Screen printing technology has greatly improved in recent years, delivering businesses a high-quality, affordable way to imprint a wide variety of promotional products with their name, logo, and message. The screen printing phenomenon is now a core component of the $50-billion-strong promotional marketing industry, and opening a screen printing franchise is a more viable investment than ever before.
But what exactly is screen printing? And what are the basic facts about it that make it such a great option?
In answer to the first question, screen printing is a printing method that transfers ink through a mesh to a substrate but blocks specific areas with a stencil. The result is the exact pattern you desire is firmly affixed to the underlying material.
In answer to the second question, here are five important facts about screen printing that everyone should be aware of:
- You Can Screen Print Onto a Wide Array of Materials
It is true that cotton T-shirts are the most common screen printed items, but there are a large number of other possibilities as well. The long list of materials includes papers, paperboard, plastic, metal, glass, and various types of fabric. That translates into a plethora of possible promotional products for businesses or nick knacks and souvenirs for individuals. Not just T-shirts, but signs, mugs, refrigerator magnets, and much more can be printed. And the shape and size of the object printed on rarely affect its ability to be screen printed.
- Screen Printing Inks Are Extremely Diverse
Not only color but also the type of ink/dye used in screen printing is highly versatile. And there is also the capability of applying inks more thickly than with most other methods, which allows for effects not possible otherwise. And, finally, the pressure applied, the diameter of the mesh’s threads, and the total thread-count can be varied to tightly control the quantity of ink applied. The end result of all this is that you can not only control the pattern with the stencil but produce the exact sheen, depth, and quality of color you want as well.
- Screen Printing Can Be Fast and High-Volume
With the polyurethane material used in most modern screen printing presses, you can produce large volumes (up to 25,000 prints) of a single image. And newer, automatic presses with faster ink drying greatly speed up production over the old hand-run presses of the past. Most recently, the rotary screen press has pushed production speed and volume to new heights. This means that you can effectively screen print for mega-advertising campaigns or print items for employees even for very large businesses.
- You Can Reclaim Screens to Recycle and Save Money
Those running a screen printing franchise and those interesting in doing their part to recycle and “save the planet” alike will be glad to hear that the screens used in screen printing can be salvaged and reused. You can chemically cleanse and prepare used screens for reuse at a fraction of the cost of buying a new screen. And with the cost of responsibly disposing of old screens high itself, it only makes sense to recycle your screens as much as possible.
- Screen Printing Is a Relatively Low-Cost Option
Any serious printing operation of high quality is going to require a reasonable investment, but the great thing about screen printing is that it brings you top-tier work at lower costs than with most other printing methods. Costs will vary based on the type of press, ink, and screens used and with the printing service you patronize, but cost savings is significant across the board (comparing apples with apples).
This is great news for those who need to make high-volume orders or, for example, for businesses with high employee turn-over rates (since former employees frequently don’t return their T-shirts, and you probably don’t want them to do so).
Screen printing is the most versatile and widely popular printing method used by businesses of all sizes for their employee uniforms, promotional products, and other uses. It has earned this status by its many benefits and its low cost. Both screen printing companies and their clients are reaping the benefits of modern day screen printing technologies.