The most reliable way to produce artwork for screen printing is to manually prepare it in Adobe Illustrator. Each of the three colors is going to form a separate artwork in a separate layer, using elements from the main image for each color. Using Layers does not affect how your artwork is output by your screen printer; it just makes it easier for you to work on.
Custom Ink offers two different methods of printing, in order to provide a process that best suits your artwork. We offer traditional screen printing for the majority of our products, as well as digital printing on selected items.
Screen printing involves creating a stencil (printers call this a "screen"), and then using that stencil to apply layers of ink on the printing surface. Each color is applied using a different stencil, one at a time, combined to achieve the final look.
Screen printing is the best option for designs that require a high level of vibrancy, when printing on dark shirts, or for specialty products. The ink in screen printing is applied thicker than digital printing, which results in brighter colors even on darker shirts.
The fact that these products are printed by hand also allows for unique products like water bottles, can coolers and mugs, as the printer can manually handle curved or uneven surfaces. The minimum order quantity on screen printed items exists because of the extra materials and labor time associated with this printing method.
Digital printing is best used for items that require high amounts of detail, and orders of a smaller quantity. The fact that the digital printer does not use screens allows for a photographic print, with much more detail than traditional screen printing. As the ink is applied thinner (to achieve such detail), digital printing is best used on lighter colored shirts to allow the design to shine through. The fact that the design is processed and printed digitally allows for a quantity of one, since there are no screens or physical setup.
Together, OSHA and the printing industry are committed to providing employers and employees with information and assistance to help them comply with OSHA and industry standards and ensure safe workplaces. Four printing disciplines are addressed in these pages: lithography, flexography, gravure, and screen printing.
In screen printing, you lay a mesh screen across the surface you want your design to appear on, then coat it with color ink using a squeegee. The ink flows through the mesh to contact the surface, except where the mesh holes are blocked by a stencil. Then you repeat this process with more screens, stencils, and ink colors until the image has been completed.
Screen printing is a great way to create effective, long-lasting promotional items like bags, t-shirts, flags, banners, and more. However, it is important to use the right type of ink to get the best results. Ink used for screen printing is more viscous than standard ink and has a variety of other properties to meet the different demands and expectations of the silk screening process. The most commonly used inks for silk screening are oil-based Plastisol ink, water-based suede, discharge, and expanding ink. People interested in more eco-friendly ink can use PVC and Phthalate-free types.
The type of ink that you should choose to do your screen printing depends on a number of factors. These include the type of application, space restrictions, environmental concerns, economic limitations, and your end goals. Water-based ink has risen in popularity due to its eco-friendly reputation. New Plastisol inks are being developed to be environmentally safe as well.
As its name implies, this printing technique relies on a screen, which is a woven piece of fabric. Certain areas of this mesh are coated with a non-permeable material. In the remaining open spaces, ink can be pushed through the mesh onto a substrate. The advantage of screen printing is that the surface of the recipient does not have to be flat and that the ink can adhere to a wide range of materials, such as paper, textiles, glass, ceramics, wood, and metal.
Rick Stallings is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Rick is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221 or by submitting our easy quote request form. Rick and the Formax team have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985. 2b1af7f3a8