Screen printing is our most popular imprint method when customizing apparel. When choosing screen printing there are a number of different options available in terms of how your design is produced as a screen and what ink is used when printing your shirts which will all have distinct effects on the final product. In terms of ink we have standard plastisol, soft-hand or vintage inks, as well as shimmery metallic gold and silver inks. Then for how we turn your design into screens we have a standard method that works well for most logos, text, or illustrations that use flat colours. We also have halftone and four colour process printing available for those designs that may be photographic in nature or rely heavily on blended colours and gradients, however there are some restrictions inherent to these kinds of designs so please call and speak with of us if you think your design falls into this category. For more information on each of these printing methods and ink types please see the relevant sections on this page or click on the button below to send us an email.
standard Plastisol ink
ADVANTAGES OF standard plastisol Ink
Our standard print method is a bright, fully opaque layer of plastisol ink. One major advantage of plastisol ink is its ability to easily match any provided colour sample or Pantone code. With standard plastisol ink we can mix and print in any colour that you need. Another advantage of plastisol ink is that it is quite durable and will not wear away from multiple washes. Additionally, plastisol ink can maintain a high level of detail through the print production process and can easily achieve thin lines, halftone patterns, and small, delicate text.
disADVANTAGES OF Standard plastisol Ink
One of the major disadvantages of standard plastisol ink is that you cannot achieve any sort of photographic colour blending or gradients. Additionally, when printed in plastisol designs with large areas of flat colour can quite become a bit thick or heavy to the touch, especially when printing bright colours on dark garments.
Our standard printing is done with a bright, fully opaque layer of plastisol ink. Some of the advantages of this style of printing include: its ability to easily match Pantone codes – with standard plastisol we can mix and print in any colour that you need; it is quite durable and will not wear away from multiple washes; can maintain high detail and easily achieve thin lines, halftone, and small text. Some of the disadvantages of standard plastisol printing are that it can be quite thick and heavy to the touch, especially in large area of bright colour on a dark garment.
ADVANTAGES OF Soft-hand Ink
Soft-hand printing is similar to our standard plastisol ink except that it has been thinned out so that the end result is much softer and more translucent. One of the major advantages of soft-hand printing is that it will achieves a very soft print that in no way feels heavy or thick in the way that standard plastisol ink can (for more information see section above). This soft print can be used to give your shirts a distinctive pre-worn or vintage look. Although soft-hand ink is thinner and softer than standard plastisol ink it just as durable and has the added benefit from being too thin to crack as it ages.
DISADVANTAGES OF Soft-hand Ink
One of the biggest disadvantages of soft-hand ink is that it is unable to achieve bright opaque colours as it is translucent and will always show the colour and texture of the fabric below it. Additionally due to this aspect soft-hand inks are highly variable and much less accurate in terms of precise colour sample or Pantone code matching, especially on darker garments.
Soft-hand printing is similar to our standard plastisol ink except that it has been thinned out so that the end result is much softer and more translucent. Some of the advantages of soft-hand printing are: it will give you a very soft print; does not feel heavy or thick the way that regular ink can; vintage look; on darker garments soft-hand inks can give your shirt a distinctive aesthetic; just as durable as regular plastisol. Some of the potential disadvantages of soft-hand printing are: variable colours; less accurate in terms of Pantone matching, especially on darker garments.
ADVANTAGES OF METALLIC Ink
Metallic printing is similar to our standard plastisol inks in terms of texture and thickness except the ink is full of a reflective particulate that will give the end result a metallic shine. The main advantage of metallic printing is its eye-catching, distinctive aesthetic.
DISADVANTAGES OF METALLIC Ink
The potential disadvantages of metallic printing are that it is a very finicky because the reflective flakes within the ink don’t allow for fine halftone patterning, thin lines, or small text. Additionally the metallic flakes result in slightly more fragile print that can be affected more strongly by washing processes than other our other types of ink. Lastly, like standard plastisol metallic ink produces a heavy texture with an end result that can feel quite thick especially in larger designs with wide areas of colour.
Metallic printing is similar to our standard plastisol inks in terms of texture and thickness except the ink is full of a reflective particulate that will give the end result a metallic shine. The main advantage of metallic printing is its flashy aesthetic – metallic prints are very distinctive and eye-catching. The potential disadvantages of metallic printing are: it is a very finicky in that the reflective flakes within the ink don’t allow for halftones or small text; makes for a fragile print that can be affected more strongly by washing processes than other types of ink; produces a heavy texture with an end result that can feel quite thick especially in larger designs with wide areas of colour.
Technical guidelines for screen printing
When sending in your art file for screen printing please make sure that it has been saved as either as an at least 300dpi Photoshop file (psd, pdf, jpg, tiff, png, etc) or as a vector-based Illustrator file (eps, ai, svg, etc). If you are unfamiliar with these terms please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your design.
detail and Gradients
When thinking about your design please be aware that extremely fine lines or small text can sometimes be impossible to accurately recreate when screen printing (especially if the lines are being constructed from negative space). Additionally, please be aware that while achieving photographic results is partially possible when choosing screen printing, it will involve your design being converted into a halftone pattern. If you have any concerns over how your design might work as a screen print please feel free to contact us.
With screen printing your design can be up to 14 inches wide by 16 inches long, however the maximum print size of whatever garment you are printing on also needs to be taken into account (smaller garments have a smaller print area). Also something to consider with screen printing is that large areas of solid colour can feel heavier to the touch when being worn.
If you are still unsure about anything related to your printing or apparel needs, here are some helpful links that explain a little bit more about our printing processes and apparel pricing. Additionally, when you find an item that you like you can generate an initial quote on the apparel product page and we’ll get back to you shortly. Alternatively you can contact us directly by phone or email and we will happy to answer any questions you may have.