April '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R 5 3 before your purchase. The difference in maintenance routines from printer to printer can be massive. Some ma- chines may be very minimal if you follow directions. On the other hand, some machines may need constant maintenance and attention. A con- trolled environment may be a cru- cial factor as well. Keep in mind that no matter what, D2 printers are not like a desktop printer. Take the time to understand the different require- ments. There are many Facebook groups and online forums out there, so you should talk with people that have experience using each printer. You may really like a specific printer for its price, print quality, etc. but if the actual requirements are question- able to you, reconsider. 5. You can't compete with cost. The en- tire point of getting a D2 printer is to make money, right? You will need to understand the competition and what you are offering. The main key here is conviction in your product and service. For example, screen printing and D2 work off completely different margins and production requirements. If you get into a price war with a screen print- er, you will more than likely lose. Screen printing requires a lot of set up to produce a final print. Because the set up is so labor and time intensive, a minimum order of so many shirts must be fulfilled. Once the job has been set up, the ink cost and print time is very minimal. D2 works oppositely by compari- son. There is essentially no set up re- quirement for D2. Because it is digi- tal, you are just sending the print job to the printer and printing a shirt. The actual cost of your ink is more expen- sive than screen printing. Because of this process, you can print just one shirt if needed. Lower print runs are the bread and butter of D2 printing. The main thing is you need to charge appropriately and realistically under- stand the customer's options. The rea- son you charge this much is because you can do the job right now. If some- one else says they can do it and do it cheaper, it's OK to say no sometimes. If you cannot stay firm on pricing and find the need to constantly drop your prices, success will be hard. When it comes down to it, D2 printing is an easy and attractive way to start or add to a business. As the technology evolves, it be- comes more and more attractive. To many of us, this is a large purchase, one that will help dictate our future success or failure. Take your time, educate yourself, and make the right choice. PW Paul Green works for Prepress Supply, distributor for the Epson line of direct-to-garment printers. He is also an industry seminar and webinar speaker and contributing writer. He has been in the printing industry for the last 10 years. After hours, Green is also an established fine artist and painter, and his work can be seen in group art shows around California. FOR MORE HELP DECIDING IF A JOB REQUIRES SCREEN PRINTING OR DIGITAL, CHECK OUT TAYLOR LANDESMAN'S ONLINE FEATURE AT HTTP://PRINTWEAR.LY/ SCREE-VS-DIGITAL.

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