Welcome to the first review in this series reviewing various Printify print providers. We’re going to be starting with a Monster Digital Review. Monster Digital are based in Miami, United States and they are a clothing only print provider, meaning that they only sell clothing.
This review is also a video, which can be viewed below. Alternatively scroll down to continue reading the review.
The test is quite simple, I basically placed an order with Monster Digital/Printify for both a black and white t-shirt containing my print test design. Both shirts are the same model, Bella Canvas 3001, in size large.
The design consists of a challenging white photo. I chose this photo because it contains lots of subtle shades of white that can be difficult to print. The same goes for the dark photo. Lots of different shades of black and other dark colors that can be hard to print accurately especially on fabric.
The rest of the test design is just different shades of colors, print alignment test, font size tests and another challenging photo that contains lots of vibrant, contrasting colors.
I placed my order with Printify on July 26th. Monster Digital then processed and shipped my order on the 27th, so it took just one day production time which is extremely good. However, I believe Monster Digital mark orders as shipped before they actually are, more on that in a second.
I have found that most of my customers orders with Monster Digital get produced and shipped out within about 2 business days.
Since I Live in the UK, I was expecting a very long shipping time. However, my order was delivered on Aug 9th, so delivery from the US to the UK took less than two weeks. Which again, is pretty good, I was expecting about a 3-4 week delivery time.
Just to note, the shipping label on the parcel does state it was shipped on the 30th, not the 27th. So I think Monster Digital are marking orders as shipped early to make it seem like they have really fast production.
The packaging wasn’t great, it was just a standard plastic bag. Nothing fancy. There is no branding or info on the packaging. Like recycling information for example, so I’m assuming the plastic bag isn’t recyclable. Which is something to keep in mind if you have any designs related to climate change or the environment.
The packaging did include an invoice which does show the pricing of the shirts, of $9.90. Which is the non premium Printify price for the Bella Canvas 3001. It did come with 3 copies of the same invoice, for what reason I don’t know.
Along with that the shipping label does show that it was sent from Printify. Not very happy with that, not sure if its just because its a sample order or not. Printify do state that “Printify’s name does not appear anywhere on the package or the shipping label.” Which is not true. I will be getting in touch with them about this.
I did reach out to Printify, they have confirmed that their name should not have been printed on the shipping label. They have reached out to Monster Digital to fix this.
Pricing & Profit
The shirts were $8.05 each with the Printify Premium subscription and shipping to the UK was $14 for both shirts. The actual cost for shipping was $6.46, or so the invoice says. So it appears that they are making a profit in the shipping charges.
Example profit, if you sold a shirt at $18 and charged the customer the shipping, it works out at about $9.95 profit obviously this doesn’t take into account any fees you have to pay, like Etsy fees etc…
I won’t include this section in future review, simply because I’ll be ordering the same shirt models every time.
Everyone seems to love the Bella Canvas 3001 shirts, so I do think my expectations were a bit high, because when I opened the package I wasn’t really that impressed with the shirt quality.
The shirts feel a little thin, I’d even say the white shirt was a little see-through. Saying that, they are soft, but not as soft as I was expecting. They don’t feel any better than say, the Gildan Softstyle shirts.
I only have the black and white shirts, which are 100% cotton, I’ve not got the heather versions, which contain polyester, I believe these are softer.
Overall they are a decent shirt, just not the premium super soft shirt I was expecting.
Now the we’ll talk about the print quality!
Overall I was very impressed, the print quality on first glance looked very good, especially on the white shirt. Definitely one of the best quality DTG prints I’ve seen in a while.
The test print did fill the entire print area on the Printify website, and as you can see what appears in the Printify mockup is very similar to the final print. (Please see video for comparison)
I am very impressed with the dark print, especially on the black shirt. I expected this photo to come out mainly black with just the statue and diamonds showing. But their printers have managed to print all the different shades of black, all the greens, the blues, keeping all the detail.
On the white shirt, this is even better, if you look at the table and the diamond, you can see that more of the colors and details are visible on the white shirt.
Looking at the black in the color chart, I was actually a little shock at how visible the black print is on the black shirt. I’ve always avoided black designs on black shirts, but seeing that black ink is actually visable on the black shirt, has opened a few new design options for me.
The white print looks the best on the white shirt, on the black shirt the black fabric comes through too much, almost like the print is cracked, but its just the black fibres showing through.
On the white shirt you can see all the different shades of white, especially in the shadows at the bottom of the table and around the camera.
However on the white shirt, a lot of detail has been lost. If you look at the hand for example, compared with the black shirt, all the detail and shadowing has been lost in the hand. It’s not that it looks bad, but comparing them you can clearly see a difference.
It’s even more evident if you look at the batteries, it seems like all the depth has been removed. Still overall the white print does look better on the white shirt.
I would stay away from big blocks of white print on a black fabric.
Looking at the text and the alignment icons, you can see that the print on the white shirt is slightly better. However both suffer from some blurriness around the edges, but I don’t think you can avoid this. I think it’s just the nature of printing onto fabric.
Looking at the text, every bit of text is still readable even down to the 36pt font. However I think the text on the white shirt has turned out better. In future test I might even add smaller text sizes.
Looking at the CMYK sections, the Y on the first icon hasn’t printed well on either shirt. I’m not sure why as the other letters printed fine.
All the lines have printed too, even right down to the finest line which I didn’t expect to print at all. They both struggled with the circle lines though, with the finest line barely printing on the black shirt.
The halftone graphic printed perfectly on both shirts. I thought this would be a challenge to print, but it appears it wasn’t. I might remove this from future tests.
If we look at the balloon photo, you can defiantly see that the print is brighter and more vibrant on the white shirt. However all the depth has been lost, all the baloons look flat compared to the black shirt.
The colors seem to have printed pretty accurately on both shirts, with no color bleeding or anything like that. even the blue balloons are visable against the blue sky, I thought these would blend in with the sky.
This is the same with the color chart, the colors have printed mostly accurate, with the colors on the white shirt being the most vibrant.
White or Off-White
This was the test that I was the most looking forward to seeing. There is much debate in the DTG world, well there definitely is in the Printify Facebook group anyway. This is whether it is best to use true white, or an off white for your designs. True white being RGB 255, 255,255 or hex #FFFFFF.
I definitely see a lot of complaints in regards to white on black fabric prints, it seems like there is much variation between print providers. I’ve definitely received some very poor white prints in the past.
However, the white print from Monster Digital is very good, and it seems like there is no difference between using true white or an off white.
On the black shirt I can barley see a difference between the shades of white. The shades of white are only visible on the white shirt, and they’re barley visible at best.
Using an off white might work for some print providers, however for Monster Digital it seems you’re perfectly fine using true white.
On the white shirt, you can barley even feel the print at all, almost like the ink is part of the fabric. Which makes for a very comfortable, lightweight shirt.
On the black shirt however, you can definitely feel the print. It has a very obvious rubbery feel to it. Which feels slightly heavy when wearing it, you are defiantly aware of the print being there.
Whereas with the white shirt, the print is so lightweight that you forget the print is even there.
I washed both shirts on a cool cycle (30c), inside out, just as Printify recommends.
Both shirts have come out looking exactly as they went in, really impressed actually. There was no loss of color, no loss of any print, no cracks, nothing.
Regarding the fabric, both look fine, they don’t appear to have shrunk and there is no pilling.
Please keep in mind that this is only one wash, the print or shirts might degrade after continuous washing. But I’d definitely expect them to last a while.
I’ll keep washing them with every review I do, so we’ll get to see how well they hold up after continual washing.
In conclusion, I’m very impressed with Monster Digtials print quality, especially on the white shirt. But even the black shirt is really good, only let down by the patchiness on the white photo print.
Their production time was great, and even the shipping to the UK was good. Only let down by the fact that the label states that it’s from Printify and the fact that it comes with an invoice showing the price you paid for the shirt, and not the actually retail price the customer paid.
With both shirts looking great, and even holding up perfectly in the wash. I feel comfortable recommending Monster digital, and even more comfortable choosing them as my print provider for my own business.
You definitely won’t be disappointed using Monster Digital as your print provider.
Which print provider would you like to see reviewed next?