How is CONTEMPL8 T-SHIRTS, LLC eco-friendly ?
First things first, we only use water-based ink and that is all we have ever used. We are green because we believe in it, not just for marketing purposes like some companies.
Secondly, CONTEMPL8 T-SHIRTS LLC uses 100% WIND POWER for our electricity needs. We don't use much electricity in the first place since our press is 100% muscle powered. Most other shops use a ton of electricity for their automatic presses and other equipment. So, CONTEMPL8 T-SHIRTS, LLC has a very small carbon foot print compared to 99% of other printers.
Thirdly, for clean up mostly we just use water since our inks are water-based. But any chemicals that we use to clean our equipment are biodegradable and made of eco-friendly soy-based or citrus-based compounds.
Fourth, even though our inks and chemicals are eco-friendly, we still filter the wash water from cleaning our screens using a high tech filtration device that triple filters the wash water before it goes down the drain.
Finally, we do all the big things like using water-based ink and wind power to make us green, but don't underestimate the additional impact of all the little things we also do. Our strong eco-mindedness results in us always looking at every task, no matter how minor, from the perspective of is this green? or how can it be greener? Whether it's re-using tape several times or dropping off shirts via bicycle on a nice day, this comprehensive green approach adds up folks, and its quite rare in the printing industry.
Why is water-based ink more eco-friendly than other ink?
Let's start with why the ink used at most t-shirt print shops is toxic. Most screen printers (over 99%) use what is called plastisol ink, which is petroleum based (made from the same toxic oil industry oil that is polluting the earth in so many ways, such as oil spills and carbon pollution that is driving climate change). Most plastisol ink is made from PVC also. PVC is made from petro chemicals (that's oil derived chemicals) and chlorine among other things. PVC manufacturing produces dioxin (a persistent organic pollutant and known mutagen and carcinogen). Major pollution results from the manufacturing. This leads to enivonmental degradation and cancer in people and animals. That ink made out of PVC (poly vinyl choride) also has pthalates and other toxic ingredients in it. The pthalates in PVC-based ink continue to leach out of the ink after it is printed on clothing. Pthalates are also carcinogenic and hormone disruptors. Do you want that next to your skin? or your child's skin? PVC-based clothing inks are banned in Europe. Even the ink sold as PVC-Free plastisol ink still has a petroleum base, and petroleum is toxic. So using waterbased ink is the most ecofriendly ink and the most human friendly ink out there for clothing printing. It takes a lot more work to print waterbased ink, and most printers are too lazy for that frankly, but NOT us. We follow our conscience and ONLY use waterbased ink.
At CONTEMPL8 T-SHIRTS, LLC we have been using water-based ink since 2001, unlike others who just recently started using water-based ink when the green movement became big news.
Many of the johnny come lately's to the water-based printing world actually still print primarily with plastisol inks, and some don't use water-based ink at all in reality even though they falsely claim to do so. That's called green washing, and there is a lot of it out there now that being green is so marketable.
You don't have to worry about that with us at CONTEMPL8 T-SHIRTS, LLC because we have always used only water-based ink, and we are "approved for people and planet" by Green America.
More on water-based ink... It does not have pthalates or the other harsh ingredients that are found in PVC-based inks. So, it is much better for you and the environment! Water-based ink is also a lot more difficult to print since it can dry in the screen easier than the PVC junk that would stay wet forever if it were not heat cured. But, our nearly ten years of experience using water based ink means that we know what we're doing and you can count on us to get your job done right and looking great.
We do all the extra work that water based ink entails happily since we know we're not going to get cancer working with it. We work harder than the other guys for your benefit and our own. But, we do not charge you more even though we do more work.
Does water-based ink wash out in the washing machine?
No it does not. Water-based ink is just as durable and indelible as the PVC ink used by most printers. In fact, water-based ink may last longer on your shirt. This is because water-based inks work more like dyes that work their way directly into the fabric, whereas PVC inks merely sit on top of the fabric and can easily crack or rub off. Plus PVC ink melts if you iron it or if the clothes dryer gets too hot. You don't have to worry about that with water-based ink printed by CONTEMPL8 T-SHIRTS, LLC. All t-shirt printing fades over time, but shirts printed with our water-based ink will last as long or longer than shirts printed with the toxic ink that the other guys use.
How else is water-based ink different?
Well, for one thing water-based ink is very difficult to print compared to the toxic inks most other printers use. The other ink never dries out, so other printers can leave for the night while printing a big order and not tear down their screens and then start right up printing again without having to re-setup their screens, whereas with water-based ink that cannot be done or the screens would be totally ruined. In addition, just about everything about printing water-based ink is more difficult and labor and time intensive, due again to it being quick to dry out. But good things often come with additional difficulty, nature teaches us this all the time. The toxic ink may make things easier to print, but it is not worth the risk of cancer etc. that comes along with the toxic inks, so we never use them.
Plus water-based ink can be five times more expensive (or more) for us to buy compared to toxic conventional inks. We don't pass that extra cost and labor and difficulty on to you though for the most part because we believe in being more eco-friendly even if it is more difficult, so we subsidize it with our own blood, sweat and tears. We are extremely good at printing water-based ink so you always get great prints from us, but it should be recognized that it is an athletic feat that we perform to do this.
Additionally, water-based ink can have a softer feel compared to the toxic inks. Usually when it is darker ink on a lighter shirt you won't feel the ink at all. It will feel the same as the shirt itself. On dark garments, the lighter colored inks can sometimes feel thicker, but even then water-based ink is still less hard and thick compared to plastisol ink.
Is your ink Phthalate Free and PVC Free?
Absolutely yes it is! All inks that we use are fully 100 percent phthalate free and PVC free.
Are Recycled/Poly-content t-shirts eco-friendly? and how well do they print? Any shirts (such as 100% polyester or 50/50 or RPET etc.) with polyester / poly content in them (regardless of whether that poly content is recycled or not) will potentially cause sublimation (aka dye migration or bleeding) to occur in prints. That means the ink color printed on the poly content shirts may shift to a darker or different hue than intended due to the dyes in the poly content shirt fabric itself bleeding into the ink that is printed on the shirts. This cannot be predicted or avoided with poly content shirts. It may happen with some poly content shirts but not others. We are not responsible for any such ink color shifting due to sublimation or bleeding of shirt dye into the ink we print on poly content shirts, nor will we refund, replace or reprint your order due to dissatisfaction with ink colors shifting. Reprinting would require you to choose different shirts without poly content in them and for you to pay for a new order. Please be aware of this and if you prefer for this sublimation/bleeding to not happen with your shirts then do not choose shirts that have poly content in them. Additionally any poly content shirts are contributing to micro-plastic pollution of the ocean, lakes and streams because when you wash these poly content shirts, small poly fibers go down your drain and into the environment and they do not break down molecularly very well. For this reason poly content shirts including recycled shirts are not your best option if you care about the environment. Although recycled shirts do some good by recycling plastic instead of it going to waste, even that recycled poly content will lead to poly content and micro plastic in the ocean, lakes and streams. Recycling plastic may be better done by recycling it into larger plastic objects like the original thing being recycled. While recycled shirts are on the ecofriendly continuum, they are not as ecofriendly as organic cotton, hemp or bamboo shirts.
Before you place an order for custom
t-shirts you will need to get a quote. You can get a quick quote or get a quote via email, and of course you
may also call us for a quote at 612-870-7000. Finally you can get a quote inside the custom t-shirt designer after you finish designing your artwork. Please note
that your order is not considered placed (and it will not begin)
until your PAYMENT, your ARTWORK (in printable condition), and your APPROVAL of the final order summary and proofs for your order have all been received from you.
prices are subject to change at any time.
Details needed to get a Quote
Here are the details that are needed in order for us to provide you with a quote on custom t-shirts:
1.) How many different Areas to be Printed? (ie. Front, Back, etc.)
2.) How many Colors of Ink for each print area?
3.) Specific colors of ink?
4.) Shirt Type(s)? Mens/Womens? Made in USA? Organic? Bamboo? Specific brands?
5.) Shirt Color? (the fabric not the ink)
6.) Total Quantity of Shirts?
7.) List of Sizes? (ie.
5 Small, 4 Medium...)
8.) Artwork dimensions? (your artwork / design will fit into a box that is X inches by Y inches)
9.) Are you
in the greater Minneapolis / St. Paul area of Minnesota?
10.) If not, Address
shirts will ship to? Please provide at least zip code.
11.) Your Name
and Phone Number(s) (preferably cell phone number)
12.) When do
you need the order finished by? (please provide specific date and time)
13.) How did you find out about our company? Google Search? or other?
Price Breaks / Quantity Discounts / Bulk Pricing
The price per shirt varies depending on the number of shirts you will have printed. The price goes down at specific quantities.
24 shirts is where you get your first price reduction, and then 48 shirts, 100 shirts, 150 shirts, 200 shirts, 300 shirts and finally 500+ shirts. For fewer than 12 shirts you are going to pay a much higher price per shirt than if you get 12 or more. Pricing given by our Quick Quoter or the online T-shirt Designer or other methods assumes that all shirts are printed identically.
Individual NAMES & NUMBERS FOR ATHLETICS that are different on each shirt can actually be quoted via our online t-shirt designer if you take the time to enter the names and/or numbers there.
But, other than that you must request a quote for orders of mix-matched shirts and/or mix-matched ink color printing where the printing is not the same on all shirts by calling or emailing us and telling us exactly what you need.
Number of Ink Colors and Print Areas affects Pricing also
The price per shirt also varies depending on the number of areas on the shirts that are printed, and the number of ink colors that are printed in each print area. Printing just the front of the shirts will be cheaper than printing both the front and the back for example. Further, every additional ink color added to the design that is printed in any print area will increase the price per shirt. Use the quick quoter to get instant quotes on how much printing shirts with your design will cost.
Product information and shirt size measures / dimensions
You can find basic information about the different shirt styles and other items that we print on the product information page: just navigate to the shirt you need info on, the same as you do in the quoter tool, by first clicking on the proper category and then the shirt style you are interested in. We can supply you with shirt size dimensions / measures at your request. Be sure to ask for size dimensions / measures if you are unfamiliar with or have not ordered a shirt brand or style before, as we cannot replace, refund or accept returns on custom decorated garments due to customers ordering incorrect sizes or sizes that do not fit the wearer as expected (since obviously custom decorated items are not resaleable to other people, and would go to waste).
Printing the same design on more than one shirt color or type
We know sometimes you need more than one shirt color printed. When all the shirt colors still get printed with the same exact design and the same ink color, then this is usually no problem. However if you need different ink colors on each different shirt color things get more complicated, and due to that there is an ink color change fee charged per screen that needs the ink color changed. In this situation or similar situations, we can get you a special quote via email or phone. The quick quoter will not quote for these types of orders.
In addition to shirt colors being different and ink colors being different, if you also have lots of other variables and differences within your order, such as many different shirt types and styles, that can really make the order much more difficult to put together and print (vs. just printing away on all shirts without having to worry what different shirt gets what different things done to it). In cases where orders have a large matrix of variables and differences, your order may cost more than normal pricing and also more than just a simple ink change fee. This is fair because it takes so long to put your order together and print it compared to normal orders with few variables, and that extra time and labor has to be accounted for. In this situation or similar situations we can get you a special quote via email or phone. The quick quoter will not quote for these types of orders.
Printing all shirt fronts but only some backs of shirts etc.
We know sometimes you need 50 shirts printed with the same design on the fronts, but you only want ten of them to say "STAFF" on the back. For this situation or similar situations we can get you a special quote via email or phone. The quick quoter will not quote for these types of orders.
How to Initiate Orders for Custom T-Shirts, Hoodies, etc.
There are many ways to start the order process including submitting all order details via email using the Custom T-Shirt Order Information Form, by sending a normal email listing all order details from your email account to CUSTOM@CONTEMPL8.NET, by using the custom t-shirt designer, and finally by calling us.
However, placing an order cannot be done entirely over the phone or via the designer, as we need to make sure we have documenation of your order details etc. and we need you to approve the Final Order Summary and Proofs PDF via email. You can initate the order on the phone or designer, but some email correspondence will be required to fully place your order. After you use the designer or whatever method you use, you will receive an email with the Final Order Summary and Proofs PDF attached to it, and you will need to look over that PDF on every page and make sure everything is correct about artwork/proofs and order details, and then if it is all correct you will need to say "approved" via email reply. Additionally you will have to make payment.
How do I Finalize or Place my T-Shirt Order?
that your order is not considered placed (and it will not begin)
until PAYMENT, ARTWORK (in printable condition), and APPROVAL of the Final Order Summary and Proofs have all been received from you. The final order summary and proofs PDF will be emailed to you and will list all details of the order such as size quantities etc. and show what the printed shirts or other products will look like. Please thoroughly examine and ensure that all details and art are correct on all pages of the PDF. Then if it is all correct you will need to reply via email and say "approved". If anything is incorrect you must contact us to make changes. Once approved, the order is final and cannot be changed.
Shades, Hues of Shirt Colors Can Vary
a given shirt color may not always be perfectly consistent from shirt to shirt. It may be a bit darker or lighter or even a tinge of a different hue sometimes, from shirt to shirt of the same shirt color. For example, you may order 200 galaxy blue shirts from American Apparel's organic line of shirts, and 195 of them all look basically the same identical shade or color, but the other 5 shirts may be a darker color to some degree. This is due to how manufacturers do large dye batches all at once, and towards the end of the dye batch, the dye starts to not be as intense or potent, so the color that results on the shirts may end up looking less dark than the previously dyed shirts that were dyed earlier in the dye batch. There is no way to prevent or predict this, and it happens to all brands, manufacturers for the most part. Therefore, there will be no refunds, replacements, or returns or exchanges of such shirts that are a bit different in color. If you absolutely need to have well matched shirt colors, then be sure to tell us that when placing your order, and we will do our best to make sure the manufacturer supplies well matched items. That may not always be possible though, and if it is, then it may cause your order to take longer to complete potentially.
All custom screen
printing orders are pre-paid. Your order will not begin until payment
is received and deposited. Payment for custom screen printing orders
can be made via credit card, check, money order, or cash (in person only, do not mail cash). Please specify
how you would like to pay when you place your order via email or
are processed using the safe and secure services of PayPal and Square (some of the most trusted and widely used online payment processors worldwide). Credit card payment offers the quickest way to get your order started and delivered to you when shipping the order is required.
You can make your credit card payment using the custom t-shirt designer, or over the phone by calling us, or by paying an email invoice from PayPal or Square. For email invoices, a secure payment link will be sent to you by us via email.
When you click the link, you will be taken to a secure
payment web page where you can safely make your payment.
/ Money Order
payments can be paid in person, or be mailed to our mailing
us via email or telephone to arrange to make a
check or money order payment in person.
may be paid in person for those living in the Minneapolis / St.
Paul area. Contact us to
arrange to make a cash payment in person.
not accepted. All orders must be pre-paid.
The short answer is roughly 3 weeks or so after it is fully placed on average, although sometimes it can be quicker. Your order does not begin until it is fully placed. To be considered fully placed we need to have received your PAYMENT, your ARTWORK (in printable condition), and APPROVAL of your Final Order Summary and Proofs. Following placement of your order, we need to obtain blank shirts (which can take a week or more sometimes depending on brand, shortages, etc.) and put your order in the print queue (orders placed before yours will print before yours), deal with your artwork for pre-press, make screens, plus shipping time, and potentially other steps.
So this all means that the overall time it takes to get an order printed and completed is usually around three weeks or so from the time the order is fully placed. It can sometimes be less, but its good to budget for this amount of time, because you never know when a shortage at the blank shirt manufacturer may happen or other things that may gum up the works through no fault of ours. And waterbased printing is difficult, and more labor intensive than other printing so having plenty of time is helpful.
Additionally, factors such as where you are located, what type of garments you are having printed, if it is a busy time of year (like spring through fall), etc. can affect how long your order takes. We may be able to give you a more specific lead time for your own particular order during the process of giving you a price quote. Be sure to let us know if you need the order by a particular date and time of day when you request your quote.
We are always closed on Holidays. This is not Walmart and we take pride in that fact: we will not exploit our labor for the bone crushing gear grinding and unreasonable and unsustainable conventional corporate economy that is quickly destroying our planet. So make sure you don't count holidays when calculating the turn around time for your order, because we don't.
Delays Due to Weather or Other Factors Outside of Our Control
We do our best to get your orders to you on time, but delays due to weather such as (but not limited to) blizzards or flooding or wildfires and delays due to errors, failures, malfeasance or other acts or delinquencies on the part of a shipping company, courier, or other third party involved in handling and/or delivering your order are beyond our control. We are not responsible and shall not be held liable in the event that such circumstances listed in the preceding sentences as well as similar circumstances unlisted here that result in your order not being received by the order due date due to factors outside of our control. Further, we are not responsible and shall not be held liable if your package(s) cannot be delivered because you or your agent are not present to sign for a package(s) at time of delivery. In addition, we are not responsible and shall not be held liable, nor shall we provide a refund, nor shall we reprint and resend your order if your package is stolen or otherwise removed or lost after being delivered. Please take care to provide a secure delivery address.
If you need your order quicker than the standard turn around time then you may be able to have your order rushed. The charge for rushing orders is $50 flat and up, depending on the size of the order and the time frame. Inquire about rush options and fees when you request a quote.
live in the metro area of Minneapolis / St. Paul then your order will be available for pickup and will not be shipped. If you do not live in the metro area, then your order will be shipped upon completion. Shipping
will be via United States Postal Service or FedEx Ground unless it is a rush order. You will receive
a tracking number once your order has shipped.
is Free in the continental USA!
Ground shipping within the continental USA is free with your order. If you need a faster shipping method, that cost will be added to the bill for your order. Standard shipping is via United States Postal Service or FedEx Ground.You will receive
a tracking number once your order has shipped.
You can quickly and easily create artwork for your t-shirts and other garments using our online t-shirt designer. Or you can supply pre-done artwork created in programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (see specifications for pre-done artwork below).
your pre-done artwork via email to CUSTOM@CONTEMPL8.NET.
ONE COLOR ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
If your design has only one ink color you can send it to us as a PDF or a jpeg file at 300 dpi resolution and at the print size that you want it printed (when you print it onto paper make sure it is at the size that you want it to be on your t-shirts).
ARTWORK WITH MORE THAN ONE COLOR INK SPECIFICATIONS
If your design has more than one ink color, please send it
in Adobe Illustrator
or Photoshop with each color on a separate layer that is labeled
with the color's name. Also, please make
all the ink areas in the design 100% black. Don't worry, the t-shirts
will be printed with the proper colors of ink, but for screen making
purposes it is necessary that all parts of the design be 100% black.
Scroll down a ways on this page and you will see below is an
example of a two color design that was printed in red and white ink
on black t-shirts for a bookstore in Minneapolis. The three screen shots below demonstrate
what is meant (above) by having each color on a separate layer.
The first shot shows when all of the layers are turned on (visible).
Adobe Illustrator (.ai or .eps) is our preferred format for artwork files. Please have your artwork in CMYK format, not RGB. And please save your file as version CS2 if you are using a more recent version of Adobe Illustrator. Finally please "create outlines" for all text before sending by choosing "select all" from the "edit" menu and then choosing "create outlines" from the "type" menu and then saving your file.
Adobe Photoshop please save your file to version CS2 and make sure that it is 300 dpi
or higher resolution. Make sure that your file is set to print at the actual print size that you want the image to be on the shirts (see "image" menu and choose "image size" and then look at at "document size", or just print the image on to paper and confirm that is the correct size). And make sure that it is still 300 dpi when it is at your desired print size, or else it may end up looking fuzzy around the edges.
Please preserve all layers rather than flattening them! But, please flatten all fonts by doing the following: 1) turn off the little eyeball on all layers except layers with fonts on them, 2) if there is only one layer with a font on it then create a new blank layer 3) choose "merge visible" on "layer" menu (at the top of computer screen next to the "edit" menu).
Other File Formats You can also send us your artwork as a PDF, GIF, TIF or JPEG
at 300 dpi. Please make sure to print out your file onto paper before sending it to make sure that its at the print size that you want it to be printed on the shirts and that it looks good and not fuzzy around the edges.
Fonts / Text If you need a specific font used please tell me the name of the font and take the following steps as
appropriate. If you are sending an Illustrator file, please send me a version
of the design with "outlines" created. If Photoshop please see here.
If you are sending a PDF file, then please
send me the font in a separate attachment (it is best to compress the font in a
winzip file). Fonts reside in the "fonts" folder on the C drive in the
Windows/WINNT/WinXP/etc. directory on PC's running Windows operating systems.
Color Matching and Full Color Printing We do not guarantee perfect color matching with solid color printing (aka normal printing) nor with full color printing. However, it is easier to control the ink colors and get a closer color match using solid color printing. Submitting Pantone color numbers for designs that will be printed using normal solid color printing can help us achieve better color matches (please only use actual paper Pantone cards to decide on your colors rather than using a computer monitor). But, we do not guarantee Pantone color matches or any other color matches under any circumstances. We do try our best to get as close as we can though.
Most printing is done with normal solid colors that do not move in and out of hues or shades of colors. But we also do full color printing. Images with a lot of color variation and gradients such as full color photos need to be printed with full color printing. WARNING: Full color printing will only achieve a likeness of your image, NOT a perfect color match. Colors can be unpredictable when using full color printing. In fact colors can be significantly off compared to the original image when using full color printing. Further, the ink colors on one shirt may be a bit different than the ink colors printed on another shirt with the same full color design, because squeegee pressure is impossible to control completely and slight variation in squeegee pressure can cause a different color or darkness of color. But, again you will get a decent likeness of your image, but colors may be a bit off. If you need more precision in color matching, then you should use solid colors in your design and have normal printing done rather than full color printing. But, again we do not guarantee color matches under any circumstances.
What You See is what You Get / Graphic Design Work Please print
out your artwork onto paper from a computer printer before you submit
it. Make sure it is the exact size you want it to be and that it
doesn't look fuzzy. Or if it does look fuzzy, make sure you are comfortable with the level of fuzziness. By and large, the way the artwork looks when you print it out from a computer printer onto paper is the way it will look on the shirts, as far as fuzziness or smoothness of edges etc. Do not assume that some how we will be able to take your fuzzy image and make it crisp and smooth. Low resolution images
from the internet or elsewhere cannot be corrected in most cases.
Some times corrections may be possible. We will attempt corrections at your request.The first half
hour of corrections work is free, but corrections that require more
time will be billed at $35 per hour.
Tips for Graphics to help your shirts print as well as they can
1) Don't have both super fine details and also chunky elements in the same ink color screen. Both require different squeegee pressure, so if you have them both on the same screen then it is a contradiction and may result less good print results since the squeegee cannot be pulled at two different squeegee pressures simultaneously. That's physics folks.
2) Make sure one color of ink does not end up both on top of another color in one place in the design and then below that same other color of ink elsewhere in the design. Again, that's a contradiction and physics would interevene and change how your print will look. And don't get cheeky and start talking about quantum physics ;) It can't be both under AND above something else, because each screen is only printed once and the other colors will be printed over it (after) or under it (before). Were we to print a screen twice it wouldn't solve this problem because color A can only be on top or below color B, it cannot be both on top and below color B. Just because its possible in Photoshop or Illustrator doesn't mean its possible in the physical world.
3) Try to avoid three or more ink colors/screens meeting at a sharp angle or edge because that makes it impossible to trap/choke or overlap and thus printing is much more susceptible to getting out of alignment.
4) Do not have tiny dots that stray outside the rest of the design as they will likely dry out in the screen and therefore print inconsistently from shirt to shirt.
Two Colors of Ink or more Example in Photoshop
Below is an
example of a two color design that was printed in red and white ink
on black t-shirts for Arise! Bookstore, a collectively run radical
bookstore in Minneapolis. The three images below demonstrate
what is meant (above) by having each color on a separate layer.
The first image shows when all of the layers are turned on (visible).