Keeping Test Prints
Keeping information on orders is always a good idea. You should have a record system set up to retain all order information such as customer name, address, shipping address and contact information. You should also be recording for future reference, information pertaining to the quantity of the order, specific shirt brand and color you used and the ink color of the order. Having all this available makes it very easy when the customer wants to reorder. Your customer may likely remember that the ink color you used was blue, but there are many shades of blue. Not to mention that each manufacturer will have their own spectrum of blue inks. Another good idea is to keep a test print of each order that you print. Not only will this be a great method to record your order details but you can use the test print to display in your shop or keep as a scrapbook.
Many printers use their test prints to show customers ink colors and samples of their work. Save a final test print and write on the back the ink color and supplier. You'll be happy you have this information at a later date. Get in the habit of writing the customer's name, date, and the print specifications (ink used, mesh counts, print order, special techniques, etc.) about how the order was printed on the test print for each print job.
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.
KEEPING REFERENCE PRINTS
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.
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