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Information on Screen Printing Promotional Products

Screen Printing of Promotional Products

A printing technique which has been utilised since around 1900 to apply a stencilled design to fabric, paper or other flat surfaced media. Screen printing is so named as a fine meshed screen is used to hold the stencilled design and a squeegee of similar flexible blade is then employed to evenly distribute the ink across the image area. The squeegee forced ink through the fine mesh of the screen where it meets the substrate upon which the image is to be applied. Promotional products which are traditionally screen printed include t shirts, bags, lanyards and banner signs.

Also known as silkscreen printing screen printing was originally developed in Asia and introduced to Europe in the late 19th century. The process developed by the Chinese around 1000 AD is essentially the same which is used today with obviously changes relating to the quality or the inks available and the synthetic screen materials and printing substrates available. European uptake of screen printing was delayed as the availability of fine material screens was poor relative to the Asian cultures which could access high quality silk. With the improvement in materials higher quality product produced in bulk was available for sale and ultimately led to the mass uptake of screen printing as in signage, decorative and advertising.

In some cases small-scale screen printing is used to get the highest definition and accuracy. Examples of products which are sometimes printed in this way include USB flash drives and keyrings. The advantage of the screen printing process is that it permits high definition printing and multiple colours with a higher level of accuracy in the alignment of the colours that is generally experienced with pad printing.

Screen printing is still considered to be the most versatile form of printing. It has been employed successfully by many commercial and creative artists. The famous screen prints of pop art icons Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein amongst others popularised screen printing and increased awareness of it across the globe and into new markets which had traditionally been services by hand painting or off-set print reproduction.

Screen Printing Techniques

The "screen" used in screen printing is a fine meshed fabric stretched across a frame. An image is reproduced one colour at a time with each colour block which composes the image requiring its own screen. The image is applied to the screen by means of a liquid waxy emulsion which coats the entire surface. The image area which is to be reproduced on the substrate is "burned" from the rest of the emulsion so ink may pass through. This process is repeated with different screens for each colour until a full image is built up composed of multiple colours.

 A variety of inks can be used depending on the final usage. UV proof inks which are suitable for outdoor use and resist fading and extremes of weather are very popular amongst screen printers. The growth in the use of metallic inks in recent years has seen the ancient technology now a critical part of the production of semi conductors and flash memory chips. The same principles applied in the production of a promotional t shirt is used to print the memory chips which power computers and other examples of modern technology.

$75(ex gst) Screen Printing Set-Up Charge

Every colour which is printed requires a separate screen and the cost of producing a print-ready screen is $75 (ex gst). Ads Fresh Promotions uses the best print companies in Australia to reproduce client logos this cost is a guarantee of quality branding. In cases where your artwork or logo has multiple colours it may be a better option to consider digital printing of your products. Ask our production team's advice when you enquire.