Making a Design Ready for Screen Printing

Making a Design Ready for Screen Printing

There are many reasons why people get an article of clothing or a bag screen printed. Sometimes it is used to make a helpful label about what property belongs to whom. Other times, it can be an ambitious art project by someone trying to figure out if graphic design or screen printing is for them. Or, someone could just be making t-shirts or other giveaways for a company or a specific event.

Whatever the case may be, screen printing is a cool way to get your message across. However, screen printing is a finicky process that needs several factors taken into consideration before the printer can even get the mesh and ink started.

If you want to make a good impression with a top-notch shirt, hat, or bag, you need to make sure that you can minimize as much error as you can on the design phase.

This sort of advice ranges from beginner tips to advanced art technique and understanding graphic design medium. If you have any questions about the screen printing process and the design phase, don’t hesitate to call

Check your Font and Make your Text Legible

Fonts are as diverse as the languages that they represent. They can tell a story by creating a visual mood. They can transform your words into pictures, adding layers of depth and understanding between the intent of the person writing the script to the audience reading it. However, if you are not aware of the visual languages that fonts represent, they can be mishandled. Even to the point of conveying a completely confusing message about what they represent.

screen printingFor example, when graphic designers make packaging for a product that is made for a male target demographic, like cologne, there is a limit to the number of curves and soft imagery in the writing style. Because for he the most part, men expect cologne to make them feel sophisticated and mature. Visually, that language is supposed to appeal to that sense of maturity. So if the cologne looks less like a pathway to sophistication something either too effeminate or goofy, there is less likely a chance of people buying your product.

Another reason why you want to check your font is legibility. When a person is having a hard time trying to understand what a shirt says or doesn’t know what symbol they are looking at, you may want to think about a redesign.

After all, it would b ehard toread if text is badlystructured.

Have other people who haven’t seen the design to read it and give you their impressions if you think you might be missing the mark.

Check and Limit your Color Palette

Color, just like font, can have a language all of its own. Granted, the language of color varies from culture to culture. For example, for most people in a Western European background, black is often a power color used to express practicality and dominance. It is also seen in the context of somber mourning, usually in relation to the death of a loved one. However, the power colors in China are red and yellow. Also, the colors that are often associated with death and mourning in most Asian countries are white, a color associated with purity in Western Europe.

So, if you are vaguely aware of the language of color that you are trying to tap into with your own design for your target audience, you will land with a better impression of your design compared to a design with little effort involved.

Also, it is important to limit your color pallet as much as you can with your design choice. For starters the capacity a screen printing machine is limited because the equipment relies on the layering of color.

Another thing to think about, if you limit your color pallet in your design, you are far less likely to create something that has too many visual elements competing for attention. An image needs proper space for the eye to rest. Without it, there would be nothing but visual confusion. It is better to err on the side of simplicity when it comes to screen printing.

Check your File Size and Extension

On average, when a person is working with graphic design, they use computer programs to do the job. These programs often have their own extension library that people can choose. These extensions are usually different types of compression. Some images need a high amount of compression because it makes the file easier to post on the web. Others need a low amount of compression because the image needs to be clear enough for printing.

compressionA Jpeg is a high compression image file that is good for the web because of a smaller size. However, it is terrible for printing because it makes a grainy image or “noise”

An SVG  file is a larger file size that requires little compression. It is great for printing because the image is crystal clear. It is terrible for posting on the web because it takes forever to load due to the large file size.

If you are going to get a design printed, make sure that you save multiple copies with different extensions and know which one is good for the printer, and which one is good for the preview.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you are struggling with making your own design, or if you are fighting with your software, it is okay to ask for help. Graphic design, like anything else, is a skill that takes time, practice, and familiarity with the software. Maybe you can go to someone who is patient enough to go through the steps with you. Or, maybe you just want a second opinion after staring at it for too long. Whatever the case may be, it is good not to go through it alone.

You also have the option of hiring someone to do it for you. There are people specially trained out there to make the design you want within the rules of aesthetic. All you need to do is ask. A little bit of oversight goes a long way.


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