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5 Money Saving Tips – Making Custom T-Shirts for Less


January 26, 2021

Finding a company to print your custom tees at a reasonable rate can be difficult… or is it? Staying on budget is easier than you think!

Most t-shirt companies won’t spend the time to educate you on the process, so most potential customers simply become quoters instead. It is very easy to get frustrated with the quoting process, but armed with these 5 little tips, not only will you have great looking shirts, you will come in under budget almost every time. Follow these steps and watch your price drop in seconds when quoting with a company, online, or by phone.

1. Print Fewer Colors

When deciding to have custom t-shirts printed for your event or organization, just keep in mind that the more colors you are printing, the more expensive your price per shirt will become. It’s just that simple.

how to save on t-shirt designs

Almost every logo can be altered from a full-color piece of digital art into a single color screen print using simple outlines or converted to greyscale.  The important thing is to consider how important it is that your design is printed in full color if you are simply giving them away or if it is for a one-time event. We have found that it is usually better to get shirts with a greyscale design than none at all in order to keep pricing on track.

2. Increase Your Quantity

In this industry, quantity is king. There is nothing else, besides the number of print colors, that can move the price per shirt like quantity can. The more shirts you order, the less expensive it is. You would be surprised how a 12 piece quote can be cut down by 30% by simply jumping up to 24 pieces! It happens so quickly, especially in smaller quantities. Experiment when quoting and you will find that you might end up with more shirts than you intended at just a few bucks more than you intended on spending!

3. Reduce the Number of Print Locations

Size DOESN’T matter in the screen printing world.  That’s right, it’s all about how many locations you are printing on, not how big it is.

For example, if you have a large print on the front and a large print on the back, it would be the same exact price as a small print on the front and a small print on the back. By simply removing the design from one side of the shirt, you can easily shave 10%-15% off the originally quoted price!  We have also seen it where a customer wants to print on the front, back, and both sleeves, and they are simply not thinking about the cost because they are normally under the impression that since the sleeve prints will be small, it will not be that expensive.  I bet you would be surprised to hear that sleeve prints are actually more difficult than a full-sized chest print on the front or back of a t-shirt!  When it comes to screen printing, the simpler the better… for pricing purposes.

4.  Use a White or Heather Grey Garment 

Save money by simply changing your dark shirt color to white or heather grey.  In most cases, the manufacturer will have these colors at a lower price point, white still being the cheapest.  By changing from a dark shirt color to one of these two colors, you are allowing the screen printer to save money on the garments because they are priced lower than their colored counterparts.  This will also normally cut the production time in half if it went from printing a light color ink on a dark color garment to printing a dark color ink on a white or heather grey garment.

Every t-shirt company’s number one commodity is their valuable press time… help them save time on your job and they should be more than happy to pass on the savings.

5.  Be Flexible with Your Deadline

All t-shirt companies usually have some downtime here and there. By allowing the company you are working with to do it at their own pace, they might be willing to discount your order by simply allowing some leniency with your deadline. Obviously, we all want delivery of the items we purchase to occur as quickly as possible, but if it really does not matter when you receive them, it’s worth asking if there is any leeway with pricing!

As you utilize each of these tips, watch the price per shirt slim down quickly! If you are just in the quoting stage right now, watch how quickly your pricing is affected by the tips above. You can calculate in seconds with our instant quote tool (located toward the bottom of our product pages. See an example here.)

doesn’t have to be expensive… they can actually be quite cheap if you take the time to ask just a few simple questions when quoting.

Now get out there with your new-found knowledge and get your order on a budget! You can always start with one of the industry’s most popular styles, the G200 by Gildan.


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