I just recently added a wide-format HP DesignJet Z6 printer to my collection of printers. This is the 3rd printer I now own. One an Epson sublimation printer and the other being an A3+ Canon photo printer. Slowly but surely, I'm adding bit by bit to my design business.
Recently I was contacted by a lady looking for some help. Basically, she was thinking about getting into the personalization business and she was asking what equipment she needed and where I sourced some of the products that I use. So, I gave her a bit of information and I hope it helps her on her way. It took me a lot of searching and quite a bit of money along the way in attempting to find the best suppliers for certain products and I'm going to share them with you here.
Sourcing certain products in Ireland can be a problem for graphic designers. I think we are way behind our UK neighbours in terms of suppliers and manufacturers.
I have been selling personalised products now for four years and the equipment I have bought has all been from the UK and if you do manage to find that printer or vinyl cutter in Ireland it is probably a good bit more expensive than purchasing the same piece of equipment from the United Kingdom.
So, if you're a graphic designer living in Ireland looking for a new printer, or you're looking to get into t-shirt printing or the sign-making business. I'm going to share with you the best places I believe you can source your products.
Wide Format Printers
Paper and Supplies
Wide Format Printers
Getting a Wide Format Printer is a big deal. They are a big investment and for that money, you want to make sure you are dealing with a customer service that is fast to responded and are willing to answer your questions honestly. For my HP DesignJet Z6 printer, I purchased it from a company in the UK called Graphic Design Supplies (graphicdesignsupplies.co.uk). They have a really well-organised website and supply everything from printers to guillotines. Furthermore, they are very fast to respond to any queries that you may have. After I purchased the printer from these guys, I had it delivered in about 4-5 days.
Sublimation Printers and Vinyl cutters
MDP Supplies have a few locations throughout the UK and one of those is based in Northern Ireland which is great for getting next-day delivery in Rep of Ireland.
These guys supply loads of equipment and materials if you're looking to get into the sign-making business as well as offering vinyl for applying to apparel.
MPD Supplies also offer a good selection of heat presses, mug presses, and even baseball cap presses. As well as all this they supply a good selection of heating elements that allow you to sublimate to different size mugs, bottles, plates, and lots more.
I have only recently started to make canvas at the time of writing this article but the best I have found these guys seem to offer everything to get you up and running.
In fact, they offer starter packages to get the ball rolling and it's the place I go to when I need stretcher bars, canvas rolls, accessories, packaging, etc.
I always go to amazon to purchase my paper as they offer the best deals and have so many user reviews meaning I always know I'm getting a quality product.
Most of my designs are printed on glossy photo paper but you have such a vast selection of options ranging from paper type to weight.