My daughter wanted a T-shirt for Christmas last year. Not just any T-shirt, but one specially printed with a video game logo. The logo didn’t have many colors, but was (is) complex, with some palm trees, ocean water, and a few seagulls. My wife and I decided on a screen printer for the job. The image had to be captured from a computer, then made into a stencil for pressing. After that, all the colors in the image were laid down on separate layers of the fabric. We loved the results. We still love the results. And we’re not even the ones who get to wear the shirt.
So then: Was the screen-printing technique a good idea for this particular project? I think so. It took a little longer, but that shirt looks great. Having said as much, it wasn’t our only option. What exactly are the best projects for screen printing, and when is it best to consider other options?
What it is, and how it’s cool
Screen printing is the process of forcing ink into tightly woven, framed mesh with a roller. The first pass of the roller presses the ink into the mesh, then with a “return pass” the ink is stamped onto a substrate. From a procedural aspect you might be thinking it all sounds so simple. The truth, however, is that screen printing is an artisan’s craft. It takes years to master, as well as a passion for perfection.
Perfection is pretty much what comes out of every experienced screen printer’s order. That’s because color reproduction tends to be spot-on. Not only that, the layered technique used for their application gives them a bright, screaming vibrancy unmatched by digital printers.
What can screen printing do for you?
Screen printing, sometimes referred to as silk screen printing, can be used on things like coffee mugs, bottles, bags…and T-shirts. Especially T shirt printing Atlanta. Which is not to say the practice is limited to fabric. It’s been utilized on glass, wood, paper, and even plastics.
Use screen printing for the following kinds of projects:
- Projects with less than ten colors (more than that tends to get a bit messy and cluttered)
- Projects you want to last for a long time
- Projects of less complexity
- The more complicated the image, the more difficult it gets to make the stencil
- High order projects
- As the number of orders increases for a project, the cost for each item printed goes down
- This is because once a stencil and colors for an image are created, they can be used over and over again for subsequent copies
- Projects that require extremely high-quality images with bright colors
Screen printing is the traditional way of capturing a beautiful design onto just about any canvas. The craft has been in practice for over a thousand years and continues to impress customers of all ages. When you wish to be happy with what you wear—or as in my case, you wish to make someone in your family happy—screen printing is a reliable, long-lasting choice for cheap custom shirts.