Signature Handprints provides contract printing services to members of the public and the design community who are looking for a local screen-printer to bring their products to life.
Contract Printing involves the customer supplying us with their own design that they would like to have printed on their chosen substrate. We work with each customer to assess their needs, the suitability of their design(s) to our production process and the best way of achieving the desired outcome. While the majority of our custom print projects tend to be for fashion yardage fabric, we are also open to specialty printed products outside the realm of wallpaper and fabric. Some of our previous contract projects include printed cards/paper products and signage. We can cater for one-off jobs or can establish an ongoing relationship for larger scale projects.
Some of our most recent contract printing projects:
A single-colour print onto postcards using neon green ink and a gloss layer to make the artwork pop!
Printed Bridal Silk
A beautiful three-colour design that we print onto silk organza and silk satin for a boutique Australian bridal label.
Outdoor Awning Banner
White on black placement logo prints on an outdoor fabric awning banner, printed for a local Sydney pub.
Pricing for our Contract Printing services can vary depending on the scope of the job, and as such each job is quoted on an individual case-by-case basis.
Here is a breakdown of the process from start to finish:
Outline the scope of your project to a member of our team, providing as much information as possible:
- Final artwork file (or images of the design/concept if artwork not yet finalized)
- Application – eg: is the fabric to be used for fashion, interiors, other?
- Quantity – ballpark unit quantities for the entire scope of the project (initial orders may be required to meet our minimum order quantities)
- Raw materials – will you be providing your own base cloth etc for us to print on, or do you need us to source or assist with sourcing?
- Any other specific requirements (eg: special finishes, add-ons)
Based on the information provided to us, we will assess the suitability of your project to our methods of printing. We may need to outline any limitations or parameters of our processes and equipment that may affect how we approach your job. If we deem that screen-printing is not the best production method for your job, we will endeavour to find or recommend alternative solutions for you.
Once we have determined suitability and obtained all relevant details from you, we will provide you with an initial quotation.
Our designer will work with you to ensure that your artwork files are set up correctly for the relevant printing process. We can either guide you to make any adjustments yourself or we can make them for you. Once the final artwork has been received it will be sent off to be printed as Film Positives (outsourced). We will then use these films to expose Screens.
Once screens are made we will produce a strike-off sample of your design/artwork in your chosen colours for you to approve. If you have provided us with specific colour references to match to – Dulux, Pantone or other physical colour sample – our ink maker will mix those colours accordingly. The strike-off stage is your opportunity to make any adjustments to colours to ensure that they are absolutely perfect before we proceed with the final production run. For interiors projects in particular we recommend taking the samples on-site to view the colours in the correct lighting. Note that one-off prints such as a single piece of signage or jobs that don’t require colour matching may not require a strike-off.
Once the strike-off sample(s) have been approved we will then schedule and print your bulk order. Timing for your specific order will be confirmed at the quoting stages, but the typical lead time for a bulk run from approval of a strike-off is approximately 12-14 days.
Once the print run has been completed, we will notify you that your order is now available to be picked up from our St Peters studio or despatched to you via courier or post.
Things to note:
Artwork and Screen Setup costs
Artwork and Screen Setup costs are one-off fees to enable your designs to be setup on screen ready for printing. Once your design is on screen and the initial print run completed, any subsequent orders of the same designs will not incur any further setup cost (unless we need to remake a screen). You will just be charged per metre or unit of print.
Please advise us early on in the setup process whether you are likely to be re-ordering these designs after the initial print run. We typically keep screens for approximately 6 months after printing. If there are no further orders likely after this time we may reclaim the screens by washing out your design so that the screens can be re-used for other print jobs. If we know you are likely to re-order on a recurring basis (at least once every 6 months) then we can arrange to keep your screen active for longer.
Restrictions and Limitations
Screen-printing does have some restrictions or limitations as a production process. The most common ones we find are:
- Artwork has too many colours – each colour in your artwork requires its own individual film positive and screen made. For designs of upwards of 3 or 4 colours this means that the initial setup costs can become a large burden and reduce the overall cost efficiency of the job. If your artwork has too many colours we may recommend:
- Reducing the number of colours in your artwork by simplifying, consolidating or eliminating elements
- An alternative form of printing eg: digital or dye-sublimation printing, where the number of colours is no longer a limitation.
2. Artwork or Substrate Size – we are sometimes limited by the sizes of our screens and printing tables as to what size artwork we are capable of printing. In some cases for large-scale artwork we may have to modify to fit on one of our screens. Alternatively we may have to divide your artwork up across multiple screens (which may increase the setup costs).