Screen printing is a process that deposits ink onto a garmet through essentially a stencil that is on a screen. Silk used to be used as the screen material, but now a days a monofilament poly mesh is commonly used. Each color of a design requires its own screen. Once the ink has been applied to the garmet, it must be cured in order to dry the ink to the garmet creating a long lasting design. Screen printing also offers a softer feel than photo transfers and vinyl.
There are a couple different types of screen printing. There is basic spot color, process color, index color (simulated process), and cmyk (process). Basic spot color is the traditional t-shirt designs most people are familiar with. It can can range from one to several colors, but the colors are solid with no gradients. Process color has gradients and uses fewer colors to appear as if there are more. The gradients are what makes this happen by "tricking" the eye. Index color works very similar to process color, but it uses small, solid blocks, kind of like pixels on a monitor to create the illusion of more colors. CMYK uses special ink that actually mixes together to make virtually any color as an inkjet printer does. CMYK ink should be used on light colored garmets for best reults. If you are unsure of what type of printing you need, just give us a call or stop in, we would be happy to help.
Screen printing on dark colors
When we screen, for example, red on a black shirt, we use an under base to ensure the red is bright and not dark or dull looking. Some screen printers will skip this step to save time and money or they do not want to deal with the difficulty of aligning the screens. We do not recommed this as the garmet will not look near as good as it should. It will increase the cost of the garmet, but it is worth it. The cost increase is because two screens have to be used instead of one, and it takes more time to accurately align the two screens perfectly together. Often we will try to include the under base elsewhere in the design. We feel if you have two colors, you may as well use them both if possible.
Here is an example of red on black with and without an underbase.
Both the top and bottom design is from the same screen using the same red ink with the same amount of strokes. The difference is quite noticable especially in person. If you would like to see it for yourself, stop in and ask to see it.
How we determine price
Price is based on the number of units needed and the number of colors used in the design. The cost to create the art, create the screen, align the screen(s), and reclaim the screen remain the same, whether we make one shirt or one thousand. If you are only making one shirt, that total cost is entirely upon that shirt. If you are making one hundred shirts, each shirt has only one hundreth of the entire cost, therefore reducing the cost per shirt. Variables in pricing would include time spent per shirt. For example, if a color or colors need to be dried before the next color is applied, the time it takes to make a shirt increases. If that time increases, so does my labor cost.
When you call us to get a quote for an order, we put the information into a calculator I designed, to get the price per shirt. Having the exact number of shirts needed, and the number of colors will give you a more exact quote.
Turn around time
Our turn around time varies with the time of year. Certain times of the year, we can have your order done in about two days. Other times, like just before Little League season, it could be two weeks. Our work load varies day to day and week to week. If you know that you will be needing an order by a certian date, order ahead, so we can get you on the calendar and work others around your order. Those who wait until the week of an event can put us in a bind, and may cause us not to be able to accept your order.