Welcome to part three of the five part Stay True Project series!
“Nowadays, if you can dream it, you can print it. From full color all-over prints to glittery foil jumbo prints with rhinestones and embroidery, the sky is the limit.”
Thread’s Not Dead (p.83) by Jeff Finley
Let’s get into how I took the Kickstarter funds and went into printing and production with the Stay True Project!
In the Stay True project I have three main products, along with some extras goods to throw into each order (I’ll get to packing and shipping orders in a later part of the series.)
The material used for your products are as much part of your brand as your designs, so let me break down the quality of materials I chose to use for the final products:
- Stay True shirt: An ultra-soft, ultra-comfy American Apparel heather black poly-cotton blend. (#BB401)
- 9x9 Prints (Stay True & Go to Sleep): 100lb Uncoated Text Stock – 1 color ink – 1 sided (technically a 9x9 poster)
- Stay True Stickers: 4x4 clear polypropylene – 1 color ink
- Stay True Buttons: 1 inch standard, full-color spring back buttons
Choosing the right printers
Knowing that I’d one day produce my own products – I’ve bookmarked many websites for merchandising and production resources.
Now that the time has come to put these resources to use I did the research on my various options on possible printers. I made a decision based on quality, price, and customer support.
I ended up going with Jakprints for majority of my products! A Cleveland, Ohio based custom printing company that specializes in full-color offset printing, apparel printing and sticker production.
I would give my experience with Jakprints a 10 out of 10 and would highly recommend them if you're inquiring about custom printing!
The prices were great and my products turned out exactly how I’d quoted them!
Also the account representative I worked with was extremely helpful with any questions and concerns I had along the way.
Unfortunately Jakprints did not offer a printing solution for the buttons I wished to get produced, so I went with Threadbird for those.
Threadbird’s pricing for buttons are great! The overall quality was standard. The red color I was looking for in the buttons came out a bit lighter than expected, so it looks a bit like a pink – but that could be my fault for using that shade of red.
Overall I would also highly recommend Threadbird for any button production inquiries. I haven’t used them for any of my other products, so I can’t say how well they’d turn out.
How many t-shirts should I print? What sizes?
Since I’m just starting out and I wanted to keep the funds required as low as possible – I kept the first run of products simple.
“When in doubt, order less. If you sell out, it makes you look popular.”
Thread’s Not Dead (p.90) by Jeff Finley
I went with the 1/2/2/1 ratio – which breaks down to S/M/L/XL, but I also included some for XXL.
I ordered a total of 154 Stay True t-shirts – 24S, 48M, 48L, 24XL, 10XXL.
The excitement of receiving your product orders in the mail is unexplainable. Something you can only experience yourself.The final products of the Stay True Project came out even better than I expected. I hope and dream that I can keep doing stuff like this for the rest of my life – stuff that I love to do.
PART IV: Order Fulfillment & Shipping
With the products in stock, it’s now time to get them out into the backer's and customer's hands.
In part four I discuss one of the most daunting and frustrating aspects of this entire experience – order fulfillment and shipping!
Part III: Printing & Production