I’ve just placed my T-shirt order from my Applied Electronics course:
The shirt this year has a couple of differences from previous years’ shirts:
- The slug now as a beard, at the request of the class.
- The shirt is exclusive to the class this year, with “I survived” added at the beginning of the text, again at the request of the class. In previous years I was willing to let anyone buy a shirt, to lower the prices for the students in the class, by amortizing the setup fees.
I’m also dealing with a different T-shirt company this year, at the suggestion of one of the students. I’m using BroPrints, a Santa Cruz company since 1994 (or 2000, depending on whether you count the start of the business or their opening a storefront). Their prices are considerably lower than The Print Gallery, who I used last year. I’m hoping the quality is good (the student who recommended them said that she had used them for several different orders and had good durability of the printing). I stopped using Sports Design after two sets of shirts (one in 2011 and one in 2014) had bad cracking of the printing, and an order was miscounted in 2014.
Broprints has lower setup fees and lower per-shirt charges than the other companies I’ve dealt with, and the order is a little larger this year (35 shirts), so the per-shirt price should be the lowest yet (about $12 a shirt, and $15 for long sleeve).
I’ve now got the slug design as an SVG file as a master, but what I communicate to the printer is a layered Photoshop file (created with Photoshop Elements from an Inkscape png output), with each silk screen mask on a separate layer. The SVG file is only 85,868 bytes, while the layered Photoshop file is 11,075,976 bytes. Obviously the vector format of the SVG file is going to be smaller than a 600dpi raster image, but I’ve found that T-shirt companies can’t deal with Inkscape-created SVG files—especially not when I use non-standard fonts like Optima. The photoshop file is quite inefficiently stored even for a raster image, as a PNG file with essentially the same information (except for splitting the different colors into different layers) created by Photoshop Elements is only 201,677 bytes.