Shout out to Customink

I'd like to take a brief moment to show some appreciation for Customink, whom I currently use to print my shirts. They're a giant printery of miscellaneous items based in Kentucky. I've never known anyone in Kentucky, but based on this company's merits alone, I'm going to set a goal to start forming friendships with people in that area, because I bet they'd be cool. So far, 5 of the 6 runs I've done for Linty Fresh has been through Customink, with the exception of Nuclear Moonlight. For this shirt, I decided to experiment with another printery, which was a good deal cheaper. Well, they say that you get what you pay for, and that was most definitely the case with this. Instead of being professional about the process and getting my approval along the way, they made a lot of assumptions about how I wanted things done.

For example, placement.

To date I've been somewhat coservative with the placement of my designs. Of course, as I get a little more daring and restless, this'll probably change, but as it stands I feel that going standard is a good choice. This is what I had in mind for Nuclear Moonlight. But when the shirts arrived at my doorstep I was appalled to find that the printers had gotten it completely wrong. The design was 5 inches too low! Instead of an intriguing desert scene encased in dead trees, it looked more like an Xray of my bowels.

Minutes later I was on the phone with an apologetic sales rep, who assured me that they'd fix it immediately. This was good, I guess, but his remarks preceding this promise made me want to shoot lasers from my eyes:
"Yeah, you know man, I remember these shirts coming off the line and I had, like, seen the original design file, and I was all like, 'woah, they're way too low,' but I didn't really say anything or anything."
Suddenly I was back in first grade, but instead of being one of the students I was the frazzled teacher with the eye-twitch, scrambling to make sense of the firecrackers going off in the hamster cage, but every kid I looked to for answers was busy eating play-doh.

He went on to rationalize the decision behind the placement, explaining that the guys who actually do the printing are taught to align the screens to a certain point-the top corner of the design. Well shoot, that doesn't work for Nuclear Moonlight, does it? The top corner is the tip of a giant branch, so if you start with that, the rest of the design is going to sit on your intestinal track. As if further explanation would convince me that everything was ok, he had me put my right hand on my heart and explained that wherever the tip of my pinky was, that's where they put the top corner of the design, and the rest of it is just "whatever". I felt like countering by telling him to put his right hand in front of his head, curl it to a fist, and then lunge at it with his face, and however he felt afterwards, well, whatever.

Weeks later I got the replacement batch, and now the colors had somehow gotten messed up. Oh, and the "small" shirts were a different brand from the rest. (?!?) Seriously guys, just start making tacos or something, because this whole shirt thing really isn't your game. In any case, at this point it had been three months since I'd come out with a shirt, and I was beyond caring, really. And they weren't that bad, just not what I wanted. Anyhow, after that little escapade I returned, tail between my legs, to Customink. The print quality, customer service, and turnaround time are all excellent. The pricing is a little higher than I'd like, but again, you get what you pay for.

Oh yeah, and the whole reason I wrote this was because the new shirts (+ more!) have arrived 5 days ahead of schedule! Woo!

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posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:42 AM,


At 12:25 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Interesting, I am curious as to who was the printer that screwed up your order for Nuclear Moonlight?

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Eric T. said...

It was Expertshirt ( Their website has improved some since I used them, and I would hope that improvement is reflected in their service quality, but I'm not taking anymore chances... :/


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