Screen printing is a graphic printing technique where the motive is transferred onto a surface using a mesh screen, ink and a squeegee. Each color is printed separately, one after the other until the whole edition is ready. A screen printed graphic is hand made and each copy is unique, the fitting between layers is never completely perfect. A print edition is usually limited by the size of your drying rack, and the size of the image is limited by the size of your screens and the printing table. Screen printing doesn’t allow any grey tones therefore screen tones are often used to create different values of a single color. A screen printed version of a color artwork is always a kind of interpretation where the motive must be separated into overlapping layers. Art works can of course be prepared for print using any colors and any number of layers – the more screens the more work.
The art work must be prepared for print – i.e. separated into one layer per color. Each layer should be turned black (no grays!) and saved in as high resolution as possible (300-600dpi). It is usually necessary to add some overlapping between layers to avoid gaps when the screens are dancing a few milimeters back and forth during printing.
If you don’t know how to prepare your art work for screen printing, we can do it for you.
Our max size at the moment is 46×64 cm, but we will soon be able to print up to 70x100cm. Of course we can print all custom formats smaller than the max format, but it usually pays off to take advantage of the full surface even when printing graphics of smaller formats. Smaller sizes require post-production like cropping.
Contact us if you want to discuss what size is the most economical for your project.
The number of copies to print is what we call edition. Edition of 100 just means 100 copies were made. If we do a new print run of 100 copies that will be a new edition, because it is impossible to reproduce the same motive exactly the same way two times.
The minimum edition for a regular print job is 30 copies. If you want to do something special in a smaller edition than that, just contact us to get an offer.
Each color is printed seperately. Inks can be opaque or transparent (and more or less transparent). With transparent ink you can let layers overlap to create new colors, the outcome can be simulated by using Photoshop’s “multiply” effect, but remember that overlapping colors are much more unpredictable in real life.
We use water based screen printing inks for paper. We mix our own colors, that means you can chose any color you want but have to trust our experience to translate it into the physical world. Screen prints are not digital prints – they are much more beautiful!
The most sensitive and time consuming part of creating a screen print is transferring the stencils to the screens. It is delicate and prone to fail, sometimes you have to expose the same stencil several times before you get a sharp, detailed screen to work with. That’s why it doesn’t really make sense to use screen print for too small editions, the starting cost is high. Screen printing is a graphic technique for serial production, the middle road between relief and intaglio printing (like wood cut or etchings) and offset (machine-speed). Middle road means high quality low price!
Our standard paper is Munken Pure 240 g, 46x64cm. It’s very nice. If you want some other paper we may be able to help you purchase it from our wholesale supplier.
We can also print on recycled paper, found paper, handmade paper, paper bags, record covers, wallpaper, cardboard, wood, books, canvas etc. If you have a crazy good idea, just ask if we think it will be possilble!