FAQ

The bulk of your questions will be answered on our FAQ page. We have taken the time to outline the most common questions and concerns, including helpful guidelines for uploading your artwork.

Are you a “brick and mortar” establishment?

No, while that may be a welcome option later on if our growth is steady enough in the future we are currently a home-based operation.

Why do you not list your address publicly?

In an attempt to respect the privacy of the families who live in our neighborhood, we do not list our address publicly because this is a “residential business”.

What is the best way to contact your shop?

Currently, we request that you send us an inquiry on our contact page, or, if you need a screen printing quote you may request one here

Need to talk to a person instead of send a message? 

No problem. Send us a quick email noting what you need info about, including your phone number, and well be sure to return your call right away.

What does “Hotbox” stand for?

When I first started printing my own stuff I had to give my garage a name. Working out there in the summer time in particular can get extremely hot, up into the triple digits… and since my shops space is basically a box, well… there you have it, lol.

General Information

Are you a "brick and mortar" establishment?

No, while that may be a welcome option later on if our growth is steady enough in the future we are currently a home-based operation.

Why do you not list your address publicly?

In an attempt to respect the privacy of the families who live in our neighborhood, we do not list our address publicly because this is a “residential business".

What is the best way to contact your shop?

Currently, we request that you send us an inquiry on our contact page, or, if you need a screen printing quote you may request one here

Need to talk to a person instead of send a message? 

No problem. Send us a quick email noting what you need info about, including your phone number, and well be sure to return your call right away.

What does "Hotbox" stand for?

When I first started printing my own stuff I had to give my garage a name. Working out there in the summer time in particular can get extremely hot, up into the triple digits... and since my shops space is basically a box, well... there you have it, lol.

Artwork Guidelines

What file types are preferred when I upload my artwork for a quote?

We specifically work with Adobe Illustrator (AI.) files because they are completely scalable to any size, resulting in high-quality prints that do not need extra editing prior to outputting to film.

What other file types can I upload?

Best: Adobe Illustrator (AI.)
Better: Editable Adobe (PDF.) with layers retained, Adobe Illustrator (EPS.), & Adobe (PSD.).
Good: PNG. with transparency (300dpi), TIFF. with layers (300dpi)
Not Recommended: JPG., GIF.

Should I flatten my artwork?

No. We recommend you keep your artwork in layers for easy separation.

What "DPI" should my artwork be?

Your artwork should be a minimum of 300dpi if you're sending us a bitmap image such as a JPG, or PNG. (Higher DPI's are recommended if the only file you have is a bitmap, however 300 dpi is the minimum your artwork should be set to in order to produce a high resolution print.)

What if I only have a very small picture of my artwork?

This is not a problem, however, please be aware that we will have to add an additional art fee for post design work in order to convert it to a high resolution image that will be able to retain good print quality.

I'm a designer, do you have templates I can use to prepare my artwork for my next screen printing project?

Absolutely! You may download a variety of templates specifically spec'd to our print shops press for your next project here.

Screen Printing

What is screen printing?

Screen printing is a "multi-step process" that begins with your digital artwork, which is then turned into a "film transparency". Once the transparency has been created, a screen must be "coated" with photo sensitive "emulsion" and left to harden and dry. When the screen is ready the film transparency is carefully placed onto the screen in an approximate location and "exposed" with a light source to burn your artwork into the screen. The screen is then washed out and what is left is a "stencil" of your artwork. The newly created screen is then carefully "registered" onto the press for printing. Once everything is in registration ink is applied to the screen and a "squeegee" is used to sheer the ink through the stencil onto the "substrate" (your garment). Afterward, the ink is cured in a heating process either with a "flash" or "conveyer dryer". What you have left is a professional quality screen printed garment that will last for many years.

Does Hotbox Print Studio utilize traditional screen printing techniques, or digital printing?

At Hotbox Print Studio we produce shirts manually via traditional tried and true screen printing techniques. While DTG is handy for "1-off's" we prefer the quality and longevity of a screen printed garment over its digital counterpart.

What inks do you print with?

At Hotbox Print Studio we primarily work with plastisol inks.

Do you color match?

We currently do not color match... however we do provide an array of many basic colors to choose from.

What does "hand feel" mean?

When we refer to "hand" in the screen printing community we are talking about the "feel" of how thick the ink film exists on top of the garments knit. For example, plastisol can have a heavier hand sometimes, whereas, water based or discharge inks can have minimal-to-no hand whatsoever after the garment has been washed. At Hotbox Print Studio we employ printing techniques to reduce the amount of hand feel as much as possible with every print, even with plastisol ink.

What is the difference between plastisol, water based, and discharge inks?

Plastisol is like it sounds - plastic. It is a "thixotropic" ink that contains plasticizers... once cured, plastisol ink becomes a indestructible "rubber-like" film that sits on top of the knit of the garment. There is a slight hand feel to plastisol prints.

 

Water Based ink tends to soak into the knit of the garment more and become "part of the shirt" in contrast to plastisol ink. Water based ink provides a soft hand, especially after washing.

 

Discharge ink replaces the shirts dyes with the pigment of the discharge ink similar to a bleaching effect. The result is a superior hand feel that is indistinguishable from the existing shirt fibers.

Can I bring in my own blank t-shirts for you to print?

Sorry, we only print apparel that is ordered through our wholesaler.

Can I just order 1 t-shirt?

We do not offer 1-piece orders.

When will my order go into production?

Production will start immediately once you have paid for your order and signed off on the mockup that we've sent to your email.

Can you accommodate "rush orders"?

Yes, if you need your order faster than our standard 7-10 day turnover you may choose "rush order" in the dropdown options while requesting a free screen printing quote. *Please note that additional fees apply to rush orders.

What is the difference between "Standard", "Good", & "Premium" garment quality?

Standard Quality: A low-cost, jersey knit, with a tubular/boxy cut - perfect for "promotional tees".
Example: Gildan 5000

 

Good Quality: An affordable, slightly softer, jersey knit, with a tubular/boxy cut - an excellent option for comfortable "work shirts".
Example: Gildan 2000

 

Premium Quality (Recommended): A semi-tailored fitting, side-seamed, extra soft, on trend/retail-ready cut - best option for a "clothing brand".
Example: Bella + Canvas 3001

Graphic Design

What graphic design services do you offer?

We offer a variety of graphic design services ranging from basic "art clean up" (bitmap to vector conversion) – to Professional Logo Design.
If you need something designed please feel free to include this information when you request a free screen printing quote, OR if you are only looking for design services and do not need a screen printing quote you may contact us here instead.

When is "Bitmap to Vector Conversion" necessary?

Bitmap to vector format conversion is necessary when the graphic you would like to have screen printed is extremely small or low resolution. This is especially the case when you have a bitmap image such as a JPG that appears to be pixilated or blurry. For this reason, we recommend that if the only graphic you can provide for your artwork is a bitmap that it be a minimum of 300dpi.

Bitmap to Vector Conversion

Can you print "photographic art", or photographs?

Yes we can, we do this by converting your photo into whats called a "halftone" first. A halftone is a collection of dots varying in size that creates the illusion of shading or gradients. 

Templates

What format are your templates offered in?

We specifically work with Adobe Illustrator files at Hotbox so all of our templates are AI. files.

Do I need Adobe Illustrator to use your free templates?

Yes

Can anyone download and use your templates?

Yes... All templates are free for anyone to download under the CC license

Is it a requirement to use your templates when submitting artwork for a screen printing quote?

No... When you request a free screen printing quote you only need to follow our artwork guidelines when you submit your art file to us – we will handle the rest. The templates are simply available as an extra option to anyone who may be a designer.

PSD Mockups

Invoices

Order Process

Payments

Shipping & Returns

Do you deliver?

Absolutely! If you are in the Chico area Hotbox Print Studio will deliver your printed tee's to your home or business for FREE!

Will you ship outside the US?

No, currently all orders must be fulfilled within the contiguous United States.