What are Different Types of Screen Printing Jobs?
Screen printing is a multipurpose printing process that can be used to print on a variety of surfaces. There are as many different types of screen printing jobs as there are printing application requirements. Screen printing duties can vary depending on the type of printing that is to be done as well as whether the work is to be carried out by hand or by machine. While small scale jobs may be easily carried out using a hand press, it is much more convenient to use machines for most large scale screen printing jobs.
Screen print jobs can include printing items like business cards, greeting cards, labels, brochures, posters, stickers, boxes, containers, clothes, touch-sensitive panels and much more. Each project may require a particular type of screen, squeegee and color mix. While it is possible to get premixed colors, many screen printing jobs require specialized color mixing technicians to decide on the right percentage of additives that the ink might require; additives are needed to thin the colors, to slow or hasten the drying process and to increase the adhesive strength of the colors.
A primary screen printing job is to set up the printing press. This can involve preparing a screen or selecting the right one from the available ready-made ones, and setting it up. The screen will need to be adjusted in accordance with the job in hand. The printer may do the screen press setup, or have assistants or workers for this particular task. The screens are then inked and the right squeegee for the job is selected. It is usual in screen printing jobs to carry out a test printing.
Before printing a big run, it is essential for the printer to check the test print with the screen printing job description to make sure that the given directions have been correctly followed. It is also necessary to check that the colors match the given brief and that the color quality is consistent throughout. Aside from making the print quality checks, the printer must also make sure that the correct number of prints have been printed before finishing up and cleaning the printing screen.
In addition to the printing side, there are other screen printing jobs that involve handling and transporting items. The printed items may need to be run through cutting machines, and they must then be packed and prepared for shipping. In some cases, the printer may also offer services to deliver the finished prints to the client.
My cousin and his wife started up a screen printing service a while ago, setting up in a local mall kiosk. I didn't think the stall would do very well to be honest, because I'm not sure I've ever had anything screen printed to order. But they have done remarkably well and have stores in a few different places now.
I think they must have started a trend because I see more and more of this kind of customized clothing being offered in shopping malls. It's not really for me, but I do get a kick out of the fact that a lot of their example clothes are printed with family baby photos.
@KoiwiGal - It's quite fun to do at home if you can get all the right materials. There are all kinds of fancy inks you can get these days as well.
A couple of times I've had a favorite T-shirt that was getting quite worn out and I've copied the pattern on it onto other T-shirts so that I didn't have to go without it.
With that said, it can be really messy, so I don't know if I'd do it with a very young child. It might be easier to start off with a kit if you're not sure about putting together the materials. The kits can be very reasonable and considering how expensive ink can be you might actually find better value with a kit than if you're trying to buy all the different parts by yourself.
Either way, it's very fun and there's loads of patterns online if you don't feel up to drawing something for your shirts and bandannas.
It's really not that hard to set up a small scale press for screen printing at home. I remember doing it with my aunt when I was a kid. We just made a few t-shirts, but I was so proud of them I ended up wearing them until they fell to bits.
I can't remember exactly what we did, or where we got the screen for screen printing, but I think if you look for a tutorial online there are probably of dozens to choose from.
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