How to Get Started Screen Printing Your Apparel

By Sonny Vasquez
July 23, 2021
How to Get Started Screen Printing Your Apparel
By Sonny Vasquez x Published July 23, 2021 x Screen PrintingBrandsBusinessApparel

In our first video with Alive Print Shop we talk about how to leverage the direct-to-garment process with screen printing to elevate your business and brand. This week we dive into everything you need to know to get your apparel brand started with screen printing and the many mistakes made when brands begin screen printing their products.

Before getting started it’s helpful to know what screen printing is in regards to other printing processes. Screen printing is the process of printing designs on t-shirts through what we call screens. Depending on the design and the colors used in your designs, it can often take multiple screens to make one single design. This type of print is best once you’ve solidified your designs and are ready to make a large quantity order. This brings me to my next point.

Picture of Screen Printing Process
Screen Printing Example

What You Need To Start Screen Printing

As I mentioned earlier, the screen printing process is lengthy. Often a whole factory floor is dedicated to your one design. However, there are a couple of items that you must check off your list before you start to screen print with a company such as Alive Print Shop.

The very first concept that must be solidified is your brand. To start printing your desired apparel, you need two things

  • What your brand is about
  • Who you the customer is

Knowing your brand encompasses knowing the persona of the brand and what kind of products you want to make as well as the designs that coincide with these products. Knowing who your customer is allows you to ask yourself questions like will my customer buy this product? If so, how much would they be willing to pay? From there you can decide the retail price of your apparel and estimate the possible profit margin you will receive once you've printed and sold your designs. It is only then that you can continue with the rest of the screen printing process.

John discusses in great depth all the steps including picking your blanks, what type of files you need to submit as well as a few common mistakes made when brands attempt to screenprint their products. I encourage you to watch the full video here to gain a better understanding. We’ll continue with some tips Austin Boyd, owner of Alive Print Shop, had for those wanting to screen print their products.

Austin Boyd and John Santos standing together
Austin Boyd (Left) John Santos (Right)


Austin reveals that over the years he’s been leading this screen printing process, he’s come across many people with great designs and ideas but when it comes to getting their designs printed they failed in this organizational piece. You’ll see in the video that screen printing is an intricate process and to streamline the process requires intense organization.


Those who come in with ideas often just treat it like they are putting out a T-shirt. This is a major mistake. To see success here, you must treat it like what it is: a business. In this way, you can work with your print shop and create something incredible because both parties are taking this process seriously.


Picture of Austin Boyd saying Focus On What You Do Best
Austin Boyd, Owner of Alive Print Shop


Some people struggle with creating a clear vision because they struggle with figuring out what exactly they are good at, or maybe they feel they can take on more than one thing at a time. When creating a business and a brand you need to maximize and leverage the capabilities of yourself and those around you. Find what your brand does well and run with it. Don’t try to be everywhere, just be where your brand needs to be.

There is so much more information in this video, so head over to John’s channel so you can be ready to make your vision to reality.

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