Screen printing is one of the most popular printing techniques used amongst a vast range of companies for printing designs onto various products. The screen printing process has been around for a long time and has evolved from simple stencilling to a complete merchanised printing method. Most often, the process is used for printing onto posters, fabrics and packaging. However, it has been adapted to a larger variety of items as the technique is much more advanced today.
It has been used for more than 100 years in the commercial and artistic sector and is mainly used for printing images and designs on personalised gym bag, personalised drawstring bag, personalised school bags, T-shirts, tote bags, paper, wood, ceramics and other materials like clothing magnets too.
There are different types of silk-screen printing, depending on the aim and the printing process used. Among them, we can find serigraphy for the graphic design sector, serigraphy for the art sector and textile printing, which is what interests us most.
Screen printing is optimal for creating an increase in brand awareness through the use of different promotional products.
History of Screen Printing
Using a stencil has been a common way to create art since the beginning of time. History has shown proof of stencils used on cave walls, stencils used to design clothing such as Hawaiian shirts, and a wide range of fabrics in Japan and China from earlier centuries were made using stencils.
These varying ‘printing’ techniques have led to what we know now as screen printing. Let’s look at what’s most relevant in history for this process.
Through much innovation, screen printing came into existence as an efficient and effective way to produce images onto various items. Some of the earliest uses of modern day screen printing began in the United States. American companies made use of the machinery to create screen printed images for their marketing campaigns. The items used for this were various advertising displays such as posters, signs, and book covers.
Not much different from how we use it today! However, screen printing has evolved into an automated and rather quick process that can serve everyone’s personalisation needs.
Now, before we go more into detail about screen printing, we’ll describe what equipment is used in order for you to have a better idea of how your products are being produced. We always aim to be completely transparent with our clients here at Camaloon.
Screen Printing Equipment
In order to develop beautiful print images, some just as beautiful screen printing equipment is required. The production process involves the following tools:
- The printing press
- The Ink
- A Squeegee
- A flash cure unit
- A conveyor dryer
The printing press is the core piece of the screen printing process. Without it, we would not be able to start or finish the job. There’s options between manual and automatic machines, however, as mentioned, the automatic ones will allow the process to go much quicker and smoother. The ink also has varying aspects to it. For instance, you can choose between different types of ink: water-based and discharge inks or traditional plastisol ink.
Afterwards, we can select the colours for the screen printing ink based on the client’s preferred design and customisation. Then, a squeegee is used to get the ink across the screen and lay down the designed print. The last part of the printing process equipment is a flash cure unit which allows for the curing of the ink. It’s a fancy way of explaining how we are able to print white undertones or overlap with various colours.
Lastly, the conveyor dryer (as evident as the name is) heats the ink so that the print will remain long-lasting and perfect for when you receive it. And there you have it! Let’s explore the printing process now.
How Does Silk-Screen Printing Work?
In order to print using the silk-screen printing technique, different materials are used. To start with, the printing frame is created, or rather, the design is printed onto a sheet so that the ink can be transferred.
The frame is placed on the T-shirt and with the help of a scraper the colours are screened (one layer for each colour, up to a maximum of four colours).
Whenever applying a layer with the frame ink, it is left to dry and then can be used for another application.
In spite of its craftsmanship in recent years, silk-screen printing has become more modern, and there is now ink and machinery available that enables us to obtain results of superfine quality.
For this reason, nowadays there are more and more companies that decide to opt for silk-screen printing when creating T-shirts and other items with their logo.
Well, now that you know the ins and outs, we’ll show you some of the options you have to personalise products through screen printing.
Screen Printing Products
Screen printing is about creating cool, custom designs and bringing them to life. But also, through this technique you can be sure that your brand name is being promoted on a larger scale. So, let’s spark that creativity! Take a look below at some of the products you’re able to personalise with screen printing:
Screen Printing T-shirts
For promotional clothing items, t-shirts are by far the most popular clothing article for promotion and personalisation. This printing technique is the most common method used when personalising t-shirts, whether it be for professional or personal use. If you’re a company, screen printing t-shirts is super affordable as you can order in bulk. You can cover the front and back, optimal for promoting your brand. You’re able to customise it however you want, your logo, slogan, colour, image, anything you come up with!
The best part about screen printing t-shirts? It’s long lasting and always delivered with high quality, most often lasting the entire lifetime of the clothing article!
If you want to ensure your brand’s uniqueness, this process ensures it. Your complex designs cannot be exactly reproduced using any sort of traditional spot colour applications with ink.
Moreover, personalised t-shirts can be great for businesses, sports teams, family outings, you name it, we create it! If you’re going to a concert with your friends, you can customise a set of t-shirts and have matching outfits for the night. This idea also works for bachelor and bachelorette parties. You can customise it to say “bride or groom to be” with a funny photo.
But maybe you’d rather use this personalisation process for other clothing items? No problem! Here’s a list of some more clothing pieces you can customise by using screen printing:
Choose from a range of fabric: organic cotton or breathable polyester or any other necessary fabric depending on your needs. Screen your team and print their favourite designs for your next big game!
Custom Water Bottles
Water bottle design prints are another popular way of personalising and promoting your brand (or whatever it may be). No matter the material: plastic, aluminium or glass. Personalising water bottles is great for resale purposes, giveaways for potential clients, or as internal promotion. For instance, a company branded water bottle is great for employees.
Why even use screen printing to create custom water bottles? Let us tell you why…
People carry around water bottles with them everyday, wherever they go. Almost always you will see various designs with different logos and images on those water bottles. Even if they weren’t sold and instead given as a company gift of some sort, it’s still beneficial. As such, the brand exposure for your business increases. At home, in the office, at the gym, anywhere and everywhere, branded water bottles stand out amongst the crowd. Having a personalised screen printed water bottle also sends a positive message of corporate social responsibility. The reusable bottles emit less single-use plastic from being used. This shows people your business is environmentally friendly and can encourage them even more so to invest in your products!
When using screen printing for your water bottle personalisation needs, your brand or design can be placed as a portrait or as a landscape on the side of the bottle. You’re able to choose a single-colour screen for your logo and ensure your logo is visible for all to see!
Screen Printing Mugs
Printing on a mug surface allows for lots of imagination and creativity. Silk screen prints in one colour onto the mug with whichever logo or design creation you choose; perfect for bulk orders! Even if you’re not a coffee or tea drinker, you constantly see people around you drinking coffee and tea, especially in an office environment.
Think about it in this way: personalising mugs helps boost brand awareness. By having your company’s logo displayed front and center, your company is guaranteed to gain more brand awareness. Not only are mugs great gifts for your employees, but they can also be resold.
Who can benefit from this?
Let us put it into context for you:
Think about being on vacation somewhere and wanting to bring back souvenirs for your friends or even memorabilia for yourself. Whenever you enter a souvenir shop, you’re guaranteed to find mugs. So get ahead of the game and create a cool custom mug for your business!
A mug is also a really practical piece of merchandise that can be included in a promotional campaign giveaway which will of course in turn strengthen your brand’s recognition.
So, whether it’s for resale, promotions and giveaways or simply for home and office use, personalised mugs are the way to go.
School, work, doodles… notebooks are used constantly whether we notice it or not. They’re often used for employee welcome packs, hotel gifts, school work, jotting down notes during a meeting, practically anything! So considering how much exposure potential there is here… why not personalise them?
Screen printing on notebooks is super convenient and you can customise it to your liking. The best thing about silk screen printing in this case is that it is an economical way of printing logos and/or designs. In this way, you can leave a lasting impression on your clients and partners with impressive and sleek designs that are printed on your company notebooks.
The versatility of notebooks allows for a wide range of marketing:
Travel Journal with a beautiful destination design?
Student Notebook with motivational quotes?
Photo of your family for your mum’s birthday gift?
For whatever the purpose may be, personalisation is done best with screen printing.
With this printing process, your logo or design is pressed onto the bag through a textile fabric. Bags are the perfect physical ‘platform’ for marketing your brand as they are carried absolutely everywhere! From jute shopping bags to drawstring bags to tote bags, your screen print design will be visible and highly useful for promotional purposes.
Even more so, if you’re having a personalised tote bags simply for your own personal use, it’s a great tactic to use screen printing to do so. By using this printing technique, you can ensure your personalised shopping bags will look good and remain secure as they are customised for YOU.
For instance, if you personalise your drawstring bag for the gym with your name on it, you can be certain that you will never lose it!
More so, you’re able to use custom bags for your business ventures through resale, promotions and giveaways and of course, corporate use. Design them to be stylish and comfortable, send your design off to a screen printer and voila, your masterpiece is getting you new clients.
Don’t believe us? Let us convince you…
Let’s take the example of a beach resort. Trendy tote bags are a practical item that hotels can offer as a welcome gift for their guests to use while on vacation, and afterwards when they return to their homes as well. It’s practical because they can store everything they would need for the day inside the bag, such as a towel and some sunscreen.
BUT, what’s even more important is the FREE advertising the hotel gains from doing this. If they were to implement the hotel logo in a subtle but still visible way on the personalised cotton bags, more and more people are able to see it and thus more and more people become potential clients.
Never underestimate the power of a good looking bag!
Push the Ink and Personalise!
Now, we’ve thrown around a bunch of technical words … mesh screen, stencil, ink, frame … but all you should know really is that by using screen printing to personalise various products, you’re able to gain A LOT more brand recognition for your business.
There are so many benefits to using this process for your personalisation needs, scroll down to find out more:
What are the Benefits of Silk-Screen Printing?
Screen printing is recommended to be used for designs of up to four colours. This can include but is not limited to: phrases, simple graphic designs and logos. This method is especially beneficial for bulk orders because it’s very cost-efficient. It may not seem like much, but printing your personalised designs with this technique has many advantages, and here’s why:
Bright Colours and High Visibility
If we’re using T-shirts as the product we want to personalise, screen printing this piece of clothing is highly effective as a marketing tactic. The ink used in this case is thicker, allowing the t-shirt to display vibrant colours and highly visible logos. Even with darker fabrics, you can be certain that your design will be perfectly visible. It will surely catch anyone’s attention!
Because a thicker form of ink is used for this printing process, it slightly bends with the shirt and it gives it a ‘heightened’ look. So what does this mean exactly? The texture of the printed section of the t-shirt will be felt distinctly, which makes this such a unique feature of personalising it through screen printing.
Perfect for all Colours of Clothing
The great thing about using a thicker ink is that it does not get absorbed onto the fabric of the shirt. This means that without the absorption, the print design can be printed on any colour of shirt or clothing item you desire! Which means you have complete freedom to design your promotional clothing in the exact way you want.
Especially if you’re a company designing custom t-shirts for a conference or any sort of grand event that has a large promotional potential, screen printing is great as it allows for printing multiple shirt colours in one single order. Say no to struggle and yes to more sales!
Clean, Cut and Delivered
At the end of the day, sure, almost anyone can design a customised item, but the question is: how good will it look? One of the main factors of using screen printing for your personalisation needs is that you are always guaranteed a fresh, sleek, and professional look. I’m sure that for your company as with most, it is highly important to look polished to a T, so ensure your T-shirts do just that.
Not only for business-related activities, but personalising with screen printing ensures all your products have a clean look, whether it be a school organisation or sports team. Stay looking professional with screen printing.
Excellent Quality to Price Ratio
For screen printing to work properly, the colours being added to the garment have to be done so one by one. This is all a part of the four colour process: CMYK. Again, more fancy expressions which simply mean that a multitude of designs can be created and transformed using only 4 screens. This reduces the amount of resources necessary for the final product to be produced, including time, cost and set-up process.
Essentially, you’re paying less and getting more. Screen printing your personalised promotional products in bulk does not mean you’re losing out on an amazing quality, quite the opposite actually. You’re receiving high quality screen printed products for a super affordable price, who wouldn’t opt in for that?
By personalising your products with the screen printing process, you can be sure that your items will last long. Especially if you’re a company and doing a giveaway with custom products, you don’t want the design to wear off quickly as that would be perceived negatively by your partners and/or clientele. But worry not! With screen printing, your personalised products will remain intact due to the great printing durability.
Resistant to Even the Toughest Washes
Much like the last mentioned benefit of durability, screen printing ensures your personalised clothing articles or other products in general are resistant to many different washing methods. Whether you’re hand washing the items or throwing them into the washing machine, by screen printing the design or logo, you can be sure that it will stay in place!
Variety of Materials
You can personalise a wide range of products with screen printing, and don’t let certain materials restrict you from creating a beautiful masterpiece.
You can use screen printing on the following materials:
- Various clothing fabric like organic cotton
- And much more!
Here is a table comparing the two most popular printing techniques:
Custom Screen Printing
Now… if you’re still not fully convinced and are wondering, why would I customise a t-shirt, mug, water bottle or whatever else it may be… let us tell you why:
Personalised products open up many more opportunities for conversation. What do we mean by that? Well, evangelism, or in simpler terms, word-of-mouth promotion is the most cost effective and arguably one of the most powerful forms of advertising.
Picture this: you’re in a pub and you notice someone wearing a t-shirt with a phrase like “caution, wet paint”. You would be a little intrigued as to what the meaning behind it is, and once you ask the person wearing it, they could explain to you that they own a paint shop, give you their business card and boom, you’re their newest client!
It’s as easy as that, and trust us, we are curious as human beings so if something sparks our attention we’re going to want to know more about it.
Besides this, customising products also serves as great promotional tactics when attending events, conferences, fairs, meetings, anything of the sort! Even as a store front when organising your merchandise, placing personalised screen printed products front and center will grasp every passerby’s attention; creating a higher potential of sale and thus of course, higher potential for profit.
Stencil your way to Success
Alright, we know… screen printing may seem like a long and complex process, but we promise you it’s not that bad! It’s actually amazing the ability screen printing allows for as by using it we can reuse screens. This is super beneficial for customising products, especially when it comes to producing large quantities for bulk orders.
Now, simply the question you should ask yourself is: am I ready to increase my company’s ROI? The answer should always be YES! And we can help you do it.
Here at Camaloon we always advise our clients to opt for screen printing their promotional products when possible. It will guarantee your products turn out to look professional, attain a high level of quality and are affordable for you! No matter the product, if applicable to screen printing, we promise we will get it done for you with the utmost level of quality.
So, if you haven’t used screen printing yet for your personalised promotional needs, then now is the time to start!