Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Most Strenuous Shirt Printing Project

Here's this month's 2nd project and It look's like it's gonna be the last project of the year. Fitz, my business partner in BloggerShirts got us this project from a facebook group of Filipino freelancers. When he showed me the design it made me nervous because it involves the 4 colors of the Philippine flag and there's print on the front and back of the shirt. It made me even more nervous when he gave me the go signal to prepare for the printing of around 30 shirts. There's no backing out now.
I did not design this shirt but I proudly wear it because its the first 4-color 2-sided shirt that I've printed.


It's a good thing though that the production is by batch. I completed the first 10 shirts today after 3 days. It was really tedious work. I haven't done the math on how long it takes to finish one shirt, but one shirt has to be passed 7 times. The white letters that spells "pino" has a red outline and printing them with precision slows me down because my simple printing table still needs some eye-and-hand coordination (and I confess there were imperfections - well, tolerable ones). Plus the fact that I'm the only one printing and there's only one printing table, made this project really exhausting. And also, I didn't design this shirt and that took the fun and the passion away.

But in fairness, this project is something to learn from. While printing the first batch I saw problems, found ways to fix them, and figured how to prevent them on the next project (sadly, not on this project). I'm thinking of getting an assistant here in the neighborhood to do the washing of screens and squeegees. I also thought of having a long printing table made. One that accommodates 3 to 5 pallets at a time. I might not accept projects as tedious as this without that.

Well this project does bring the money. Shirts with this many colors and 2-sided prints cost more. But I can't help but think of the other projects I turned down because of this. It is possible that all 3 of them combined can equal this current project in terms of profit minus the tediousness. But I don't want to do the math. I still have the next batch to worry about.

It's 10 days before Christmas. The money's here but will I find the time to shop for gifts? Oh my, oh my!

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