custom T-shirts printing

Let us help you with custom t-shirt printing, embroidery, and promotional products that suit your brand and budget.

Since 1974, we’ve been serving local businesses and organizations across North America, providing them with quality products and exceptional prints.

Professional prints, exceptional service


After starting in 1974 as one of British Columbia’s first screen printing shops, Action Athletic Wear has grown into a fully operational facility right in the heart of Vancouver, printing custom t-shirts for businesses, bands, and charitable organizations throughout Canada. We pride ourselves on our ability to create precise prints while delivering the kind of customer service you can only get from a family owned and operated business.

Here are just a few of the services we offer:

  • Fast turn-around
  • Oversized & awkward prints
  • Specialty inks & colour matching
  • Vectorizing services
  • Custom artwork
  • Affordable print, garment, and art options
WANT TO SEE HOW YOUR DESIGN WOULD LOOK?

CLICK HERE TO US OUR CUSTOMIZATION LAB

WANT TO SEE HOW YOUR DESIGN WOULD LOOK?

USE OUR APPAREL
DESIGN LAB ON DESKTOP

RECENT WORK

It’s a fact: promotional products are the best way to make a lasting, positive impression. We’ve printed thousands of promo products for businesses to give away, wedding favors, and even for band merch!

RECENT WORK

It’s a fact: promotional products are the best way to make a lasting, positive impression. We’ve printed thousands of promo products for businesses to give away, wedding favors, and even for band merch!

FAQ - How to order custom products


At Action, we know that every time you invest in promoting your business, you’re going to have questions. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive FAQ to help you create the perfect merchandise for your needs.

If you’re looking for art requirements or just a little more information about our production process, this page should cover many of the basic questions you’ll have before starting your order. We recommend all potential customers browse this guide before they order custom products to familiarize themselves with the ordering process. If you are working with a graphic designer, whether on your staff or contracted, we highly suggest sending them a link to this section so they can take note of our art requirements. With any kind of printing, investigating the art requirements can often save you time and money! And if you have a more specific question about how to order custom products, we’re happy to help you!

Don’t see what you need?
Please contact us so we can help you order custom products one-on-one.

What do you need from me to start my order?
  • The type of shirt you’d like to print on, sizes and quantity
  • Your artwork and where you’d like the design to printed on the shirt
  • Your due date
  • A 50% deposit before production and the remaining 50% before shipping or pick up
What happens once I put my order in?
  1. We send you a custom quote and a mock up with your artwork
  2. Any revisions to artwork or placement you may require
  3. Once you’ve approved your mock up, we separate your artwork and send it to our Production Department
  4. Your screens are created and inks are mixed
  5. The shirts arrive from the supplier to our shop and are counted
  6. We print your shirts, count them again, and pack them up!

Once we’ve received your artwork, we can give you a custom quote for your project. You can also use our quote generator to get a general idea of how much your merchandise will cost you if you use some of our most popular shirts.

The mock up you will receive with your quote will break down the number of ink colours you need and the size of your print. If you’d like to change an ink colour or the size of your print, you can! We’ll send you a revised mock up with any changes you’d like.

Once you’re happy with how your shirts will look, our graphic designer splits your image up to prepare it for going on a screen. When the screens are ready and the ink is mixed, all we need is your goods to arrive so we can print them!

What is your turn-around? How long will it take to get my merchandise?

Generally, it takes up to 10 business days to print your order from the day of approval. If you need your goods sooner, however, we can usually work something out. If you need your shirts immediately, rush charges will apply.

We deliver within Vancouver and use UPS and Canada Post to mail your goods to you. Shipping charges and times should be discussed with your sales person as they vary from order to order.

What types of printing can I do?
  • Screen printing
  • Sublimation
  • Direct-to-Garment digital printing
  • Embroidery

While we do offer sublimation and Direct-to-Garment digital printing, these methods are used very rarely. Sublimation can be a very expensive procedure and is not as environmentally friendly as screen printing. Direct-to-Garment digital printing may be able to print thousands of colours but it is also not cost effective for our customers and not as consistent as screen printing. In rare occasions, however, sublimation and Direct-to-Garment digital printing may be more desirable depending on your project.

When printing promotional products, the printing methods available vary from item to item.

How can I send my artwork?
  • E-mail
  • Dropbox
  • WeTransfer
  • In person on a USB Memory Stick

Really, any file transfer site will work just fine.
If your artwork is physical, we’re happy to scan in it!

What file format should my artwork be in?
  • Vector (.ai or .pdf)
  • Photoshop file (.psd) of 300 dpi at print size or larger
  • High resolution JPEG of 300 dpi at print size or larger

Vector artwork is always the best option for screen printing, especially for simple images like logos or text. If you don’t have access to vector artwork, a high resolution JPEG or Photoshop file would be excellent.

In some cases, particularly for logos, vector is truly the best option for printing. Our Art Department may decide to recreate your artwork as a vector image, which may have a small additional charge. In the end, we want you to have the best possible print you can!

If I have an idea, can you create the artwork?

We love collaborating with our customers on artwork! Our designer can help you create the perfect shirt graphic for your brand. Custom artwork is an additional cost, however, and in some cases can be quite costly depending on the time.

Additionally, our graphic designer is available to give you advice on how to better design your graphic for cost effective, yet awesome, t-shirts.

I’m working with a graphic designer. Can you speak directly to them?

Absolutely! If it’s easier for you, we’re more than happy to have our Art Department speak directly to the designer you’re working with.

What are my shipping options?

We regularly use UPS and Canada Post to ship our goods. Shipping cost and times vary from project to project, and your sales representative will help you choose the best option for your needs.

We deliver most of our local orders ourselves! You’re also welcome to come to our showroom and pick up your order!

How much is the deposit?

Screen printing orders have a mandatory 50% deposit, including tax.

What forms of payment does Action accept?

We accept credit card payments in person, online or over the phone. Cash or debit transactions can be performed in-store. Interac e-transfers and Paypal transactions are also acceptable.

Can I get samples made?

You can get samples made, but generally this is for very large orders (1000 or more shirts) and as there is quite a bit of work involved in preparing samples, they aren’t exactly cost effective for smaller runs.

You will, however, receive a digital proof of your artwork and placement at the size it will be printed and with the ink colours we will use.

We offer proofs free of charge because we want you to be happy with your order and confident that your shirts will look amazing!

What is screen printing?

Screen printing, or silk screening, is the most cost effective way to reproduce an image onto a garment. It is also one of the oldest forms of printing, with it’s roots stretching as far back as the Song Dynasty of China (960 – 1279 CE). Although it has a rich and practical history, screen printing exploded into a mainstream production method in the 1950s and 60s, when Andy Warhol and other artists began mass producing pop-culture images and using screen printing as an artistic medium. Once logos and branded images started to appear on clothing, along with t-shirts taking over casual fashion, many businesses and artists began printing their custom images for the obvious benefits of free marketing.

Today, screen printed t-shirts are the most popular clothing item world wide, with printing shops ranging from small home-run manual presses to large production facilities like our Vancouver location.

As you can tell, we really love screen printing.

How does screen printing work?

Essentially, screen printing is similar to stencilling – an image is separated by colour and each colour is put onto a mesh screen using emulsion and light.

Emulsion is a thick, gooey fluid that the mesh screen is coated in. After air drying the coated screen, the separated ‘stencil’, which is printed onto a transparent film, is taped to the screen before exposing it to a concentration of light. The light hardens the emulsion everywhere except where the stencil is. Using a pressurized nozzle, water is sprayed onto the emulsion to clear the area where the stencil is.

At this point, you have a stencil. Your screen is then put onto a press and lined up to any other colours you may be printing. Ink is put into the screen, and squeegee is pulled over the image, pushing the ink through the stencil onto a shirt. This process of pushing the ink through the screen is repeated for each colour, using a flash of heat between colours to cure the ink. Once the final ink colour is on the shirt, the shirt is removed and sent through a long, heated dryer to completely cure the ink and make sure your print lasts as long as possible!

How much does it cost to screen print?

The cost of screen printing is different for every project. Several things can affect cost, including but not limited to the amount of colours you use, the style and brand of garments you want to print on, the print size and the ink type.

The most important factor in the cost of your screen printing project is your colour count. A colour count is the number of ink colours you require to print your image – for every colour, a new screen has to be made, new ink must be mixed, and additional preparation and set up time must be taken.

Additionally, the size of your order will affect your price. As with most goods, the more items you print, the less costly each piece is.

Contact us for a custom quote!

What kinds of inks can I use?

Plastisol, discharge, water base, metallic, puff, glow-in-the-dark… we have a wide variety of ink types to suit every project. It is important to remember, however, that specialty inks are an additional cost.

Contact us for more information about our specialty inks!

Can I change ink colours for part of my order?

Yep! This is called a “Colour Way”. Mixing colour ways will be an additional charge, depending on the number inks you’d like to switch and the type of ink you are using, but we do this all the time.

I want to print my own care labels inside the garment. What do I need to include?
  • Fibre content and percentage found in garment
  • Bilingual information (Canada)

We consult the Canadian rules and regulations for garment labelling, which can be found here: www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/01249.html

Additionally, you may want to include the following on your neck labels:

  1. Fibre trademarks or descriptive terms
  2. The size of the garment
  3. Care information
  4. Your branding and contact information

PRINT ON YOUR FAVOURITE BRANDS AND MORE

What else can Action do for you?


Although we started as a screen printing shop, and continue to thrive in Vancouver, Action Athletic Wear has expanded to include heat pressed vinyl, embroidery, uniform services, promotional product printing, and much more. We aim to be an all-in-one merchandise service to our busy customers, helping them save time, money, and head aches on getting their merch printed.

Regularly working with teams, schools, touring acts, local bands and businesses, Action Athletic Wear has always been a competitive contender in the West Coast printing industry. Our secret? We pride ourselves on being affordable while providing personalized service – the kind you can only get with a family owned and operated business.

Vinyl Heat Press Transfers
Perfect for trucker hats, jersey names & numbers, or one-off pieces. Using our state of the the art plotter, we can cut you precise shapes for your custom merchandise.
Custom Jersey
Have a little league or beer league team? Action Athletic Wear can help you make custom jerseys with each players name and number using heat pressed vinyl!
Embroidery
We also do embroidery! Check out our Corporate Apparel page for more information – and no, you do not need to have a business to embroider with Action!
Custom Artwork
Our graphic designer specializes in brand development and illustration for screen printing. If you’re looking for a custom shirt graphic, we can help!
Promotional Products
For Action, it all began with screen printing. With competitive pricing, personal service, and dozens of styles to choose from, your prints come out perfect every time.
LET US KNOW A BIT ABOUT YOUR PROJECT AND WE'LL GET BACK TO YOU ASAP!

START YOUR ORDER TODAY

CONTACT US
Sending

LEARN MORE ABOUT ACTION

We take pride in our reputation as a trusted, responsible source for merchandise. Over the course of 41 years, Action Athletic Wear has developed a reputation for helping businesses, creatives and non-profits take an active role in their brands with quality merchandise and professional, custom printing.

Our About section can give you more information on our ethics and clients.

COMPARE PRICES INSTANTLY!

From our quote page you can compare the price of printing on different garments instantly, and email us your preferred quotes at the same time!

START DESIGNING
WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WANTING FOR?

GET YOUR DESIGN PRINTED TODAY