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Do Screen Printers Charge for an Initial Design?

do you don't you: We asked our Brain Squad, which rendered a split decision.

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Question:

Do you charge to do an initial design?

Yes: 50%

  • Yes, artwork is chargeable. Time is money. — Jim Heiser, Bullseye Activewear, Brunswick, Ohio
  • When you give it away for free, the customer does not appreciate the time, creativity, professionalism, skill, etc. They are subconsciously thinking that if it is free, it must not be a big deal. I am an adamant believer the customer has to have “skin in the game” to really value what you provide. — Mark Coudray, Coudray Growth Tech, San Luis Obispo, Calfornia
  • Most of what we print uses customer supplied art. If we need to turn it into screen print art we do charge by the hour. The first 15 minutes are free. Original art is charged by the hour. — John Wilhelmsen, Distinct Impression, Tucson, Arizona

No: 50%

  • We include our design work in our per item pricing for what we print. We operate on a pay upfront ordering system though, so no design work happens until the project has been paid for. — Joe Ortinau, Ortinau Art, Pemberville Ohio
  • We normally start an order, and may send artwork to the customer very low-res, so it can’t be used. We don’t do any artwork on spec. — Tracey Johnston-Aldworth, Traces Screen Printing, Waterloo, Ontario
  • Not if there is a firm order associated with the purchase. Some complex images we charge for upfront regardless of the order. But, for most smaller orders we charge a $35 minimum. Many times, people say they have artwork when what they have is a picture (JPG or GIF) of what they want, so then we quote that cost to rebuild. — Bill Bischoff, Bischoff Design/Atomic Tees, Modesto, California

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.

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