Ryonet is lucky to have the opportunity to connect with and assist many types of printers and businesses who incorporate screen printing into their practice. We are constantly blown away by the diversity and unique passion that people put into their work, sometimes through design-based creativity and sometimes by finding a way to incorporate screen printing into creating a whole new culture. Velo Cult has done just that. Equal parts bike shop, venue, and bar, Velo Cult is all about creating a space that is more about the diversity of Portland biking culture than selling bikes.
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the “how-tos” of finding your business’s profitability. Here we offer up an easy way to understand the equation that goes into a profit calculator. The problem is, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer. Here we offer up an easy way to understand the equation behind a profit calculator.
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the “how-tos” of screen printing profit. The problem is, there really is no one-size fits all answer. Everyone’s contributing factors are a little different, and that final answer to “What do I need to charge for a shirt to be profitable?” relies heavily on those factors.
Decrease your print time by specializing job efforts. Have one person focus on loading shirts while another person prints. This works best with a two or more station press, with each person standing in front of adjacent platens and working in sync.(Find a variety of screen-printing presses here from Ryonet)
Save effort on cleanup by using platen paper (also called pallet tape). The paper protects your platens from excessive heat, ink splatters, spray adhesive, and lint buildup. When the platens start to get “fuzzy”, just peel off the paper and throw it away!
Make it easier and faster for customers to get pricing and order from you. Make an online form that outlines your pricing structure and allows customers to order through your website. You will not only save energy by not having to write up as many custom quotes, but you will capture more business this way.
Fix small mistakes on your films with an opaque pen. Sometimes films don’t come out perfectly opaque or an edge gets cropped, instead of wasting more film and ink on a re-print, use a sharpie or opaque pen to draw in the adjustments. As long as you can’t see light shining through it when you hold it up to a light source, it will burn just fine.
Save money on screens by fixing those as well. Instead of burning new screens when you find small mistakes, cover pin-holes with tape and use a block-out pen to fix any washed out details or edges.
Waste less time cleaning and reclaiming screens by using combination chemicals. Many parts of the process can be made more efficient by using products that cover more than one cleaning step at once. Good examples of this would be a de-haze/de-ghost chemical, or a de-greasing/de-hazing chemical. Some dip-tank chemicals degrade both emulsion and ink at once, as well. You’ll save time and elbow grease both!
Instead of throwing your films away once they have been burned, save them. Many customers return for repeat orders and often they want the same designs re-printed. File them flat by date and customer name for easy retrieval. You can re-burn old designs on your screens quickly, saving you money and time.
Another way to save time and money on orders is set up a re-print window of time for each order. Save screens for each job for a week and let the customer know they can come back for re-prints minus the screen set up fee. Most customers want re-prints anyway and this will help you to save a lot of time on re-burning screens when they re-order.
Folding printed shirts takes a lot of time, so, become a pro! Master the Japanese t-shirt folding technique or get a flip-fold to decrease the amount of time spent on non-money making chores.
On a small island, like Oak Harbor, many small businesses can find it a struggle to reach their audience, but Eric, from Ashley’s Designs and Letterman Jackets, found he was benefited by the size restriction and distance.
As many people know, Ryonet started from a love of music. The very first shirts made by Ryonet’s CEO were made in an effort to promote his punk band over 10 years ago. This is a fitting backdrop, as Josh Wells (one of Ryonet’s own) stepped up last week to help out the local Youth Music Project print some t-shirts of their own.
From the moment you receive the box in the mail, Ryonet’s DIY Print Shop Kit shouts innovation. With its unique graphics (courtesy of Print Liberation) printed proudly on the packaging, you are welcomed into the world that Ryonet and Print Liberation rules: Do It Yourself Screen Printing. Once containing only a one-color press, the new DIY 4-Color Screen Printing Kit now allows DIY-ers to print up to four colors per design, giving beginners the tools they need to print like a pro.
The 4-color press itself is a small table-top machine, with 4 rotating heads and a single 14”x14” sized wooden platen for printing. It sports the signature DIY Print Shop blue powder coating that can be found on the single-color press, and is made from the same solid steel and aluminum construction as our larger models are. All for a fraction of the price of a larger machine. With a full battery of environmentally friendly clean up chemicals and inks, the kit itself contains all the tools necessary to print complex designs with up to four colors, such as CMYK or 4-color-process printing, on standard cotton fabric. It even includes a training DVD specially produced to explain the DIY process.
It’s easy to see, this is a kit for the serious DIY printer.
From the moment you receive the graphic printed cardboard box in the mail you are welcomed into the world that Ryonet rules: DIY t-shirt design. As of Wednesday, the newest addition to this world has just been released: the first ever UV Screen Exposure Bulb, specifically designed to expose the kind of emulsion used in screen printing. What makes this bulb unique is the wavelength of light that it emits. Emulsion requires a nanometer measurement of between 360-380nm to expose properly, which is exactly where the new UV bulb sits on the scale.
Previously, Ryonet’s DIY Print Shop Kits included a 500 watt halogen light to be used for screen exposure. While these conventional bulbs work to expose screens given enough time, they are inefficient and require over 95% more energy than the new bulb takes. With only 25 watts of energy required, screen printers can now expose screens over 30% faster than before, saving both money and time. The new bulbs are also much safer, with a much lower heat output than the halogen lights previously provided.
This change will allow beginning screen printers to take advantage of the same efficiency, safety, and light quality as the higher priced exposure units (www.screenprinting.com/screen-printing-equipment/exposure-units/) also sold by Ryonet. “What makes (these bulbs) cool is that they can go into anything. Any lamp or light fixture you have at home can be turned into an exposure light,” says Brandon, the sales manager at Ryonet. The average DIY screen printer works out of their home, using elements from their kit and their own home appliances to accomplish parts of the screen printing process, such as an iron or a kitchen sink. The new UV bulb will now allow them to utilize yet another user-owned element to accomplish a pro-level screen exposure, bringing the tools of the pros to the hands of the creative thinkers of the DIY world.
• Recommended emulsion: Ryonet® WBP Hybrid Emulsion by CCI for Water-Based and Plastisol
• Recommended exposure time: 10-11 min
• Electrical: 110v 25W 60 Hz
• Mount: E27 Base
• UV Wave Length: 360-380nm
For this year’s 4th of July Sale Ryonet is giving away a Free “Screen Printing is RAD” tee* at SilkScreeningSupplies.com. This awesome design was created by DIY Print Shop and printed with Green Galaxy Meteor White ink on a tee courtesy of ShirtSpace.com.
We are also doing a huge sale on Green Galaxy Inks and all of our green dryers (RyoCure, RyoFlash) for the month of July! Don’t miss the chance to start off your summer with a BANG and be sure to check them out
# of Employees: 3
Type of Press: Riley Hopkins Win 6×4
Rene from Tone Def Ink started out the same way a lot of prospective screen printers do: disgruntled.
In 2009, Tone Def Sounds was booking Texas bands for gigs in the local area. In order to tap into the market further, Rene decided to start by making shirts as well (not unlike our own Ryan of Ryonet!). This origin story couldn’t be possible without conflict, however, and when he was unexpectedly dropped by a local printer for his order, he decided to take on the challenge of learning to screen print, himself. He bought Ryonet’s 1×1 starter kit and taught himself using Ryonet’s Youtube channel.
Four years later, he is the exclusive screen printer in his town, pumping out about 200-500 shirts a day for local businesses, schools, churches, and gatherings. Part time! In fact, his day job is making the plastisol base that is used in the very plastisol inks he uses in his shop.
Hard work is not foreign to Rene or his full-time printer Mark Garcia and designer Aaron Delgato, and it shows. When asked what his shop’s biggest struggle was, he made it clear that he simply had too much business to complete in the time that he needs with his current equipment: “I work from 6 am to 6 pm, then come home and screen print from 6pm to 4am.” After going through numerous press upgrades over the years, Rene finally called up Ryonet and got to fulfill one of his dreams, buying a Riley Hopkins press. “I know it sounds weird, but I just think it is a beautiful looking press,” says Rene, and I think most customers would agree. After being advised by Brandon, Ryonet’s sales manager, about how our Ryonet Plus program would benefit him, he signed up. After one month, with the 5% membership discount on his mind, Rene made the easy choice and called Brandon with an order for the green and black Riley 6×4 that now graces his shop. He says it is his favorite Ryonet product, closely followed by spray adhesive.
After starting with only a heat gun and an oven in his house, he is glad to have some newer and more efficient equipment, especially since his business has only doubled since the past year. His next big step is to upgrade his conveyor dryer to the Ryocure 8ft and get a small automatic press to keep up with orders. Right now, his shop focuses on screen printing and DTG for local customers, with a lot of business coming from family reunions and other community-centered gatherings. He prints “anything for anybody,” and he has made a solid mark on his community with his work.
From a DIY kit to a prospective automatic press owner, Rene is a shining example of what can be done with screen printing when you set your mind to it.
Each month Ryonet will feature a Ryonet Plus member here on our blog and on our Facebook page in front of thousands of prospective customers. Find out how you can become a featured Ryonet Plus Member.