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17 Screen Printers Call BS on Things They Hear Frequently in the Industry

They’re just not buying what they’re being sold.





What’s something you hear all the time in the industry, but you think is actually BS?

If you listened to Season One of the Screen Saver podcast, you know we asked each of our guests the same three questions at the end of every episode. We gave our Brain Squad the chance to answer the second question: What’s something you hear all the time in the industry, but you think is actually BS? Here’s what they had to say:

  • “Millennials are lazy and don’t want to work.” In my experience this is total BS. Millennials are brilliant, quick learners, and they love to know you have their back and want to be a mentor to them. Of course, they don’t want to grind like I did when I was young, but that’s because they’re smart. I’ve found great success by inspiring these folks toward a career none of them have ever heard about. Once they catch the passion, get the heck out of their way! — Edward Cook, ECI Screen Print, Watertown, Connecticut
  • “Be solutions-driven, not product pushers.” Easy to say, hard to do. Look at 95 percent of screen printers’ Instagram profiles. It’s nothing but printing examples. We know you screen print, but how can you help me more than the next guy or gal. Most companies don’t take the time to really understand the clients’ needs vs just producing a product. — Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative, Denver, Colorado
  • That you have to DTG to do print-on-demand fulfillment. — Alison Banholzer, Wear Your Spirit Warehouse, Huntingtown, Maryland
  • “Free screens.” Making screens cost money. — John Wilhelmsen, Distinct Impression, Tucson, Arizona
  • The industry will be all digital soon. — Michael McCall, Chattanooga Labeling Systems, Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • “You can’t do that. That doesn’t work.” I have been told this by so many people on so many levels. Oh, and recently I am hearing “inflation” for all kinds of BS that isn’t affected by goods pricing increases. — Eric Carnell, Independence Printage Corp, Bellevue, Washington
  • “Once you get used to water-based, it’s as easy as plastisol.” — Doug Heminger, SS Designs, Winter Haven, Florida
  • “Sell a reduced cost and you will get all the customers and get all the high-volume orders.” What you actually will get are the cheap customers, who don’t pay on time and negotiate every nickel. You will underprice your product and put yourself into financial disrepair. — Tracey Johnston-Aldworth, Traces Screen Printing, Waterloo, Ontario
  • “I have a hard, in-hands date of x,” and it sits on a pick-up shelf for days. Tell the whole story of when the event is. We/the industry would be appreciative of the whole truth. — Keith Abrams, The Decoration Facility, Indian Trail, North Carolina
  • “Hustle and Grind.” This is part of the Work Hard, Get Ahead lie. It should really be Work Hard, Get Old Faster. Brute force and fury will only get you so far before you burn out. It is also a huge cause of Work-Life Imbalance. — Mark Coudray, Coudray Growth Tech, San Luis Obispo, California

  • “DPI when they mean PPI.” And “Retarders (for water-base) don’t work or aren’t worth it.” Used properly and precisely, they are a godsend. — Kyle Baker, Baker Prints, Chicago, Illinois
  • “You can’t get paid upfront.” Thousands of shops have moved to this way of working, and they are much better for it. — Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting, Mesa, Arizona
  • “I’ve been doing this for xx years. I know what I’m talking about.” If your only reason why somebody should listen to you is that you’ve been doing it forever, then I can almost guarantee you’re not nearly as good as you think you are. New technologies and methodologies are coming out constantly. The way we ran the shop last year is far from how we run now. I’m sure we’ll be doing something different come next year. It’s a living and evolving environment.— Joshua Rogers, Grunt Style, Carol Stream, Illinois
  • I hear people say you need to be a production genius to be successful. I also hear people say you need to have all the best toys. This couldn’t be further from the truth. What’s needed is balance: understanding both the craft (at a respectable level) and the business side of things. Your customer doesn’t care about your T-shirt printing prowess and your fancy equipment. They just want their problem solved. They want T-shirts fast. They want to have confidence that you can deliver. — Gavin StGeorges, Proud Tshirts
  • Cost of entry in the business is low. — Randy Reneau, All Seasons Screen Printing & Emb, Chicago, Illinois
  • “Time is money.” Time is more valuable than money. I can always make more money. — Bill Bischoff, Bischoff Design/Atomic Tees, Modesto, California
  • It’s so easy to register the screens. — Luiz Enchinton, 3 Little Birdz, El Paso, Texas

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a screen-printing business, you’re invited to join the Screen Printing Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting screen-printing pros. Sign up here.



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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