This type of record keeping will also come into use when you need to figure out how a job was printed when you have forgotten the details, months or even years later when a reorder is placed. Always have on hand an adequate supply of test print squares to set up each print job.
Make a print of every job you do and keep them in storage for future reference.Test squares (also known as pellon squares) are available at most screen printing supply vendors.
Test prints serve many purposes: to ensure that the screen has exposed and washed out properly, to make sure that there are no pinholes or other defects in the screen, to check the actual ink color on a substrate, and to test the dryer for proper temperature to see if the ink has cured.
Test squares are also sometimes useful for settling disputes with customers. Occasionally, a customer may complain that there is “something wrong with the order that they received.” Having a print handy will help you recall the order to discuss with your customer.
In addition to keeping test print squares on file of every job that we printed, we also kept actual prints of every job that would fit into a “left chest size” print area on over sized t-shirts.
Here's how we would do it. On a 6X size white t-shirt, we would print the entire shirt with “left chest size” prints until the shirt was completely filled up. The key to success is spacing out the images for nice, even spacing.
These shirts makes a great conversation piece when customers come into your shop. They are also useful as a “reference print” cloth for checking and comparing ink colors, printing techniques, etc.
Over the years, we filled up many of these shirts with custom artwork–a real testament to the success of our printing business. The content of this article is an excerpt from the ASPA training course The Secrets of Printing T-Shirts and How to Make Big Money!