What is a Screen?   Leave a comment

A “screen” in the promotional products industry is very similar to a window screen.  Tiny holes that are “burned” into a stencil that you push ink through to imprint on t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and many plastic promotional products.

Most screens are held on file for 12-24 months and it is a one-time fee, if you re-order in that period.  Becoming fairly common these days is a re-order screen charge, which is a fraction of the original set-up.

Silk screening multiple colors requires multiple screens that must “match-up” during the printing process.  In some cases where there is movement in the presses, you can’t have colors touching and require a 1/16″ gap between them.  This is almost always true with printing plastic bags and that is why most only offer one color imprints on the film and if they will allow multiple colors, they can’t touch each other (to allow for slight movement) and the run charge is considerable since the project has to be monitored more carefully.

Options are decals (that are fired on – this is not a do-it-yourself process).  Also available is a sublimation process and heat transfers.  More on this subject soon (maybe I can convince a colleague to give us an education on sublimation and heat transfers)!


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