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FAQ

General Info

Why choose Acme Prints?

Quality, animal & human welfare, experience, customer satisfaction & environmental practices.

 

When you do business with Acme Prints, you’re helping to promote a company that works to improve the welfare of people and animals along with the environment, and actively supports many organizations that directly benefit the world in these areas. This means that profits from your orders will be used in ethical ways that promote advancements in the world.

 

Acme’s been in business since 1999, which means we’ve gained the experience and know-how to ensure that your project will end up just how you want it. And while our error rate is extremely low, especially compared to the screen printing industry as a whole, we’re still human (most of us, at least). But some of our most loyal customers are actually customers whose orders we once made a mistake on. Seeing that we will go to extraordinary lengths to fix a problem in the rare event that one happens is what gives our customers peace of mind that critical projects will be completed no matter what happens between placing an order and receiving it.

 

But don’t take our word for it. We’ve got stellar reviews at sites like Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and Google. We even print for Yelp and Google. If they trust Acme to print for them, you can too.

Acme Print's Primary Goal & Reason for Being

Acme Prints’ Primary Goal is to better the world by making a concrete, measurable difference in the welfare of at least one million animals – including people – and to combat damage done to the world by other corporations and individuals.

 

We will achieve this by being profitable and sharing those profits with human- and animal-welfare organizations. We will also create opportunities for many charitable organizations to generate income by selling products they purchase from us at our cost. In these areas, we function similar to a non-profit.

 

We will create and maintain profitability in other areas by offering our customers a product of the highest quality at a fair price with service that is the second to no one in our industry. We believe that by truly caring about our customers and their needs, by treating customers and employees with respect, and by standing behind our product, we will always be successful and will achieve our goals.

Do I have to pay for shipping?

How ’bout this: If you’re more than 30 miles from us, you just need to ask (seriously, you gotta ask in advance or no deal) and we’ll give you FREE UPS Ground shipping in the continental US for orders over $250, which is most orders. Deal? $5 for optional signature confirmations, and $10 for shipping to non-business addresses. Just send it to your work so you don’t have to pay the 10 bucks. If your boss says “no” you should quit. I’m serious! Plus UPS “guarantees” on-time delivery to businesses. And those kids/jawas/people of the culture you’re unreasonably suspicious of down the street won’t be able to eyeball your stuff in your imagination.

Why is Acme's printing so much greener than other screen printers'?

All lighting in Acme’s new facility is environmentally-friendly LED lighting. All water fixtures are low water-use.

 

In addition to using eco-friendly discharge inks and offering soy-based plastisol inks, we take extra steps to manage standard plastisol inks never go down the drain, unlike 99% of screen printers in the world (detailed info below). Want to geek out on environmental screen printing? Well, here you go!

 

We fancy ourselves one of the greenest screen printers in the country. In a way, that’s not saying much because our industry is woefully under-regulated and we really don’t have much competition in the ‘green’ category. But since we’ve always been sincere about our environmental commitment, we go far, far beyond what any company like ours has to. We offer special Eco-series water-based inks, 100% natural soy-based plastisol inks, and bamboo, recycled & organic apparel. We use soy-based cleaners, employ multiple extra steps to ensure plastisol ink residue is managed responsibly, and we’ve been among the top 10 purchasers of SRP Earthwise Energy for 3 years. And our newly renovated facility (a cold-storage warehouse, previously) has all LED lighting and low water-use toilets & sinks.

 

Now let’s get to the serious details about why we’re so different on the environmental front…

 

Oil-based plastisol inks are the standard inks used in screen printing all around the world. Fully cured plastisols are not environmentally hazardous, but un-cured plastisols pose a risk to the environment and health. The problem with plastisols is that they don’t dry and must be cured at 300+ degrees in order to no longer be in a liquid state. So the ink on your shirt poses no risk, but the ink that gets cleaned off the printer’s screens, squeegees, spatulas, etcetera, usually goes down their drain. Presently, this is completely legal. But when cleaning our printing instruments at Acme, we use a recirculating Smart Washer sink to removing the inks. The Smart Washer costs quite a bit more than the usual petroleum-based parts washers, but it uses naturally occurring microbes that consume the inks, just like how oil spill-fighting microbes eat oil. Not only is this safer for the planet, it’s safer for our employees. It’s perfectly safe to wash hands in the Smart Washer unlike traditional petroleum-based parts washers.

 

Far worse than plastisols are the harsh chemicals used in the screen reclaiming process. These go down the drain in 99% of screen printing shops. We use Franmar chemicals for screen reclaiming. They are 100% biodegradable, non-caustic, non-toxic and most are made from soybeans. Why don’t other printers use them? Because they cost more. A common question is, “aren’t water-based inks environmentally friendly?” Though water-based inks are generally thought of as more environmental, printing with water-based inks is usually even worse because of the harsh VOC solvents needed during the printing process, with the exception of Matsui’s Eco-Series water-based inks, which we use. They are the most environmentally-friendly type of water-based screen printing inks commercially available. They are free of all PVCs, phthalates, heavy metals, azo compounds, nonylphenol and formaldehyde, and contain no harmful chemicals or toxic substances known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. We also offer brand-new soy plastisol inks that print just like standard plastisols, but are entirely soy-derived. Though we are a relatively small company, Acme has received awards for the last 3 years for being among the top 10 purchasers of SRP Earthwise Energy in Arizona, which produces electricity from renewable resources such as sun, wind, the earth’s heat, flowing water in canals and even decomposing garbage in landfills.

Do you guys feel stupid making up questions for yourselves to answer?

Heck no! We amuse ourselves for hours this way. It’s almost as fun as putting a sock around a cat’s waist.*No animal was harmed researching this FAQ.

How long have you been providing this great service to the world?

LE TALE D’ACME: A SUPER FANCY STORY

 

Love, lies, deceit and MURDER! Okay, no murder.

 

AcmePrints was founded at the turn of the century (1999) by Dan Hargest in Mesa, Arizona to provide shirts for his band you never heard of. Instead of picking a…

 

What’s that? No. You’ve never heard of them so there’s no reason to say the name. No, really. You haven’t. Okay, they were called Pollen. See? You never heard of them. Moving on… Instead of picking a screen printer from the seemingly endless supply of people whose products looked to be printed on back porches with little clue of how to do it properly, he decided to BECOME one of those people on their back porches with little clue of how to do it properly. But unlike the others… More!

Do you hate when people call you 'garment decorators'?

Yes. Yes we do.

Is my credit card information safe?

Great question. The answer is no. We will likely use it for a night on the town with some randos we pick up under the bridge just to make things a bit unpredictable. Gotta keep things interesting. From there, your guess is as good as mine. All I know is that someone’s ending up minus at least one digit or an eye. It’s not fun & games until someone loses an eye, we always say.

Screen Printing vs Digital Printing (AKA, Direct-to-Garment or DTG)

Direct-to-garment digital printers are essentially high-end, specialized Giclée (a fancy way of saying ‘ink jet’) printers that print directly onto apparel. The advantage for t-shirt shops is that there is relatively little set-up time compared to screen printing. The disadvantage is that it takes a relatively long time to actually print the image compared to screen printing. While a DTG digital print may take 10 minutes to set up, one screen printed order can easily take 6 hours for set-up, including color separation, film printing, screen exposing & developing, color registration, and test printing. But once it’s set up, screen printing can output a shirt every few seconds. Digital prints never get any more efficient, so the price doesn’t drop much as you increase the quantity. Screen printing is still the most commonly used method for printing apparel but DTG is coming up fast. At its core, screen printing’s simply pushing ink through a screen mesh one color at a time. The simplicity of the process is exactly what makes it so difficult to control. So almost anyone can cram ink through a screen, but very few can do it well and do it consistently.

 

Both types of printing have their place, so here’s our guide for how to pick the right option!The Basic Rule-of-Thumb (no, that term isn’t sexist):

 

In most cases, direct-to-garment digital printing is the more economical option for very small orders. Sometimes it’s more economical even at higher quantities if you have a lot of colors involved, especially if it’s photo-realistic. Screen printing is generally less expensive for orders of 36 or more, but again, it may not be if there are a lot of colors involved or it’s a photo-realistic image.

 

Direct-to-Garment Digital Printing Details:

 

Pros of DTG Digital Printing:

 

No minimum order

Usually more cost effective on very small orders

Reproduces photographs very well

The price stays the same no matter how many colors are printed

Usually softer to the touch

 

Cons of DTG Digital Printing:

 

Usually less cost effective as quantities increase

Pantone color matches not possible

 

Screen Printing Details:

 

Pros of Screen Printing:

 

Usually more cost effective for 36 or more of the same print

Larger printing areas are available

Can be printed on almost any fabric type

Can utilize specialty inks such as discharge, glow-in-the-dark, metallics/glitters, color-changing inks, high-density, and more

Pantone color matches are available

 

Cons of Screen Printing:

 

Minimum order of 36 shirts per design per image

Can be more expensive for lots of color or photo-realistic prints under around 72

Photographic images may not be as smooth as DTG

The more colors you print, the higher the print cost is

What are simulated process separations, and will I need them?

Most orders don’t require us to make simulated process separations, but if you need a photographic image screen printed onto non-white items, we may need them. Even some seemingly simple designs require simulated process separations if the blending from one ink to another needs to be precise. The most common art that needs these kinds of separations are photos of people’s faces. The colors need to gradually fade from one to another in the highlight and shadow areas in a very precise way. If they don’t fade just right, it looks terrrrrrrible. These kinds of separations are unique to screen printing, very difficult, and are extremely time-consuming since there’s no software that does it well. Even with world-class separations, time is also needed on press to adjust and readjust how each ink prints, so these separations cost at least $25 per ink being printed, and there will usually be 6 to 8 screens, so usually $150-250 (one-time charge).

T-shirts

Can I order blank clothing for personal use? 'Cuz my girlfriend totally wants one of those girly crop hoodies.

Fer sher man! Or, woman! You know, totally cool either way. We can get you just about whatever you like with only a couple exceptions due to restrictions from American Apparel and Alternative Apparel. You can get nice, black shirts, hoodies or whatever all cheap-like from us whenever you’ve got a hankerin’.

I don't have much to spend. How do I keep the price down on shirts?

There are a number of ways to keep costs down on shirts. The first option is ordering light color shirts. This will usually eliminate the need for a white underbase screen, and some color shirts themselves are more expensive than white or lighter colors shirts.

 

The next thing is to limit the number of printing locations. When you print in two locations (i.e. the front and the back of the shirt) you increase the printing costs since it doubles the amount of work we need to do. Nothin’s free, pal!

 

Next up, limit the number of ink colors. The more colors you want printed on your shirts, the more it costs since we have to create and register a screen for every color we print (this doesn’t apply to DTG/digital printing). But don’t underestimate what a good designer can do with just a couple colors. Some of the most impactful designs we’ve created have been only two colors.

 

If you’re trying to keep the per-shirt price down more than the overall order total, order as many shirts as you can at once. The price per shirt is much lower at higher quantities since the set-up time is the same no matter how many you order. Why fer, you ask? Well, lemme tell you…

Why are shirts so much more expensive at lower quantities?

You’ll especially notice this with a lot of inks. The amount of time it takes to set up a job is enough that doing 100 shirts only takes a few more minutes than doing 50. So, when you divide it up, we spend far more time per shirt at low quantities. Keep in mind that we don’t have screen fees, so you’d be paying about $20 per color, per location at other screen printers. Jerks!

Is there a minimum number of shirts I have to order?

We prefer to print at least 36, but if you want less we can do direct-to-garment printing, which is an inkjet printing right on the shirt, or we can print 36 heat transfers (like old-school iron-ons) and then we can just heat press them on shirts as you need them.

Do I have to order in certain quantities? Dozens?

Nope! But garments from a couple specialty companies are significantly less if you order at least 12 of any size/color combo.

Can I be sure my shirts will turn out exactly the way I want?

Yes. Why? Because we’re badasses, silly! AND we always send digital mock-ups of what the design will look like on a shirt. We can also print the first one and send pictures of it via email, or send the actual print via snail mail, carrier pigeon, et cetera before we print your order. An extra charge usually applies to printed shirt proofs. You can snail mail us a printout showing the composite image & the color separations if you like.

Can I switch ink colors for the same design?

You sure can. It actually takes a lot of work, so there’s a charge to cover our time.

Are some shirt colors more expensive than others?

Yup. Dying the shirts ain’t free, pal. White & natural cost the least on old skool shirts like Gildan 5000’s, and the shirts get a little higher as they get darker. A lot of the fashion-forward brands have simplified this now-a-days and charge the same for all colors.

Can I mix & match different shirt colors?

Of course. If you need to order over 5 color/model combos, we charge a very small amount per item after the first 5 combos. Example: Red unisex shirts with royal blue unisex shirts and royal blue ladies’ shirts would be 3 combos. You’ll still receive a volume discount based on the total number of shirts we print per design.

Can you print on my old tighty-whiteys?

Technically, yes, but no. We can print on almost any type of clothing, but worn stuff may not be printable if there is fuzz/pills or wear. If we can, you better wash it real good-like. Sweat can stain a shirt at 350 degrees & it smells the place up somethin fierce.

Can you order me new tighty-whiteys, or other clothing besides shirts?

We can get you just about anything, from thongs to hats to rain jackets to socks to t-shirts for your pooch. Check out our online catalog on the ‘shirts’ page.

How about inks? Do some cost more?

Specialty inks we don’t have to mix custom (metallics, glow-in-da-dark, fluorescents…) usually cost about 25-50 cent more per shirt, per ink. Inks we have to custom mix (puff, suede, discharge…) usually cost 50 cents to a buck more. Keep in mind that some inks, like glow-in-the-dark require a white underbase to be visible. If you’re feeling particularly particular and you want us to match an ink to a pantone color, no problem. We’ll do it for a one-time fee of $20-30, depending on the type of ink.

What's an underbase?

If you want to print light colors on dark items we recommend either using an underbase with standard plastisol inks or using discharge inks if they’ll work properly on the material (long story). An underbase is a layer of white or gray ink printed under the color you want to see. Why, you ask? Simple really. It’s like trying to paint a black room white (dang goths); one coat just wouldn’t do it. Without an underbase, the dark colored fabric usually shows through the inks, making the print appear kind of transparent, dark or faded. This could be a benefit if you’re going for the Urban Outfitters-esque vintage look. Printing on top of the underbase makes the ink appear more opaque so that it really sticks out on the shirt. An underbase counts as another ink since we need an additional screen, so it adds a little to the price.

I hate ink! Can I get stuff embroidered?

Absolutely! Send us an order just like you would for printed stuff (artwork, sizes, placement et cetera). Then, in an e-mail, by phone, or on the order form, just drop us a hint like “Hey, jerks! I want this embroidered!” We’ll crunch the numbers on our super-computers and get back to you with an estimate as soon as we feel like it. Well you did just call us jerks after all.

I don't have completed artwork... can I still order shirts?

YES! We have awesome designers who can work with you to build your design from the ground up. Any basic art clean-up or simple modifications that take us 10 minutes or less are free. Say what?! I know, right? We charge $55/hr for artwork development. Our team is made up of super-talented designers with decades of experience, so we’ll do right by ya. Good shirt designs can make or break sales or whether someone holds onto a promotional shirt– and can even help a project stay on budget! Just because your logo has 14 colors doesn’t mean we can’t simplify it down and give you a great looking product. Win-Win.

 

We can work with anything from a Photoshop or Illustrator file to a pencil sketch.

How fast can I have my shirts?

The typical turnaround is around 2 weeks. But we can work with almost any deadline. Keep in mind, some of our apparel distributors may not have exactly what you need RIGHT NOW & may take more time to find it elsewhere. Patience is a virtue. Or so I’m told.

Do I have to pay any set-up fees or screen charges?

NOOOO! Acme has no hidden screen/set-up fees for printing! However, in some situations your art may require a special separation process, which would add $25-30 per ink. This is only in cases where your art contains complex color gradients or phot-realistic art. We’ll let you know if you’ll need ’em.

 

caveat: embroidered images are subject to a one-time-only “digitizing” fee to cover the time and cost associated with translating the image into the format necessary for automated stitching. We will keep your “digitized” artwork for the REMAINDER OF ALL TIME… that means you and the generations of ancestors that follow will enjoy embroidery of said image in a state of “no fee-like” nirvana.

Can you help me pick the right shirt sizes?

You know it! Check out our über-helpful t-shirt sizing charts!

Where do I find info on the inks you use on shirts?

Right down there!

Inks

What’s the difference between plastisol, waterbase and discharge inks?

We screen print many of our shirts using plastisol inks, which are the most common type of screen printing ink, but we also offer discharge inks, and water-based inks, which cost a little more due to them being a more involved process and a better product. Discharge inks remove the color of the shirt and leave a new color or the natural cotton color if no pigment is added. Once washed, the print has virtually no feel, resulting in soft, breathable cotton. Waterbase inks are similar to discharge inks in that they result in a nice soft, breathable print, but since they’re not 100% opaque on dark garments, they’re usually only used on light colored shirts.

 

For more detailed information on discharge inks, see our Discharge Printing page and this useful article on our blog for great tips for printing with discharge inks.

I’d like to know all there is to know about discharge inks. Gimme.

You asked for it…

 

The Cliffs Notes:

 

Discharge inks usually come out without major issues and are great for soft, breathable prints. But know this…

Discharge inks can give unique color results each time and are relatively imprecise.

Combining ink types can help to get colors closer to where you’d like them.

All shirt colors from all manufacturers discharge differently.

Discharge inks only work ‘correctly’ with 100% cotton.

Shirts won’t feel ‘ink-free’ until washed, and colors lighten slightly after the first wash.

 

The Novel:

 

Discharge printing is unique, imprecise & somewhat unpredictable. The colors can vary slightly, giving unique results each time, which also makes them impossible to color match exactly. Standard plastisol inks are relatively easy to control, but since discharge inks are chemistry in action, they’re one shade when they’re mixed, another shade once they’ve been printed, yet another once they’re cured & dried, and just slightly lighter after they’ve been washed the first time. We can usually get it within a pantone number or two, but you need to be aware that you might not be able to get a color exactly where you’d prefer it. Additionally, please keep in mind that we can’t always stop and change discharge inks on press because it dries quickly and breaks the screen emulsion down. This is especially true with fine detail and halftones.

 

Combining ink types can help to get colors closer to where you’d like them. We can print a discharge white underbase first, then print thinned plastisol inks on top of it. This would make the print much softer than straight plastisol inks, but not completely unable to be felt. The colors are usually a bit richer this way than with discharge inks alone. Exact Pantone matches are still difficult, but they are much more likely to get closer to a desired Pantone color this way. All shirt colors from all manufacturers discharge differently. A black tee from one manufacturer could look different than a black tee from another manufacturer. Even two of the same color shirts from the SAME manufacturer will discharge slightly differently sometimes. This is especially true of black shirts since some manufacturers will mix their leftover dyes to make black dye, or ‘overdye’ color shirts black. So if they used mostly red dye to make their black dye, and we discharge print the shirts, the print could have a bit of a red tint. This is uncommon but has happened to us more than once.

 

Some shirt colors just don’t want to discharge print well. Royal blue and kelly green are hopeless. The only way to get a color that’s close to what you’re looking for is to combine a discharge white underbase with thinned plastisols on top (see ‘Combining ink types’ above).

 

Discharge ink only works “correctly” on 100% cotton items. 50/50-blend shirts get a dulled or salt and pepper kind of effect (see George & Dragon example to the right). Sometimes this looks fantastic, and sometimes it looks terrible. The results are even more unpredictable with tri-blend shirts like rayon/cotton/polyester blends. The shirts will not feel close to ‘ink-free’ until washed, and colors lighten slightly after the first wash, so it’s recommended that the shirts be washed before sale to your customer. Also, discharge can cause skin irritation if worn before being washed, though it’s very rare. No special washing is needed, but we can wash them for a small charge if you’d like.

 

Discharge printing adds to the printing price per color, per shirt, per location. But keep in mind that a dark shirt with discharge printing will often need one less screen since it doesn’t need an underbase of white. As mentioned above, it’s possible to combine the ink types and print one discharge white first and then print thin plastisol inks on top of it, which would make the print softer, but not completely unable to be felt. We have a lot of standard discharge colors, but non-standard discharge ink colors add a one-time charge for a custom mix.

 

Having said all that, discharge printing usually comes out without major issues and is a well worth the effort. The soft, breathable print looks and feels great. Have at it!

 

For more information on the best uses for discharge inks, check out this article on our blog for great tips for printing with discharge inks.

‘Discharge’ sounds totally grody. To the max, even. Can I call it something else?

Nope.

 

Okay, fine. Read below.

What is AcmeSoft Technology?

What ISN’T AcmeSoft? Next question.

Whatdo AcmeSoft inks feel like?

Find the nearest baby and rub its butt on your face. That’s like sandpaper compared to AcmeSoft Technology. NEXT.

Are AcmeSoft inks like discharge ink?

Pfft. Discharge wishes it was AcmeSoft. Okay, it’s like discharge. But we mix our discharge inks differently than the handful of other screen printers who brave this stinky frontier (yes, discharge ink smells too), so we call them… AcmeSoft Technology! With the magic of AcmeSoft technology, you too can have it all! Softer prints! More vibrant colors! The admiration of your peers! Riches beyond your wildest dreams!*

 

*Riches no longer guaranteed.

Stickers

Can you guys print on a different colored vinyl than white or like clear vinyl even?

You bet your sweet petunias. Just drop us a line & let us know what you are interested in & we’ll probably be able to make it happen.

How many colors can I have on a sticker?

We can do up to 4 different colors on a sticker or full color process. Take THAT!

Can I make stickers with photographs on them?

Yes, but the maximum LPI (lines per inch) is 55. Very fine lines can get lost, so don’t expect to be able to read the Constitution on a 4″ x 4″ sticker.

What's the minimum number of stickers I can get?

The minimum we require is only 25 for most stickers, but the higher the quantity, the better the price per sticker.

What's the biggest sticker I can get?

REAL big! We’ve done vinyl made to cover entire walls, so the sky’s the limit. Just let us know what you need. We can do virtually any size you want.

How long does it take to get stickers made?

We can have your stickers done in about 2 – 3 weeks! You ever wait 3 months for stickers? It sucks, huh? (That’s kinda why we started making them)

Buttons

Can I get more than one design in one order?

Sorry, no. :[

How many different sizes of buttons can you make?

We can make 1 inch & 1.25 inch buttons. If you need bigger buttons let us know, because we can usually get them for you.

How many colors can I get in my buttons?

We print the buttons on a color printer, so any & all colors that are in your design will be on your buttons. Keep in mind that if your design has a lot of colors &/or detail it may look jumbled on a small 1 or 1.25 inch button. Make your designs bold & bright so people can see your design from more than a foot away.

What is the average turnaround time after I order my fantastic buttons?

The standard turn time is two weeks. We might be able to do them faster without a rush fee depending on some stuff. And things.

How big should my button image be when I send it to you?

Make the image about 3 inches & at least 300 dpi (or a vector image). We need a good amount of ‘bleed’ around the edges or we’ll have to go in and Photoshop that thing. Please don’t send art that has a circle on the image already or that circle will be on your button. If you are just trying to let us know where you want the design positioned on the button, just send a second image as a mock-up.

Can you make just one button for me?

No sir/ma’am. Unless you want to pay like $40 for it, but I kinda doubt you want to do that.

Ordering

How do I pay?

We accept all major credit cards, PayPal, cash, BitCoin, money orders (no international money orders) & vegan donuts.

 

Call us to pay over the phone at 602-461-7171, or head on over to acmeprints.com/pay to pay online.

I want to order right now. I can't wait one moment more. WHAT DO I DO!?

Just click on the “Order” button in the drop-down under the Acme logo at the top-center of the page & you’ll be home free. It’s SO easy! You can call us too. Or email us. Or swing on by. Whatevs.

Is my credit card information safe?

Great question. The answer is no. We will likely use it for a night on the town with some randos we pick up under the bridge just to make things a bit unpredictable. Gotta keep things interesting. From there, your guess is as good as mine. All I know is that someone’s ending up minus at least one digit or an eye. It’s not fun & games until someone loses an eye, we always say.

Artwork

The Basics

Check out our Artwork Guidelines chart for the basics in a snapshot.

 

Don’t have art?

 

No problemo, muchacho. We’d love to make it for you! Check out our design & illustration gallery.

 

Got your own art? Cool. Coolcoolcool.

 

Art should be submitted at the size you want it printed, if possible. We can take all vector files (Illustrator, preferably) and high resolution (at least 300 dpi/ppi) pixel-based/raster files (.eps, .psd, .tif, high-quality .jpg, etc). Please, do not simply raise the resolution of files by plugging in higher numbers to your existing low-resolution file. It will just make it big and fuzzy.

 

We do the color separating ourselves since most folks don’t know how to. We will do this for free (unlike other screen printers) but if it is very complex we will give you an estimate for file prep work.

 

None of the widely available graphics programs directly address the needs of screen printing, so a varying amount of “pre-flight” work must be done by us for every file. Although we can deal with almost any file sent to us, the whole production process can be expedited, and greater quality assurances can be guaranteed, if a few moments are taken to check the items in this list before submission. We do understand that circumstances don’t always permit strict adherence to these guidelines, but we’ll probably give you a hard time just for fun.

Image sizing

Artwork Guidelines

 

Please submit all files at the size you want them printed. If you are unsure of what size might be appropriate, we will be glad to help you. But keep in mind that if you leave it up to us and you don’t love the size we chose, please don’t expect us to do another batch for free. We can actually print the entire shirt area for specialty prints but extra charges apply. There are no extra charges for prints that are up to 14.5″ wide by 20″ tall (that’s pretty darn big for a standard print!) and our oversize prints can go up to at least 20″ wide by 26″ tall, and possibly bigger. Oversize prints do have a different pricing, so make sure to specify when getting a quote.

 

For a single line of text (like a band name) the standard is about 8″ to 11 ” wide, but it really depends on what you like. Left chest prints generally range from 2 1/2 to 4 inches wide, and sleeve prints are usually 2 to 3 inches wide. Sizing is a matter of taste so these aren’t to be taken as strict guidelines. It’s a good idea to look at printed shirts you already have and base your measurements on those. DO NOT TRUST HOW BIG AN IMAGE LOOKS ON A PIECE OF PAPER. At least cut it out and tape it on a shirt while you are wearing it. You’d be surprised at how much the full sheet of paper can trick the eye.

Section

Artwork Guidelines

 

Adobe Illustrator files are great. Just make sure to convert all text to outlines/curves before you send it to us.

 

You do not need to apply any ‘trapping’ or ‘choking’ to the image. You can separate by layer if you know how. If you want inks mixed, use PMS (Pantone Matching System) numbers for color names. Be sure to check the PMS book for color accuracy as the on-screen versions are usually misleading.

Pixel based documents (Photoshop, Paint, etc)

Artwork Guidelines

 

As far as pixel based art goes, we prefer Adobe Photoshop files. **Please do not send jpgs or gifs that have been downloaded from the web** These files are sized at a low resolution in order to load quickly on a website. They do not provide enough resolution for us to use as actual artwork.

 

Text files, Spot color or black & white illustrations and line drawings created or scanned into Photoshop require a very high resolution in order to maintain clean curves and and crisp edges. Please submit these files at no less than 300ppi (usually referred to as dpi). If you are unable to provide this resolution we can scan your original.

 

Submit any FULL COLOR photographic and continuous tone files in RGB format. We can guarantee the best color fidelity if the file is in these “unadulterated” formats. If you are having an image scanned just for your T-shirt design, request RGB. Many high end scanning units will scan images in CMYK. This is great for offset, but not so hot for screen printing. Some places will simply convert the file from the original CMYK format to RGB. This is acceptable but not the best way to do things. The key issue here is that when an image is in CMYK mode it’s palette of colors has been reduced for the offset printing process. If the image is to be spot color separated, we can often reproduce a wider range of colors than offset printing. Giving us the image in CMYK will limit the possibilities. Also, when a CMYK image is displayed on your monitor the appearance of the image is controlled by a number of preferences you have set up concerning dot gain and printing inks. In RGB these factors will be ignored.

 

Photographic and continuous tone color and grayscale files should be to size, at least 150 ppi, (pixels per inch). If your files are at all detailed and are much below 150 ppi, there could be less than desirable results. There are a variety of specific techniques we can employ to compensate for a lower resolution original so please, do not simply raise the resolution by plugging in higher numbers. Please contact us early to resolve this issue.

File transmission & media

You may send us your art files via email to

order@acmeprints.com, or use our handy upload form.

If you wish to send multiple files, or if your files are fairly large, the

upload form is the preferred method. When placing an order through the online

order form you will be able to attach your files there as well. Additionally, you can submit your files in person. Just bring them

on a CD or USB drive with you into the shop!

Am I allowed to use this image I just stole?

I’m glad you asked! ‘Cause it’s, like, serious legal stuff.

 

Any design you submit must be one that you created, or one that you have the legal right to use. Note that the rights to a photo belong to the photographer, NOT a person IN the photo. There’s a monkey who owns the rights to some photos of himself from when he picked up a photographer’s camera and took some selfies. No joke. Look it up.

 

We reserve the right to reject any order for any reason, but they tend to be pretty good reasons. We’re not jerks. …usually.

 

HERE’S THE SUPER-MEGA SERIOUS PART: If someone makes a claim against us because we printed something you said you had the right to use, that means you agree to pay for any loss we suffer as a result, including legal expenses. Yeah, I know. Heavy. Something to think about.

Embroidery

Will my embroidery come out like I'm picturing it in my head?

If you’ve never had embroidery done before, it may not. That doesn’t mean it won’t actually be good. It’s just that embroidery is sewing, not printing, and you just won’t get the same end product. Though embroidery has a classic & higher-end appearance. People rarely second guess embroidery quality until they see the first order they ever do. As long as you know what embroidery is all about, you should be happy with the results.

 

Example: Here are the backs of seats on a new American Airlines jet. Nobody ever reads it and thinks it looks bad. But when you look up close, it doesn’t look sharp at all since it’s made of threads.

 

What is the turnaround time for digitizing artwork?

We usually have a digitized file sewn out and ready for approval 2-3 business days after receipt of art.

What is the turnaround time for embroidery?

Standard turnaround time is 6-8 business days from the receipt of goods and artwork approval. If you need quicker turnaround times, rush service is usually available.

How many colors can I embroider?

There is a 12 color limit, but there are additional fees if you have more than 6 colors.

What is the smallest order I can do?

For embroidery, the minimum is just 1!

Can I bring something in and wait for it to be completed?

No. Although we are fast, we cannot interrupt our schedule that quickly. In a production business like we are in, schedules are planned days in advanced based on colors, size of order, personnel and machines available.

Can I change the colors of my embroidery threads in the same order?

Yes. For embroidery, there is no additional charge (up to 3 colorways) because we can run multiple different colored logos at the same time.

Design Factory

Can I get help by phone or email?

Sorry, we aren’t able to provide help with the Design Factory by phone or email currently. But we do have lots of helpful tips below.

I need help in the Acme Design Factory.

Add Text

 

Adding text to a design is easy. Simply Click on the “Add Text” button in the Design Factory. This will cause an “Insert Text Here” window to open where you can type the text you want to appear on the garment.

 

Edit Text

 

To edit text on a design, first select the text by clicking on it. This will cause the properties of the text to appear to the left of the design. You can change the text, font, color, spacing, etc., from the properties box.

 

Add Clip Art

 

To add Clip Art to your design, start by clicking on the “Clip Art” button in the Design Factory. A list of Clip Art categories will appear. Click on a category and the clip art for that category will appear. Click on the desired Clip Art and it will appear on your garment. You can now move, resize, rotate and align your Clip Art. You can also upload your own Clip Art by clicking the “Upload Image” button in the Design Factory.

 

Edit Art

 

To edit artwork on a design, first select the artwork by clicking on it. This will cause the properties of the image to appear to the left of the design. You can change the art, direction or color from the properties box.

 

Delete Art or Text

 

To remove art or text from your design, click on the element you wish to delete on the template image or in the layers section. This will select the elements layer. Click on the “Delete” button to delete the element from your design.

 

Change the layer order

 

To adjust the order of the layers, click on the “Edit Layers” button in the Design Factory. Select the layer of that element in the layers section. Click on the up or down arrow in the layers section to move that layer up or down in the stack.

 

Scale Art or Text

 

To make the art or text in a design bigger or smaller, start by clicking on the element you want to resize. When an element is selected, white boxes (handles) appear on the corners of the outlined element. By clicking on one of the white handles and holding the mouse button down, you can move the mouse to scale the element.

 

Position a design on the garment

 

To change the position of a design on a garment click on design or element in a design. This will select that design or element. Simply hold the mouse button down and move the design or element to a new location on your garment.

Will you ship my order without payment?

Unless you have used a PO, your order will not be shipped without full payment. We do require resolution of any payment issues (e.g. additional garment or ship costs, bad payment information) before we ship your order. We will always contact you if there is a problem.

Why does my order status say 'Pending Auth'?

If the status of your order is PENDING AUTH, this simply means your order is being processed through our order authorization system. If we need any additional information from you in regard to your order, we will contact you via phone or email.

Can I reorder a design I have previously ordered?

Yes. If you have your previous order saved in your Saved Designs section you can reorder in a few simple steps.

Do you accept special shipping requests?

In some cases, yes. Contact customer service with your order number.

Can I ship my order internationally?

Yes. We ship all international orders utilizing U.S. Air Mail. International Orders require a physical street address and phone number. We are required to provide a commercial invoice for all International Orders. Deliveries will not be made on Weekends or holidays. The shipping time for international Postal Air Mail orders usually takes 5 to 30 business days depending on the country of destination. Please check with your local post office or customs office if you have not yet received your package.

 

Please Note: International orders may also be required to pay additional duty fees depending on the country of destination. Please check with customs officials within your country. We are not responsible for any customs fees, nor can we accept a package (or have a package returned to the United States) that is stuck in customs.

Can I use a credit card to pay for my order?

Yes. We accept Discover, Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit card for payment. Please submit accurate information; the billing address you enter must match the address your credit company has on file. Your order will not be processed without good credit card information.

How do I add notes to my order?

In the Shopping Cart, there is an option next to each garment. Click the “ADD NOTES” link. This opens a window that will allow you to add notes and instructions for that garment.

When will I receive my order?

We expect your order to be shipped to you in approximately 10 business days or less from the date of your order. Note: Processing times must be added to shipping times. We cannot ship to PO boxes.

Can I add more garments once my order has been placed?

Yes. You can add shirts to your order but there is a small window of opportunity to make changes. The sooner you let us know of additional sizes, the better. We recommend contacting your customer service rep by the second or third business day at the latest. You cannot add shirts to rush orders. Adding shirts may delay the production time of your order.

How do I get a quote?

Once you have finalized your design and are ready to place an order, simply click on the green “ADD TO CART” button. Enter the quantities and sizes you would like and click the “UPDATE ITEMS” button. The price will be displayed in the shopping cart.

How do I get my artwork to be a left chest design?

In the Design Factory, simply click on “PRODUCT VIEWS” and “FRONT”. Once you have done this, you will be given four (4) options; full, left side print, left chest, right side print. Click the “LEFT CHEST” option.

How do I add names and numbers?

In the Shopping Cart, there is an option next to each garment called “ROSTER COUNT”. Fill in the number of players on your roster and click the “ADD NAMES & NUMBERS” link. This opens a window that will allow you to add player names and numbers.

How do I design on the back of a garment?

In the Design Factory, click on “PRODUCT VIEWS” and “BACK”. Once you have done this, select the “FULL” option. You can now design on the back of your garment.

How do I create a shirt without using your design templates?

Go to the Design Factory. Begin by clicking the “ADD TEXT” button or the “CLIP ART” button. You can now create a custom garment using our wide selection of fonts and clip art.

How do I choose different garments?

In the Design Factory, there are two ways to accomplish this. 1) Click the “PRODUCTS” button. This will activate a products cover flow where you can select different garment options. 2) Click the “PRODUCTS” link in the header bar. This will take you to the Product Categories where you can select products and add designs.

Where can I find a sizing chart?

Right here!

How do I delete designs from my account?

Sign In using your email address and password. Click the “MY ACCOUNT” link in the header bar. Click “MY DESIGNS” in the left menu. From here you can select a design and click the red “REMOVE” link to remove the design.

When I upload artwork, there is a box box behind the artwork. How do I make the box disappear?

The best option is to upload your artwork using an image format that supports transparency such as .PNG, .PSD or .GIF. If this is not an option, please add a note from the shopping cart saying you would like our artists to remove the box for you.

How do I edit a design in my account?

Sign In using your email address and password. Click the “MY ACCOUNT” link in the header bar. Click “MY DESIGNS” in the left menu. From here, choose the design you want to edit and click the yellow “CUSTOMIZE IT” button. This will take you to the Design Factory where you can edit and save your design.

How can I upload my own image?

In the Design Factory, click the “UPLOAD IMAGE” button. The following file types are supported: .PNG, .GIF, .JPG, .BMP, .TIF and .PSD.

Enamel Pins

What is the darkest metal for HARD enamel pins?

Dark nickel is the darkest metal for hard enamel pins. If it must be darker, it’s also possible to print black on top of the metal.

Our updated site is in progress, please contact us at 602-461-7171 or info@acmeprints.com.