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Poster Design and the Screen Printing Process

Lesson 3 of 9

Choosing Paper: Deciding Which is Best

Mama's Sauce, Clark Orr

Poster Design and the Screen Printing Process

Mama's Sauce, Clark Orr

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Lesson Info

3. Choosing Paper: Deciding Which is Best

Lesson Info

Choosing Paper: Deciding Which is Best

So one of the things that we're talking about when we're thinking of starting off, ah, design whether it's opposed to Rainey design really is choosing your paper and your paper color. So one of the cool things you can do with paper is by using one of the paper colors as one of your actual kind of print colors. Um, and when I say that, I mean that you convey is ein around that paper color and make it integrated into your design so that it's kind of an added feature without having to pay for a set up for all the screens and everything like that, so you can use all kinds of papers. There's tons of brands out there that are really great and work really well with these processes. You basically got two types of papers uncoated verse coated papers. We print pretty much exclusively here it mama sauce on uncoated papers are inks are water based and soy based, so they work really well on the uncoated papers. If you're printing on a coated paper is usually more so in that digital field that we're...

talking about or offset because those things actually to cure onto that coated paper. So there's other things that are added into the inks that, um, kind of it's it's pretty nasty stuff. And so it's a lot easier to work with the water based inks and work with things um, that aren't gonna require those those kind of solvents and attitude. And it also looks like a little the mat kind of finish to It also feels a little more like like, handmade. You know, you're printing on coated paper, your inks, they're gonna look glossy, whereas if you're printing on coated paper, they're gonna have no coding, meaning they're gonna be kind of Matt or flat finish. So, out of the all the paper brands that are possible to use with these processes, we definitely prefer ones like French paper. Um, just because they've got a really good range of colors, their their papers work really well with the water based inks and with the soy based inks for letter press. So they kind of can work across all of our processes, which is really great and helpful toe have, um, there a hydro powered plant, and so they're definitely pretty intent on keeping the paper as healthy for the environment. It's possible they have. Ah, line here. The speckle tone line is actually 100% recycled paper. Um, again, with some really great colors that kind of have some of that fleck and natural quality to it. So again, yeah, just tons of options here to choose from from them. So when I'm choosing a paper, I really go based off of the design. But I tend to lean towards paper if if it's gonna be a wider and off white something with a little mawr. Either speckle in it like French is speckle tone or something to give it a little more of, ah, non digital printed look. So something that looks a little more, um, crafted, I guess you could say, But I often go towards, um, you know, like a speckle tone, which has, uh, you can see the pulp in it. You can actually feel it a little bit. Um, and it just feels a little more, um, higher end of a print when you're actually pruning with silkscreen definitely catches your eye compared to, like, a basic white paper on our basic off white paper. A lot of their papers also have what we call tooth or kind of a texture to the paper, like a physical roughness to the paper. A lot of the coded digital papers are very smooth, and which is why they're kind of shiny, where these papers have kind of little ridges in and give it some texture and give it some some tooth and texture of people really like kind of feeling and seeing right, so that really plays into the aesthetic of so screening a piece of piece of poster. So there's also various weights of paper, right? So you can go anywhere from a text white paper, something like you'd have for a letterhead. Envelopes are usually made out of text wait papers. Your thinner paper that you're more used to running through your Xerox binary home. Um, or inkjet printer. Um, and I go all the way up to much thicker weights of cover stock. Something like in French is line. I don't think we have the book out here, but the muscle tone line is actually 100 and £40 paper, which is a really substantial paper in terms of thickness. You know, it's really nice and rigid. Um, and you can use it for more packaging materials or if you've got maybe a business card that you wanted to be nice and thick compared to a typical card, Um, does a really good to you. So you're kind of gauge that thickness on what it is that you're printing and what the intended purpose of that piece is. So if it's something has to fold, you're gonna want to use a much thinner paper, a text wait paper or maybe a thinner cover stock, as opposed to. If you're doing a poster that maybe you want it to be a little bit thicker, you go with £100 paper or if we wanted to really be substantial, right? And something that I have to keep in mind is, if I'm if I'm to being, let's say, like an 18 by 24 poster to ship when I'm when I'm rolling it up, it's gotta fit in tow a three inch for inch diameter tube. You can't you can't really do that with £140 paper, some looking at about either an £80 paper, £100 paper. £80 is about an average card stock for reference. So, um, a lot. A lot of the paper lines are also limited on what they offer. You can't necessarily get every every weight in a certain, you know, shade or color of paper. So you want to keep that in mind. What's cool about these Swatch books, which is what French provides on the website. You can actually purchase these watch books directly from them. They have the colors listed online for you to kind of reference and see what they look like. But it's never gonna look the same would look in in person, so it's really great. T go ahead and get some of these watch books. If you really like their papers or from the other paper companies that you might be interested in using, A lot of companies will have Swatch books like this. French just happens to have ones that are pretty awesome looking. So it's also good to be able to check paperweights, cause, ah, French, for example. They'll offer an £80 or £ in a certain weight, but not £140 in another, so you can actually see the thickness of what you're going to get, which is another reason why be good to have us watch book. They kind of break it down here for your right in this watch book. So you know which which one you're looking at here. I think they're super cheap. They're definitely affordable. T get a set of these. So in talking about paperweights, we keep saying the term paperweight. Um, when we're saying something, that's £140 paper or something like that. It's not actually referring Teoh Um, necessarily like a physical thickness of the paper. But it is kind of a quick reference to let you know that it is a thicker than normal paper. That pound weight is a number that comes from, you know, the palate paper that's getting at it all up together. There's other terminology for paperweights. You hear about GSM things when people are talking about point thickness of paper and gram weight of paper. All this kind of stuff is pretty confusing. But what you can basically no is that when you're talking about a higher pound paper, so something like 100 £40 it's gonna be much thicker than a £70 text way paper or on £80 cover weight paper. So we've got a couple of examples of some thinner papers, thicker papers, um, papers that have been duplex. And when I say duplex, I mean that the paper has been mounted to another sheet of paper. So it actually is creating a double thick paper to get you even thicker stuff. Um, so something like this is what we would consider a text wait. Papers. You can see it's really thin. Something you'd use for this is envelope liner, actually. But again, something you'd use for maybe a letterhead or other stationary that you might be wanting kind of a thinner sheet of that you could maybe run through your printer at home. Something like that are coaster. Here is a is a pretty crazy one and that we've got actually two sheets of £110 paper that's also then mounted to a 0.3 point chipboard. So this thing is super thick sheets of paper. You you could hurt someone with this. They wanted to, but, um, don't and then another one. That's even crazier. I think this is four sheets of £130 paper. This is used for some kind of coaster. But, I mean, you can see how thick it is compared to something like the text. Wait, and you definitely can't bend that right? So when you're talking about paperweight, it's it really depends on the actual paper. You're talking about some papers and more dense than others. So maybe a French £100 paper might not really feel the same as a Nina £100 paper because they're actually different densities. So that's where the kind of wait numbers get a little bit weird. Yeah, when you look into, ah, a screen print, a poster you probably want to stick around, gonna want to stick around the 80 to £100. You can even go up to something like 110 or 140. But it's gonna be a little harder to ship, maybe, and really depending on the size is what you're gonna base the the actual print the poster printed size on. So I generally stick around 80 to 100 also when you're getting that shipped in, it's just you can get, you know, 100 stacks of paper at a £80 you know, thickness, which is about the size of a of A card stock or thickness of a card stock. And it's not gonna be nearly as heavier is thick as a stack of, say, £140 paper that you're getting getting in so that can also factor in tow what you're gonna be putting on. And it'll factor for us, too, in terms of shipping your posters to you. So who printed a poster for you? That's on the £140 the box, that dozens going away more so it's gonna cost more to ship it to another really cool thing that we can do here. Mama Softs is, um, along with that duplex ing or mounting the sheets of paper together is what we actually call a triplex. It's kind of a sandwich look. So we've got actually three sheets of paper here, two sheets of red on the outside and one sheet of white on the inside to create this kind of sandwiched Oreo effect almost so definite. Some cool things you can do with paper and it's different thicknesses to get your releases substantial. I mean, this cards beefy

Class Description

Join us as we go behind the scenes at Mama’s Sauce, an award-winning letterpress and screen printing studio. You’ll hear from both sides - Designer (Clark Orr) and Printer (Hogan Birney) -as they work together to create and screen print a poster.

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • What screen printing is and how to design for it
  • Choosing the best paper and ink for the job
  • Best practices for preparing and delivering files to the printer
Hogan Birney has played many roles at Mama's Sauce, from Letterpress printer to Production Consultant, and he'll be your guide through the production process. Clark Orr is a master of screen printing, known for his amazing poster design. He’ll share his process as he creates a poster from concept to final print in Adobe Illustrator. 

You’ll also receive a version of this poster, a how-to infographic, you can print on your own. Interested in designing and screen printing posters but not sure how to get started? This class is for you.


AJ Estrada

Man, I've been waiting for a class/tutorial like this for years. You've both cleared up a lot of confusion that I've had about the this process. Love the final design and colors you went with. More classes please!

Mjose Mab

Hi, I'm Spanish. I would like to know some company that works with silkscreen paper in Europe.Me You can say some european brand. Thank you.

Nataly Belyakova