I've spent a good portion of the day going through the forums to find my answer and I've put together bits and pieces, but I thought it might be better just to post my question directly. I need to find a place (ideally local) to print transparencies / film positives that will be at least 12" x 12" for the blank LP jackets I'm printing on. The issue is: I'm not even sure what I should be asking for.
I've seen people talking about films, vellum, and just paper made translucent with baby oil, but I don't know the best way forward. I'm only printing one color, so I don't need to worry about any registration issues. In the past, I've printed small enough that I've been able to use inkjet transparencies or even printed onto tracing paper with my crappy Dell inkjet (the software I had to install was so bad that when I ran out of ink, I just threw it away).
I called a screen printing shop a friend recommended to see if I could get some films from them, but I ended up in a really confusing conversation where I was ultimately quoted $33 for a single 12x12 film (I'll need four, one for front and back of two LP jackets). It seemed expensive, but I thought maybe I could just try one because the opacity would surely be better than what I've been working with and hopefully make my process a lot easier. When I told him I could give him the art as a PDF, he said he needed it as a vector image. That's where I got totally confused and just gave up. The art is mostly scans of line drawings with some text on it - I'm lost as to why I'd need to convert these to vector images to get a film positive. Perhaps I'm asking for the wrong thing.
A little about my setup - it's really DIY. No vacuum exposure units. Until I built a light table a few months ago, I was burning in the sun or using a bright bulb from a photo shop a friend recommended. I'm just printing single color, so it's a fairly straightforward and relatively simple process.
I want a good balance between inexpensive and quality transparencies (as opaque as possible). I'm still working out my exposure times, so having a good source will be a huge help. I'm guessing this isn't something I get at Kinko's. Where should I look and what should I be asking for?