colors used, the more successful T-shirts and hoodies tend to be. Our art department often helps our customers reduce the number of colors in their supplied art, as a way of improving the final presentation. Of course if your job demands lots of inks - we can handle that too.

Choosing the best ink process for the garment
Water-based for t-shirts
Plastisol for hoodies

Colorway or the highway
Good color could easily mean the difference between a favorite t-shirt that is worn until worn out, and a dash duster for the family Subaru.

COLORLAB understands color is the number one attribute that sells a shirt or hoodie. And years of sales data support that belief. Beyond fabric color (or ground color) is the complete color way presented by the print on the shirt. Here again, the customer is very, very particular. Simply calling out black or white ink, or even a PMS-Pantone system ink color doesn't achieve the respect deserved by all the subtleties that can make or break a great shirt or hoodie. Color guidance is a common reason our customers keep coming back for more. Our colorways tend to sell, and we make the process easy.

Garment colors + swatch sets
Ever received a shirt you ordered online that bared no resemblance to the shirt you thought you ordered? Published colors are often misleading. We photograph our catalog swatches under standard daylight color temperature lamps so that they're as realistic as can be. If you're ordering a gazillion shirts based on our photos - please hold that thought, and order a swatch set specific to the brand + style you're considering first. It's the quick step that could save your butt. Cuz once the shirts are printed - you own them. Sorry, our warranty does not offer refunds when you aren't happy with the fabric color. Also keep in mind that fabric colors vary by dye lot. If we notice a discernible variance from the color standard, we'll contact you before proceeding with your order.

Print Positions 101
[sketches of print positions]
Print positions for t-shirts and hoodies vary a bit.

Large prints mean more setups
Why do large prints cost more you might ask? It's not the extra ink used as you may have guessed. The extra cost is tied to the extra setups often necessary with large prints. A setup is the set of screens needed for each print position, and the time it takes to prepare them for printing. If you would like your print to fill as much of the shirt as possible, the screens used on size Small won't achieve your desired result on size XXL - as one example. So often, 2 or even 3 setups, each sized for a range of t-shirt sizes, are required to maintain a large print relative to each size.

What's up with women's sizing?
Los Angeles is home to most t-shirt brands in the USA. Somehow these brands have mutually agreed that women's t-shirts should be sized for lean teenagers. Maybe that's your market. Otherwise, this probably means that you'll want to review a few samples for fit before setting your women's order quantities. It's not such a big deal if your customers are able to see the garments first hand. But if you're selling online, be sure to offer sizing guidance, or prepare to be inundated with returns.

Download our t-shirt sketch pad

Try our size scale calculator