The Basics of Screen Printing

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a type of mesh and ink blocking stencil. Colored ink is applied to the surface of the mesh and is then forced through openings on the screen, while the ink blocking portions of the stencil keep the ink from permeating the other areas. A “squeegee-like” tool is used to make sure the entire area to be printed is coated with the ink. The resulting print is very crisp, clean and can be quite artistic.

The Benefits of Screen Printing

Screen printing offers many benefits when compared to other forms of printing or inking. Some of the benefits include:

  • Allows the ultimate in customization
  • Can be done in single color or with multiple colors
  • Commonly used on garments, but it can be utilized for other objects as well
  • Affordable, with prices based on quantity ordered, complexity and number of inks chosen. If there are multiple locations the cost goes up Fast—the process is quickly completed (standard 8-10 business days lead time)
  • Eco-friendly processing method
  • Designs can be very simple or very complex, all the way up to full color prints like photos
  • Great for uniforms, family reunions, charity events, fun runs, clubs, teams, schools and much more

Some background on Screen Printing

The modern process of screen printing was developed in the 1940’s as an artistic process. Later, Andy Warhol popularized it as an art form to recreate some of his paintings on standard painters' canvas and even shirts, but through innovations roughly 20 years later it has become the same basic process used all over the world today. Screen printing is used by many to create a number of the graphic tee shirts and other items worn today. However, there are many other products produced too - you will find screen printing used on watch faces, decals, balloons, product labels and many other surfaces. The most common applications are printing on T-shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, jackets, tote bags, toddler, infant wear and more.

Is Screen Printing the same as Silk Screening?

You may hear the term silkscreen from time to time and wonder about the difference between silk screening and screen printing. Wonder no longer! The two techniques are essentially the exact same process. The term silkscreen is actually a bit of a misnomer, since silk is seldom used as the mesh material anymore. However, when the technique was first created, quite often real silk was the material chosen for the mesh portion of the screen printing stencil. Today polyester mesh is typically used. There are also other names for the same process. If you hear serigraphy, and serigraph printing used, rest assured, it is the exact same process.

Interested in a Screen Printed Design?

If you think that you may want to get a certain design screen printed, it is important to be prepared for what the process entails. First, you will need to have your custom logo, artwork or design ready to be emailed to us. We prefer Vector files (don't worry if you don't know what this is). The next most preferred are high resolution PDF, JPG, Photoshop or Illustrator files. You should also have some idea of what color or colors you would like to use in your design as well as the size and print location. Remember, the more colors you choose, the more expensive the design will be. Finally, you need to choose the right clothing item for the job.

If you have these decisions made, it will be easier to begin the process with your screen printer. If you have not we are happy to assist you or make some recommendations.

If you would like to learn more about our screen printing services, or perhaps get a quote for your project, fill out the online form and we will be happy to get back to you.

Get a Quote

Our Screen Printing Services

Already have a logo? Or not? Use this form for your screen printing quote.
Get a Quote

Some of Our Work

Screen Printing Machine

Screen Printing Ink