Screen Print Pricing 101

So, you want to get some custom apparel printed? You’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re getting polos embroidered for you business, jerseys for your team, or tees just because. There are few things to keep in mind when it comes to pricing. We’re going to go over some of the basics of screen printing pricing here.

The examples here are for illustrative purposes only. They don’t reflect actual cost.


Usually, if you’re looking to get something custom made, your first question is, “How much is this going to cost?” That’s a great question. Let’s talk about the things that affect the cost of an order.

Quantity How many garments are you going to order?

Quantity affects two aspects of an order. The first is how many pieces we’d like. Let’s say we want 20 t-shirts and each shirt without print, costs $4. That would be $80 for the blank garments. But we don’t want blank tees, do we? We need to factor in the second aspect, print cost.

20 x tees @ $4 each = $80

Print cost is calculated a little differently. Because our print is going to be custom made just for us, we need to create a special setup to print your design. You can read more about that process here, however it really comes down to this; the more pieces that are ordered with the same print, the less each one will cost.

  • 12- 36pcs = $6 per print
  • 37- 72pcs = $5 per print
  • 73- 144pcs = $4 per print

Our order of twenty sits in the first tier of pricing which makes the print cost $6 each. Then, add the blank tee cost of $4 and you have a $10 custom tee for a total cost of $200. 👍

Print Colors

How many colors are in your design? How many screens will be needed to make my shirts?

When using screen printing as your decoration method, each color of ink gets printed separately using a new screen for each color. This is something to consider when deciding on your design. If you want to keep the cost down, it’s a good idea to keep the design simple with fewer printed ink colors and screens. If you are looking for a complex, vibrantly colored design that stands out, it’s going to need more colors, and therefore more screens. As we mentioned above, each color requires a screen. There is a cost associated with creating the screen and having our team take the time to make and setup each screen. So, take a look below to look at how pricing is affected:

1 Color Design (1 screen needed)

  • 12-36pcs = $6 per print
  • 37-72pcs = $5 per print
  • 73-144pcs = $4 per print
  • $25 setup

2 Color Design (2 screens needed)

  • 12-36pcs = $7.50 per print
  • 37-72pcs = $6.50 per print
  • 73-144pcs = $5.50 per print
  • $50 setup

3 Color Design (3 screens needed)

  • 12-36pcs = $8.50 per print
  • 37-72pcs = $7.50 per print
  • 73-144pcs = $6.50 per print
  • $75 setup

So, our design has three colors and we want twenty of them.

  • 20 x 3 color prints @ $8.50 per print = $170
  • 20 x tees (blank) @ $4 each = $80
  • 3 screens @ $25 each = $75

The total cost of this order comes out to $325

Let’s talk another scenario concerning print colors. What if we want twenty white tees all with same one color design but ten of them have a green print and the other ten have a purple print?

That’s definitely something that we can do. It’s important to note here that the design is exactly the same on every tee except for the ink color.

  • 20 x 1 color prints (10 green + 10 purple) @ $6 per print = $120
  • 20 x whites tees (blank) @ $4 each = $80
  • 1 x color change = $15
  • 1 screen setup x $25 = $25

This order is the same as the first order we talked about but this time we added that color change so we have a total of $240.

The cost of the color change is added for every color that is changed. If you started with a two color black and white design and also wanted that same design as blue and gold the color change cost would be $30.

Note: The extra cost of the color change is only added if the colors change in a single order. If you wanted a black and white design this year but a blue and gold one next year there would be no color change cost.

Design Placement

Where do you want your logo?

Don’t forget, designs can be printed pretty much anywhere on the shirt. Let’s get creative with our placements, make something that stands out. We can have multiple designs on multiple areas of the garment. Each one of these different designs in a different location is an additional setup and will affect the pricing. The position doesn’t affect the price, the amount of different placements does.

Let’s say we want our 3 color design on the front of all twenty shirts and a one color design on the sleeve of half of them.

  • 20 x 3 color prints @ $8.50 per print = $187
  • 3 screens @ $25 = $75
  • 10 x 1 color prints @ …
  • 1 screen @ $25 = ....

Uh oh, we dropped below the minimum order!

Okay, don’t worry, we have a few options here. We can order two more tees to make it to the lowest pricing tier or pay more for the print…the salesperson tells us $10 per print per shirt for the one color design if we order less than twelve. Calculating

If we get the two extra shirts.

  • 20+2 x 3 color prints @ $8.50 per print = $187
  • 10+2 x 1 color prints @ $6 per print = $72
  • 20+2 x tees (blank) @ $4 each = $88
  • 3 screens @ $25 each = $75
  • Total cost = $422

If we accept extra print cost.

  • 20 x 3 color prints @ $8.50 per print = $187
  • 10 x 1 color prints @ $10 per print = $100
  • 20 x tees (blank) @ $4 each = $80
  • 3 screens @ $25 each = $75
  • Total cost = $442

Hmmm, we’ll go with the extra shirts! Sometimes, in this business, more is less. If you want to learn more about print areas check this out.


Big, small, tall, or toddler?

Sizing will affect pricing if you select sizes above adult extra large and below youth small. Not all styles and brands have an extra small option. If they don’t or you need youth sizes typically that means a different style. For instance, the style for adult sizes might be a Garble 200 but the youth sizes would be Garble Y200. Adding a different style of garment may affect the price but only the price of the garment itself. Changing the color of the garment does not affect the price so feel free to mix and match colors and styles. Spice things up a bit. 🌶

  • Garble 200
  • 2 x small, red @ $4ea = $8
  • 4 x medium, blue @ $4ea = $16
  • 5 x XXL, yellow @ $4.50ea = $22.50
  • Garble Y200
  • 4 youth small, white @ $3.50ea = $14
  • 5 youth large, purple @ $3.50ea = $17.50

All of the same three color design in one location @ $8.50 per print comes to $245 with screens included. That twenty shirt order now totals at $323. Pretty sweet deal.

When you’re getting ready to place an order, no matter how big or small, the salesperson you’re working with can help you get the most out of it. Let them know what your priorities are: garment quality, quantity, cost, or design colors, they will be able to point you in the right direction.


Pricing is NOT affected

  • If you mix and match garment colors or styles (as long as they have the same design).
  • If your order includes standard sizes (S-XL).
  • By how many pieces of the same style are ordered (no pricing tiers).

Pricing IS affected

  • By how many colors/screens are in your design.
  • How many of the same print there are (pricing tiers).
  • By sizing above or below standards sizes.
  • If you have multiple designs or design locations.
  • If you have color changes.

Tip of the day

How to save some dough.

  • Sacrifice some colors in your design.
  • Sometimes less is more.
  • Order a couple extra tees to move yourself to the next tier of pricing if you can.
  • Sometimes more is less.