The internet is full of posts and videos promoting the idea that screen printing is simple. It’s all about D.I.Y.—any monkey can do it. Want to print your own Tees? No problem, just follow these few simple steps . . . get a wooden frame, some mesh, and a pot of emulsion . . .
I wonder how healthcare professionals would feel about this? Want to do your own colonoscopies? No problem, just follow these few simple steps . . . get a broomstick, a small spy camera, and a pot of grease . . .
And it’s not so much that the D.I.Y. crowd will lure away your customers, it’s more about promoting textile screen printing as a simplistic hobby-like activity. This undermines the industry’s standing as skilled occupation deserving of decent pricing for it’s product. For a long time pricing has been a thorny issue in the industry and it may in part be due to a lack of respect for the product and the skill exercised in producing it.
So how do you address this? One way is by promoting the truth about the skill and equipment it takes to produce a decent print on a Tee. And the best way to do that is to demonstrate to your customers (and anyone else interested) the entire process of producing a print—give them a shop tour. Show off your skills. Help them realize that there’s much more to producing a decent print than the D.I.Y. crowd will have you believe.
Perhaps this could be the first step to putting an end to the prevailing impression that any monkey can screen print so why should you get paid anything but peanuts?