Screen Printing
Screen PrintingStandard 4 Color Process is based on the same principles as offset full color printing on paper. Using just 4 colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, & Black) most colors and tones can be reproduced by mixing various halftone scales of each color. To achieve certain vibrant colors, additional spot colors are often added. The resulting image can have an almost unlimited range of colors and tones.
The inks used in this process are special semitransparent inks designed to visually work together in this process. Process Screen printing requires considerable manipulation and color adjusting. While computer graphics programs output full color separations; process screen printing on garments requires considerable color balancing in order to faithfully reproduce the original image. An experienced separator who understands how screen printing inks, various screen meshes, and garment weaves will create the best end result. The last part of the equation is the use of high resolution film output from an image setter which allows for an accurate image transferred from film to screen.

Mechanical Requirements
Accurate color-balanced separations is only half the requirement for great looking 4 color process screen printing. Sharpness of the image on the screen is directly affected by evenness of light intensity exposure and the mesh resolution. Since process screen printing intermeshes tiny halftone dots from each of the four colors, the registration of the four images against each other must be very precise at setup and throughout the print run. A manual press while initially able to setup to the exacting registration standards, will quickly become mis-registered with use. Automatic presses are designed to maintain a much higher registration standard. Automatics allows not only fine tuning the amount of ink put down on each stroke, but also maintains consistency throughout the run. The use of special high tension screens increases the registration accuracy. Retensionable frames are the standard for producing the highest print quality by allowing ability to retention screen between runs.

Why use Gumption for process screen printing?
Gumption utilizes only the very best separations and equipment processes. Our in-house artists provide control over each project. We are unlike other screen printers who contract out this work to others. We utilize only Newman Roller retensionable frames and expose our screens with a precise point light source for the highest image detail. We run three state of the art M&R automatics to keep the registration and image quality consistent from the first print to the last. Last, but certainly not the least of our capabilities, comes from the highly experienced crew and management. Our production managers each have over 15 years experience and our general manager has over 20 years.

Costs associated with screen printing include artwork, setup and printing charges.
Artwork is usually created by a combination of computer generated and hand worked pieces. The results are transferred to a clear material (acetate) and then forwarded to the screening room. If the time associated with preparing a job is under three hours then no charge is incurred. Art charges will be quoted beyond that time requirement. Moving from artwork to screen preparation incurs the "setup or camera fee" and is determined by the size and number (1 per color) of required screens. We can create what appears to be a number of colors by using halftones and shading of a single color. We will help you determine the most cost effective process while preserving the detail in your image.

The printing charges are determined by the following and are added to the cost of the garment;

  • - quantity of garments - lower quantities, numbers and names are done manually, others are done on the automatics
  • - color of the garments - dark colors may get a double hit "flash" or white "underlay" to prime the shirt
  • - number of colors - separated colors for each location
  • - number of locations ("hits") on the garment - the count of front, back and sleeves
  • - type of material - certain materials are preheated to insure ink bonding

The most cost effective process is the white tee shirt, while the most expensive is a jacket. Jackets must be run through the oven to initially warm them up. This creates a greater bond between material and ink. Because of the bulkiness of a jacket setup and screening in more time consuming.