What Distinguishes Screen Printing From Other Methods?

28 April 2021
 Categories: , Blog

Screen printing services are among the most commonly used printing methods in the world. It's important to understand what distinguishes it from other techniques, though. Customers should know about these distinctions when considering screen printing.

Application in Layers

The core idea of screen printing is to apply colors in separate layers. If a T-shirt needs to have red, white, and black elements for a logo, for example, there would be a set of screens for each layer of ink. The printing professionals would then apply each layer, let it set, and then move onto the next.

Although this might sound like it limits your color options, there are ways to get around that. For example, a printing services provider can use halftones to mix colors. If you want to have orange without using orange ink, the printer would apply a layer of red and a layer of yellow. The layers wouldn't quite overlap. Instead, there would be closely bunched dots from both layers in the final product. Their proximity would create a sense of blending, producing the required orange color.

Production Line

One screen is reusable for many prints. That means you can set the layers up in a production line. If you want 50 shirts, for example, 50 rounds of the red layer would go on them in one run through the line. Then the next pass would apply the white layer. You keep repeating passes until you've done all of the colors.

Friendly for Both Digital and Analog Designs

Screen printing is a viable solution for producing imagery from either digital files or more analog solutions. If you want to do a print from a file, the printing company can separate the image's layers and use those to make the screens for the project.

Conversely, someone who wants to create layers by hand can accomplish the same thing just by making the screens themselves. This is one of the reasons that screen printing was a popular way to produce cost-effective items long before the first desktop publishing applications appeared.

There's also nothing wrong with mixing techniques. You can create screens using digital methods and make adjustments by hand. This provides immense flexibility, and it also allows you to address minor problems in minutes.


Another advantage of screen printing is that the screens tend to hold up very well. Your local soccer team might only need 100 shirts a year, but the printing company can store the screens and use them again next year. This means turnaround times are excellent once the designs are set.