The Basics of Getting Your Brand onto a T-Shirt

T Shirt printing Example Close Up


Screenprinting Tees is what we do… Well along Digitals and Embroidery and Vinyl.

Nearly all T-Shirts and Hoodies are Screen Printed, it is the most economical process for printing tees, particularly in higher volumes.

Pricing scales well, and fine detail is acheivable.

Digital T Shirt Transfers

Digital Transfers.

Transfers have come a long way, with no limitation to colours they can be the best option for many colours and small runs.

They do not scale that well with volume and cad cutting can only go so fine.



Embroidery does not suit soft fabrics such as T-Shirts, however it is perfect for Business Shirts and Polos, as well as Aprons. 

Embroidery is priced per stitch so logos do need to be quoted case by case.


We do three main types of printing, there are also several specialist methods and inks we use.

Plastisol Spot Inks

Plastisol is the most common printing method, it is opaque and lasts very well. It is essentially particles held in a emulsion.

When printing t-shirts we generally try and stick to Spot Colours, we use Solid Pantone Colours for colour matching.
Spot colours really just refer to a solid colour. They are generally opaque, bright and not victim to variance in between or within jobs.

This means that each colour is completely separate and needs it’s own screen. It also means we can effectively match brand guidelines.

CMYK Process Ink Printing

This differs from Spot Inks as it is a Four Colour process, similar to how brochues and magazines are offset printed it involves 4 Very Fine Screens and vastly less opaque inks. All Colours are made up from CMYK.

This works best on White Garments, and can look good. It is prone to more issues with varience and requires the use of halftones.While you can absolutely have halftones of Spot Colours, where tone is made up of halfrone dots.

Haltone Screenprinting is not only for CMYK Prints, but is essential for it.

The entire process is dependant on small dots of colour siting on each other to make up all other colours.

CMYK Screenprinting

You can see on the image to the left the general gist of how this works. Each Screen is made of dots and by putting the colours together you get all of the colours.

This example would have 4 Spot Colours OR CMYK. Either way it is 4 Colours.

It is an actual example shown to a client to explain the process. In this example you would absolutely opt for Spot Colour Printing. Some images have so many colours that CMYK or Digital printing is a must.

Other Specialty Inks

These inks are by definition spot colours.

• Metallic Inks (Gold, Silver Fleck inks)
• Fluro Inks (Hi Vis Yellow, Orange, Pinks etc)
• Glow in the Dark (Covercoat)
• Puff Inks

These inks may have additional costs attached to them, we can also do discharge prints, however we do not do this for small orders as it does necessitate special dryer settings.

Waterbased Screen Printing

A completely different process to Plastisol.
We use waterbased dye inks for Teatowel Printing, this means the pigment sits inside the fabric. They can be used for drying and handling hot items.

This type of waterbased printing needs to go onto light coloured garments.

Part of the Graphics on Shirts Family – – New Zealand’s T-Shirt Printers

Some of the Brands we supply:

AS Colour, Freeset, Biz Corporates, James Harvest, Stormtech, Icebreaker, Team Sports, Jbs Wear, Gildan, Anvil, BMV, Biz Collection, Cloke, Syzmik, Visitec, Legend Life, Trends Collection, Maxum, The Range.

If you have a particular brand you require please specify this your contact message.

Use the form to send us a message, we’d love to hear from you!

Hours: 9am – 5pm Mon-Fri by Appointment
74 Morrin Road Panmure
PO Box 251166, Pakuranga, Auckland
09 358 1249

If you are requesting a quote or have a question please use the form to the right. You can upload images to assist in quoting.

If you wish to obtain an instant estimate and request a quote you can do so from product pages