Just What Is Screen Printing?
Screen printing is the process of applying specialty inks to fabrics (usually clothing, but not always) using a series of screens, one colour at a time.
What Types Of Images Can Be Screen Printed?
Any vector graphic, text, logo, or shape that is NOT photograph based, and can be separated by colour, can be screen printed.
What Impacts The Cost of Screen Printing?
Well, please allow us to explain below…
Step 1 – How many colours are in your 1st design?
Let’s look at the logo below, let’s start with an assumption that we’re working with a blank sports jersey, and we’d like to put the logo below on the front – in screen printing terms, we’ll call it a “Full Front”. The discussion begins, by looking at the number of colours in the design that we want to screen print on the front. Why? Because screen printing is done on a per-colour basis. So, if we take the logo below, we should understand that if we ignore the white square around the outside of the logo, there are 3 colours in this design – black, red, and white. This means, in order to reproduce this logo, we will need to go through the screening process 3 times, once for white, once for red, and another for black.
Step 2 – Is there anything else you want screened?
Now, taking that same jersey, let’s assume we want our name on the back along with a single digit number (not double digits). If we do, that means we have a 2nd location – a full back – in addition to the full front we talked about earlier.
If you have a look at the image below, there is a 3rd logo on one of the sleeves in the design, but for teaching purposes, lets just assume that logo is part of the design of the jersey, and doesn’t need to be screen printed.
So, at this point, we have a “2 location screen print” to build. Make sense?
Step 3 – How many colours are in each location?
Well, we know already from step 1, that we have a 3 colour logo on the front. Have a look, a good look, at the image again in step 2, how many colours do you see?
I’m going to tell you, the answer is 2. The lettering and the number is white, but if you look closely, you’ll see that they also have a black outline, and a little lion image on the number that’s also in black.
So, for screen printing purposes, this is our design:
- 2 Locations – Full Front and a Full Back
- 3 Colour Full Front – White, Red, Black
- 2 Colour Full Back – White, Black
This means, we need a total of 5 screens (one for each colour in each location) to complete the process.
Step 4 – Quantity
This should be an easy question, how many jerseys are we doing? It doesn’t matter if we’re doing different sizes of jerseys (unless, you’ve got a range from a child’s XS to an adult XL), you are generally free to mix and match the sizing as much as you’d like. You can, quite often, even mix and match shirt colouring as well, it just depends on how close the shirt colour is to the colouring being screen printed.
It’s also important to know an overall quantity, because pricing is broken down into different volume components. The price points are broken into:
- 12 – 49 pieces
- 50 – 99
- 100 – 199
- 200 – 299
- 300 – 499
- 500 – 999
- 1,000 – 1,999
- 2,000 – 4,999
- 5,000 – 9,999
- 10,000 plus
Step 5 – Pricing
So, we know we’ve given you a fair bit of information up until this point, but we hope you’ve understood the steps in each point thus far. If not, please let us know and we’ll do our best to explain it a little differently.
From a pricing perspective, your total cost of screen printing is determined by a combination of all the steps above. The math is essentially:
- The quantity of pieces being screen printed, multiplied by
- The number of locations, multiplied by
- The number of colours in each location, PLUS
- The total number of screens used in the production process.
So, as you can see, as you add more locations to your apparel, and add more colours to each design, the pricing is very variable.
Hopefully we haven’t confused you to this point. We will be posting some sample pricing into the “Shop” section of the website in due time, but to give you a simple example of the cost of screen printing:
We normally charge $8.50 for a 1 colour 1 location screen print, on a 50/50 cotton/poly blend tshirt, including the cost of the shirt, presuming a minimum order of 12 pieces, plus the cost of 1 screen.
If you order 50 or more pieces, we throw in the cost of the screen(s) for free!
Screen Printing Based Blogs
When it comes to clothing and apparel, there are generally 5 different ways you can finish clothing – Screen Printing, Embroidery, Sublimation, Direct Print to Garment, and Heat Press. With this blog posting, let’s focus on the two main methods that we recommend –...