Screen and Digital Printing Possibilities in Huntsville, Al: Printing on Glass

Screen and Digital Printing Possibilities in Huntsville, Al: Printing on Glass

When most people hear about digital printing, in Huntsville, Al, the most common thing that most people think about is printing something on a shirt or a tote bag. Or they get a mental picture of an image that gets slapped on a piece of cloth or paper. While it is certainly the most common use for digital printing, it is not the only use for it. Believe it or not, there are other types of surfaces that anyone can apply an image to.  Things like plastics, rubber, and wood are possible surfaces for digital printing techniques. There are even pieces of metal decor that people have screen printed on. It’s a surprisingly versatile technique.

But the most interesting medium that works as a possible application for digital printing on glass. Glass is a fragile material that we often use for light or decor, depending on the context of how the material is in use. But surely, this is a recent development, right? Digital printing or transferring an image on glass isn’t something that is all that common, right? Not exactly. In fact, it is often seen as an outdated practice in a different professional field.

Historically Printed Photographs on Glass

It turns out, putting images on glass was kind of a common thing in the field of photography. At least during the 19th century. Ambrotypes, tintypes, and daguerreotypes are photography processes in which the negative or positive of a film is on a piece of glass or metal. These processes often required direct exposure to the camera, meaning that the photos would be taken only once on top of that surface. Those photos could never be replicated or reproduced at the time, and it took the right amount of chemicals and a very long time for photographers and subjects to set things up the way they want the photo to turn out.

So, the technique itself is considerably out of date. Only a few enthusiasts know about and still practice it on occasion. But the existence of this means that we know that it is possible to use glass as a surface for printing an image. However, that still doesn’t explain how modern technology can reproduce images on glass. How can digital printing work with this as a medium? Is there special ink, equipment or processes involved?

Modern Digital Printing Processes on Glass

Screen Printing

There are multiple techniques that allow for the application of pigment on top of the glass. Some of which are older than others. Sometimes it isn’t a digital process at all. However, this is still a very applicable process today. Dip-Tech describes it best.

“The screen printing method is actually a traditional technique that has been used successfully for many decades. Screen printing is suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces and is highly durable. This method uses a stencil and a mesh screen to create the design. Artists spread the ink across the screen with a squeegee; while the stencil blocks certain areas of glass, leaving others open to let the ink through. The result is a high-quality image, pattern, or design element. The ink is then “fired” to adhere to the glass. Screen printing on glass is limited to a maximum of four colors. Each color requires a long setup and preparation time, and high fixed costs. Screen printing is ideal for high-volume glass printing production in commercial, industrial, and architectural applications.”

Ceramic Ink Digital Printing Method

If you want an increase in the amount of color you want on an image and aren’t going to use the glass for daily use, then you want to consider getting your commission through someone with a digital glass printer.  Some companies that deal in digital printing have access to a glass printer.

According to Wikipedia” The three-part system for a digital printer, allows for control and flexibility over the application of the ceramic inks. Transparency and levels of translucency and opacity can be precisely manipulated. There is a high level of control over color matching, and multiple colors can be printed simultaneously. Unlike screen printing, digital ceramic printing on glass does not require screens. The image files are part of a backup and can be part of reproduction as many times as the printer or customer wants. It makes the printing of all sizes and replacement of any panel simple with the bonus of high resolution, full color.”


It is absolutely amazing that we can use both old and new techniques to push the boundaries of design in all sorts of places. And as technology improves, there will be more new ways that go along with the old that will change the face of art and aesthetics.

If you are looking for reliable services when it comes to digital printing in Huntsville, AL or in the surrounding areas, feel free to contact Entrusted Tees.


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