At Purely Themes we’re always looking for innovative ways to start new businesses or earn some extra money on the side during the weekends. Today we’re going to talk about screen printing, and more specifically contract screen printing. This technique has been used for thousands of years in one form or another, originating in the oriental far east around the time of the Song Dynasty. While Japan and a few neighboring countries to China also learned the trade, it was not until the 18th century that screen printing made it’s way to Europe and the western parts of the world. Today almost all businesses as well as private citizens use print techniques on close to a daily measure, from the newspaper we read, to the more innovative such as this Instagram frame prop, or any number of marketing materials out there.
Silk Screen Printing
The most common methods today include the use of a silk screen on which the ink is forced through the fine mesh, and because this silk screen is overlain with a stenciled drawing or pattern, the ink produces a near perfect rendition of the desired result. Because of this relatively easy to accomplish printing technique, many businesses have sprung up over the past 30-40 years providing a much needed service for both businesses, as well as individuals. For a large portion of printed clothes are made with screen printing techniques, or serigraph printing as it’s also called, and you probably own some screen printed clothes yourself.
Contract Screen Printing
And the materials you can print on are plentiful, ranging from t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, to banners, advertisements, bags, caps and jackets not to mention the hundreds of other items and clothing styles that are available for use with this method. Some people choose to create their own designs, while others strictly work with licensed designs from other artists. But today we’re examining the business of contract screen printing, and will use the example of LSA Contract Screen Printing Dallas TX to illustrate our case.
LSA offers a range of wholesale printing for a variety of colors, and even cover the infamous black fabrics that are notorious for the difficulty and cost to print on. This carving out of a niche can be substantial in order to get a foothold in a market segment, and by specializing in a very specific area it becomes easier to be the best in the business. Rather than being a jack of all trade, to start a successful contract screen printing business, some sort of limitation must be in place so as not to dilute the essence of the company itself. By staying true to the core values and services you also establish a reputation and a brand for yourself and your company, something that’s worth much more than a few extra sales a month you would get from adding a half-hearted product line into your collection.
Here’s what you need to get started with your new business for 2018:
- Source the equipment (eBay can be a great source for both new and used gear)
- Figure out what “in” you have (What makes you unique, think in niches)
- Create a great name for your business, and source a nice logo (Plenty of cheap options online)
- Register a company (Not always necessary, but a good idea to look more professional when starting out)
- Set up a work-space (This needs to be fairly large, and with plenty of flat surfaces and storage)
- Find out whether you want your own website or if you want to sell on marketplaces such as Etsy or eBay. (It can be tough getting visitors to your own site, but the markup is much better)
- Tell all your friends and family, share your press releases and spread the word on the social media channels – and cross your fingers – you are ready!
- Bonus tip: Consider trade shows, exhibitions, art fairs and other similar events to further spread your brand presence