5 Common Screen Printing Mistakes To Avoid
Screen printing, like any sort of design work, is an art that requires experience and skill to pull off properly. However, many people do not understand the expertise required and make the mistakes explained below.
Too many people try to print using low-resolution graphics, and they generally use a print size smaller than 300 ppi. The end product is going to be blurry or indistinguishable, and it’ll need to be redone. Also, make sure the image can be printed correctly using the correct mesh before you even start to avoid further problems.
Not Switching Your Mesh
One size does not fit all when it comes to mesh. A few different kinds of mesh is fine for basic printing, but when you need something that is high-resolution, lower meshes won’t cut it. Get several meshes in the 190 to 305 range if you want that full color, photorealistic image to print well.
Ink Straight From The Can
Many ink brands claim that their ink can be used right out of the can. This is simply not true. Although the ink may be high quality, it may need to be thinned out a touch for it to work well. The problem stems from the ink being too creamy and not flowing through the higher mesh well. Thinning it allows for the ink to flow properly to produce the desired image.
Using Old Equipment
Many people have equipment that their budget dictates. In other words, they have old equipment because they can’t buy new printers. If you’re using a four color printer, you’re behind. You really need to invest in a six color printer to get the best print you can get, and you’ll land bigger and better clients.
In other businesses, laser printers are still being used. Laser printers became obsolete 15 years ago. They were replaced by inkjet printers for film, and they can be purchased for around $200 these days. Images will be darker and lines will be more crisp than with a traditional laser printer, and your jobs will set-up faster.
Proper Mesh Tension
This is a common occurrence with people new to screen printing. If you have ever seen a garment with a rough print, then that means the ink on the garment stuck to the ink on the screen. If you hear a “pop” when you release the screen, then the mesh was too loose and the garment stuck to it.
You’ll also see prints with a white base have white specs on the outer layers. This is caused by the white ink being pulled upward, drying, and peaking through the color sitting on top.
Screen printing takes some practice to get good at. Don’t get too upset if you have done any of the mistakes outlined above. It’s also a good idea to have clients sign-off on the design beforehand. This practice protects you from having to waste money on multiple prints because the client doesn’t like the design.
Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in graphic design, marketing, and printing. She currently writes for 777 Sign, her go to place for banner signs, custom flags and custom signs printing.