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The Guide: Screen printing

Pick the perfect spot to make a mark

Image courtesy of ACME Hot & Fresh T-Shirts

January 17, 2013 | 12:00 a.m. CST

ACME HOT & FRESH T-SHIRTS

Address: 15 S. Ninth St.
Contact: 817-2263
Online: facebook.com/acmeofcolumbia
The front windows of Acme Hot & Fresh boast the company’s motto, “Super quick, dirt cheap, anything goes.” The slogan holds true for its T-shirt design process. Printers boast that they can produce a single T-shirt in
10 minutes, but large orders with bulk prices as low as $4 per shirt can take up to two weeks. Acme services a varied clientele, such as local organizations, college clubs and MU Greek groups.

CORPORATE IDENTI-T'S, INC. & UNIVERSI-T'S

Address: 3503 Buttonwood Drive
Contact: 875-0102
Online: universi-ts.com
In a standalone beige building south of MU campus, Corporate Identi-T’s promises a typical 7- to 10-day turnaround for most orders but are willing to work on long-term projects. With a variety of options, there’s no need to bring your own shirt. It carries Gildan, Adidas, American Apparel, Hanes and more. Pricing is customized to each order, and they call themselves “equal-opportunity T-shirt printers.”

D SPORT SCREEN PRINTING

Address: 1034 E. Walnut
Contact: 449-8018
Online: dsportmo.com
D Sport hums with the sound of the printing machine somewhere in the back room. Depending on the size, orders pop out between 48 hours and a week after being placed. Pricing is customized for each order. Customers can bring in their own material or purchase T-shirts and accessories at the store, but there is a minimum of 12 items per T-shirt order. Most of D Sport’s business comes from outside of Columbia, notably Special Olympics organizations in Missouri and Kansas.

DIGGIT GRAPHICS

Address: 8 Hitt Street Suite A
Contact: 442-0205
Online: diggitgraphics.com
It’s T-shirt and a movie night! Diggit Graphics is located in a small space nestled next to Ragtag Cinema, but don’t expect your project to be done by the time the credits roll. Orders take between 7 and 10 business days. Customers can bring in their own T-shirts or purchase them from the store, and there’s no minimum or maximum order size. Pricing depends on the style and number of colors used on the design.

EMBROIDER IT

Address: 2403 Industrial Drive
Contact: 234-2951
Online: embroideritonline.com
With the catchphrase “We’ll keep you in stitches and screen print, too,” Embroider It is proud of its versatility as an embroidery shop and screen-print center. Julie Cordia, one of four owners, says the store’s standout feature is that it offers organizations the chance to create an online catalog for members to shop from. Screen printing orders have a minimum of 12 items, and the company prefers to do most designing for its costumers.

THE FLYING COW T-SHIRTS CO.

Address: 907 University Ave.
Contact: 874-0185
Online: theflyingcow.com
Located on the edge of the MU campus, Flying Cow is known for its productive T-shirt design process and its distinctive logo. It promises a two-week turnaround for most orders, but this can be faster with the inclusion of a rush fee. Customers can bring in their own T-shirts or buy from the store with custom prices for each specific order. Flying Cow handles orders of any size and also sells Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State merchandise.

INSTANT IMPRINTS

Address: 1401 Forum Blvd.
Contact: 445-1030
Online: instantimprints.com
Instant Imprints serves a wide variety of customer needs, such as T-shirts, signs and embroidery. The printers can complete an order, depending on size, in less than 24 hours, but there is a minimum of 12 items for printing orders. Customers are only allowed to bring in their own items to customize if the store doesn’t offer what they want. It’s known for it’s regional breadth, and it serves businesses and groups in Moberly, Harrisburg, Madison, Jefferson City, Centralia and Columbia.

MISSOURI COTTON EXCHANGE

Address: 3420 Buttonwood Drive
Contact: 442-3527
Online: mocotton.com
Missouri Cotton Exchange has been around for more than 40 years and boasts that it’s the biggest screen printing facility between Kansas City and St. Louis. Orders both large and small are completed within a one- to two-week standard window, which might change since the business added another printing machine, owner Jeff Glenn says. Customers can choose to purchase items from the company or bring in their own, and pricing depends on the quantity ordered and the amount of ink used. Any size order is welcome.

SNOWCREEK APPAREL

Address: 5900 S. River Hills Road
Contact: 445-3405
Online: snowcreekapparel.com
Snowcreek, an eight-mile drive southwest of the city, specializes in bulk deals on T-shirts. Prices are low, but you better have a big group — it’s $3.75 per white shirt if you order 250, $3.50 if you order 500 and $3.25 if you order 1,000. They offer Gildan 2000 ultra-cotton T-shirts and provide free shipping, setup and screens for all orders of 250 shirts or more.

SONSHINE GRAPHICS

Address: 2100 E. Broadway
Contact: 441-0707
Online: sonshinegraphics.com
Established in 1984, Sonshine Graphics promises a 10-business-day turnaround on most orders, but owner Chris Marks expresses a willingness to work with customers who might need a quicker delivery. Like the other printing businesses in town, Sonshine’s pricing is customized to each order, but it charges more for items that are not bought at the store. Marks estimates that 90 percent of the store’s business consists of returning customers. “If you’re buying an orange,” he says, “we want to be the grocery store with the cool music.”

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