Order Details

What is your turnaround time?

Typically this is 10 days for the services that we do in house. If we are extremely busy then this may be longer and we will let you know. If we need to send out your job for any reason (all overprinting or relabel) then we cannot guarantee the turnaround time.


The garment I want is out of stock – how does that affect me?

It is unfortunate, but sometimes our vendors will run out of particular styles or colors. This is the nature of the industry. Sometimes a big player like a major retailer will come along and buy up all of a company’s inventory. We cannot prevent this, nor can they prevent it.

If this happens we can offer a variety of possible substitute products from other vendors, or you can choose to wait until the items are back in stock. If you choose to wait for the inventory to be replenished then we cannot guarantee the turnaround time or that the items will be back in stock when the vendor says they will.

If you choose a substitute garment then we should be able to stick to our typical turnaround time unless those garments are out-of-stock as well.

All of our vendors can have inventory problems at one time or another, especially in the busy season (summer months and many times through Christmas). We order your garments within 24 hours of you placing an order so we should be able to notify you of out-of-stocks within a day of your order confirmation.

How do I get the cost down?


  1. Get to our next price break (at 48, 72, 144, 288, 500, 750, 1000, 1500 . . .)

  2. Print in fewer locations with fewer colors

  3. Choose more economical garments

  4. Do not relabel your garments

How do I get my artwork to you?

You can transmit artwork to us in a number of ways:

  • complete our estimate request form and upload artwork from that page

  • email files that are 15MB or less

  • use a file transfer service like yousendit

  • contact our art department for FTP info. Name the file so that it can easily be identified as yours. For example: “companyName_designName.pdf”.

Are there any discounts on reorders?

We do not offer discounts on reorders. Discounts are based on volume per design on every order.

Do dark shirts cost more?

Yes. Dark shirts are more expensive to buy as blanks, and they usually require a white underbase to make most colors opaque.

Do I pay more for garments 2XL and above?

Yes, each garment varies in price from 2XL right up to 6XL, contact us for exact prices.

When does your typical 10 days turnaround time begin?

When we have received the final artwork, your 50% deposit, and approval of our mock-up. If there is a delay in your approval of our mockup, changes to the mock-up, or out of stocks from the vendor, turn around time may be delayed further. The typical turn around time on most orders is 10 business days. Relabel and other services will add to turn around time, and on some occasions, a typical order might take a little longer, but we try our best to meet the 10 business days and 99% of the time we do.

Do you ship outside of the United States?

Yes. Bigbear Apparel orders can be printed/shipped in the US or from our office in the UK.

Can I mix the shirt types in my order (t-shirts, tanks, hoodies, underpants)?

Yes, as long as the design is exactly the same on each shirt and is printed in the same location and the same size on all of the shirts. We have a minimum of 12 pieces per style, color, and size for each garment when ordering and a minimum of 24 pieces per colorway.

How much for a pre-production sample?

Pre-production samples are $100 per imprinted color and our pre-press mock-up and approval process eliminates the need for press samples under most circumstances. We can send blank samples of any garment, along with previously printed samples, for far less than a printed sample.

Essentially, the quality of our work speaks for itself, and how we will gladly send examples of our print work. Additionally, our mockups are very meticulous and we are well educated with how our inks work with most garments. Why waste time and money with a printed sample when we can deliver the quality you want straight out the gate?

Do you guarantee your work?

Definitely, no question. We stand behind our products and will do what is necessary to make sure you get what you want and expect. We take every precaution possible to avoid miscommunications and mistakes on the front end of the job. On the rare occasion we make a mistake we will correct it for you. If this ever occurs, we will examine the process by which we arrived at the mistake, take action to make sure it will not happen again, and we will inform you of what you can do for future orders to help us avoid a mistake. We have no problems admitting when we screw up. In some situations, the responsibility may lie on the customer, in which case we will inform you of what you can do for future orders to help us avoid a mistake. The bottom line is that we are reasonable and ethical people and we want you to have a good experience with us and order with us again.

Printing Questions And Capabilities

What is an underbase?

An under base is a layer of white ink that is printed under the other ink colors when printing dark garments with plastisol inks. When printing most colors on dark garments the color of the shirt will show through the ink influencing the color of the ink. For instance, yellow ink printed directly on a royal blue shirt will look green. To prevent this, an under the base of white ink is printed, then flash dried, and the yellow is printed on top. This gives the top colors full opacity.

How many colors can you print?

We print up to 10 different ink colors at a time in a location under any circumstances. We can use several techniques to increase the number of perceived colors in a print. We can produce full-color prints on both light and dark-colored garments.

Will the printing fade on my shirts after a few washes?

No. Our plastisol screen printed t-shirts are very durable and the print will outlive the garment. The same applies to water-base although water base does become more ‘distressed’ looking after the initial wash. The hand or feel of the ink may soften with numerous washings. Never iron a screen printed garment and do try to wash them inside out.

Do you offer digital garment printing?

We do not offer digital or direct to garment printing. We are not completely satisfied that the technology will meet our production needs just yet.

Do you print on hats?

We do print on headwear. Please contact us for specs and limitations and we will certainly recommend and source embroidery when we feel that your design or substrate will be better suited for embroidery.

Do you do athletic numbering or lettering?

We do not offer athletic numbering or lettering. Most manufacturers and distributors who sell athletic jerseys and garments offer this service.

Do you print on jackets?

Under some circumstances, we can. Please contact us for specs and limitations and we will certainly recommend and outsource embroidery when we feel that your design or substrate will be better suited for embroidery.

Are your inks environmentally friendly?

We print with both plastisol and waterbased inks. Both chemistries are harmless when handled properly by filtration of wastewater, curing waste ink, and by using V.O.C.-free chemicals for cleaning. We follow these practices in order to have a negligible environmental impact. There is debate, but water-based ink is generally considered to be an environmentally friendly option due to the lack of PVC compounds in the ink.


Make all artwork to size.

Inks/Color and Shirts

  • Include a color comp/proof of what the final print should look like (CMYK mode).

  • Ink and shirt color/s must be specified.

  • Colors should be Spot Colors (including White and Black ink) and should be chosen from our stock inks or the Pantone Coated guide (exceptions for specialty inks and 4-color Process printing). Contact us with any questions.

  • Ink colors tend to shift on colored shirts. Some colors work better than others on dark shirts, some won’t work at all without an underlay. Contact us with any questions.

  • Avoid using the Multiply blending mode to simulate translucent overprinting. Depending on color combinations, the final results will differ drastically. Contact us to schedule an ink drawdown to proof final colors and combinations.

Illustrator/Vector artwork

  • Make art to size.

  • Save in .AI or .EPS format, CMYK color mode. Legacy format (CS5) preferred to avoid compatibility issues.

  • Create Outlines on all fonts.

  • Convert all strokes to Outlines.

  • Files with each color on its own Layer is strongly preferred.

  • Include any/all imported or placed images and graphic files.

  • Avoid using Clipping Masks. Use the Pathfinder tool instead.

Photoshop/Raster Artwork

  • Make art to size.

  • Save in .PSD or .TIF format, CMYK color mode (or Grayscale if the design is 1-color).

  • Files with each color on its own Layer is strongly preferred.

  • File resolution should be at least 150dpi, and not to exceed 600dpi.

Typography and Line Weight


  • For positive reading type, keep fonts at an 8pt minimum (12pt for Metallic ink). For knocked-out text, keep fonts at a 12pt minimum

  • (16pt for Metallic ink). Final results will vary depending on the chosen typeface.

  • For positive reading lines, keep strokes at a 1pt minimum (2pt for Metallic ink). For knocked-out lines, keep strokes at a 2pt minimum (3pt for Metallic ink).

Technical and Printing Specifics


  • Please let us determine the halftone size and angle.

  • Bigbear Apparel is not responsible for errors or unsatisfactory results cause by halftones created by the client. Please allow us to assist you if you’re not familiar with the screen printing process.

  • Please proof-read any and all copy. Bigbear Apparel is not responsible for mistakes in spelling.

  • Avoid using images from the internet when possible.

  • Press checks require scheduling and may result in additional fees.


  • Make each file on its own Layer (Photoshop & Illustrator).

  • Convert all strokes to Outlines.

  • Avoid using Clipping Masks (use the Pathfinder to keep shapes simple).

  • To save on file space, convert 1-color designs to Grayscale color mode (Photoshop).