February 15, 2015

The Process

We liken what we do to an artistic trade -screen printers are Craftspeople. There are many ways to get to the best end result within this craft, and every decision determines the result. From the quality of the original artwork, to preparing the artwork for print, to choosing the best screen type and mesh count, to proper registration, to choosing / mixing the right ink color and type, to then ensuring proper ink-cure-times…there is a lot to it! And that only touches on the details of the process.

This is why every garment is a unique piece of art. If you play guitar or other instruments, you will understand this analogy:. You can have two of the exact same instrument, made by the same person in the same exact way and they won’t sound or play alike. As with any hand made item, there will be some nuances, but we do our best to maintain the highest of consistency within runs.

There are several steps involved in the screen printing process. Each one is just as important as the last in order to produce the best results. Nobody wants a poorly printed t-shirt, so we go out of our way to make sure the slightest detail gets some stage time.

Here’s the play x play of the whole enchilada, leaving out some of the boring stuff.

Design: We start by creating the best design we can. You know what they say, crap in – crap out! We prefer to go with: love in – love out! You will work closely with our  graphic design team in order to ensure you get what you want and what you need. This is your project and we truly want the best for you. 

Color Separations: Once the artwork is solid, we need to break down the design into the individual colors used in the design. This is done by creating a separate high resolution file for each color in the design. Once separated, it’s time to print them onto individual and clear film positives with a special printer. 

Exposing the Films: Now it’s time to turn on some tunes and the black lights. Well, kinda. It’s time to expose the films onto the screens in the dark room. We use UV light (and sometimes a little Floyd) in a vacuum exposure unit to transfer the separated designs to the individual silk screens.

The screen is the most important tool screen printers have in our arsenal. There are several different kinds of screens, mesh sizes and frame sizes to choose from, depending on the scope of the design and ink type. 

Time to Print: Once the screens are washed and dry, we can start production on your custom apparel. We actually get out our tool boxes and use micro adjusters to make super-duper sure that the carefully prepared screens are registered perfectly before starting the actual printing process. This will ensure that the different screens all line up, with precision, and blend like they should.