Screen Printing is the bread and butter of the advertising specialties industry. It is the most common and reliable type of imprinting process. Used on everything from t-shirts to pens, we can almost guarantee that you currently own a product that has been screen printed.
While it is the most common process, it actually requires quite a few steps to create.
- A screen is created with your desired artwork cut out. Think of this like a stencil, allowing the ink to be applied to your product in the shape of your image. This screen allows for your artwork to be applied uniformly to hundreds or thousands of products in assembly, instead of having some poor soul drawl them all on by hand.
- A coating, called emulsion, is applied to the screen. This solution makes the "negative image" to your artwork water/ink resistant, so that ink is not applied to areas that are not in your design.
- The emulsion is exposed to UV light to harden the coating and make it hold firm to the screen.
- The screen is loaded into a machine that will spread the ink across the screen face, pressing the ink into the product.
- The product is dried and the process repeated for any additional locations or colors.
- Your items are ready to be shipped
One thing to consider with this process, is what we call "registration". Essentially, registration is the amount of space between lines in your artwork. Since screen printing doesn't use a precision tool like a laser or digital ink-jet, we have to be careful that lines in your artwork do not end up "bleeding" together. Don't worry! If we feel like there is potential for this, we will certainly suggest an alternative design.