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Poster Design and the Screen Printing Process

Lesson 2 of 9

Introduction to Screen Printing

Mama's Sauce, Clark Orr

Poster Design and the Screen Printing Process

Mama's Sauce, Clark Orr

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Lesson Info

2. Introduction to Screen Printing

Lesson Info

Introduction to Screen Printing

My name's Hogan, and I'm a print consultant here at Mama's Sauce. I basically help designers that we work with to kind of go through the process here at the shop to get their work printed with us. We offer silkscreen letter, press printing and hot foil stamping eso all spot color processes. Um, and we've got Clark here today who is a graphic designer that tends to lean toward screen printing as his preferred method of printing. So we've got him here to kind of help bridge the gap between moving from a design into the actual printing processing kind of what's taken into Dina. Yeah, so, as Hogan said, I'm Clark war. I'm a graphic designer and illustrator and I designed for silkscreen printing. Um, today we're going to kind of go over the process from actual sketch to final completion, um, of a self green printed poster and kind of explain our processes and techniques along the way. Yeah, a lot of times graphic artists can go a couple different directions with their designs in terms of pr...

inting, For example, the other types of printing processes that we don't do here are seeing like a or process printing. So that's something where you'd get printed digitally or maybe with offset or something that uses that seem like a printing process. So there's definitely other ways to print posters and graphic designs. It all just depends on your budget and how much time you have and all these kind of things to go into deciding which process you're gonna go for. So we're going to really focus in today on that screen printing process or silkscreen process. Um, which again is one that Clark really enjoys using? And we love using her the shop to yeah, So So screen printing to me is more of a handcrafted process. If you're looking to print a bunch of posters or prints all at once and quality and, um, craftsmanship isn't really what you're going for, then you would go for ah, process, print or seem like a print, which would be like going to ah, um, you know a copy center to get digital prints. Full color prints. Where's for silk screening? You're working with a limited number of colors, which color is hand mixed, um, and limited toe Anywhere from it could be 11 color, or it could be, you know, six or seven colors. You don't want to get much more than that. Um, but yeah, I would say my my design style lends itself towards minimal colors. So silkscreen printing is perfect for designers like me. Yeah. And what what It also does really great at it is really nice. Solid swatches of color if you've got, you know, large chunks that are Some of Clark's designs are very kind of advertisement related, and they look very contrast in that they've got a bunch of solid fields of color, um, mixed with some finer type and things like that. So it can really handle a wide range of designs and styles. Really well, a swell as just the colors are amazing and super solid and break when we talk about the difference between process printing or digital printing and silkscreen printing what you're talking about there is basically the use of science magenta, yellow and black to create basically an infinite range of colors on dso. That's all happening in typically one pass of the print head. So you've got a print head that's got all those colors in it that's going over. You've seen on your home printer. It kind of creating all of those colors all at once, whereas the silkscreen printing were actually mixing each one of those colors, setting a color up on the press and running all of the sheets through the machine before we can go ahead and set up the second color. So definitely kind of changes those costs to do something like that, cause there's a lot of labor involved in not only printing the screen on there but getting the screen prepared, getting the artwork prepared, mixing the colors. All of that is kind of going in to each color. That's on the poster. So that's why when Clark talks about keeping an idea of how many colors are trying to use and trying not to go too far with that cause, you're gonna increase your costs with every color that you add to the poster. All right. And, um, one thing that we're gonna go over as well is a way to kind of maximize what you can really print with. So, as as we say, you know, silkscreen printing is a one color at a time process. So like Hogan mentioned, each color is mixed by hand and matched a Pantone color, Um, and laid on top of the paper one at a time. Sometimes you can actually mix two colors into a color overlay. And let's say you have your lighter color, which we print lightest to darkest ah, yellow and then on top of a green, which will make a blue. So while you are limited, there's also some variables that you can add in there to maximize what your what your spendings, and not only with the number of colors, but also in your design. I mean, Clark is one of my favorite artists in terms of using right in terms of using one color to create a poster that looks really diverse, and it really has a lot of different ranges of of color and design in that it it kind of has a lot of contrast and differences throughout the poster. Even with just one color, I think he even told me at one point that you really try to design everything toe, look good and feel really good as one color before you even start adding other colors, because if it can't hold up is the one color, then you're kind of restricted to like, Oh, shoot. I have to use three or four colors to make this thing look good. Yeah. If you could make something look good in 1 to 2 colors, um, then you can make those things look good with multiple colors, So I try to keep it to a minimum for my aesthetics. But also, when you when you're getting into, like, a six or seven color poster, you're getting up there on your screen change outs and you're mixing inks. Um, so it also benefits toe to kind of keep it to a minimum, as well as works with the aesthetic of silk screen printing. A lot of what we're gonna talk about two is just, um, trying to hit home the idea that this stuff is really important to think about before you've actually started your design or while you're working on your initial designs and sketches. A lot of times, people will complete their files and send them over to us, and they look great and they might seem ready for print. But there might be some issues in terms of, uh, you know, number of colors in terms of registration and restrictions that screen printing has that air kind of inherent in the process. There's only so many things you can kind of, um, push the limits of in screen printing, so it's definitely really important. T kind of think about all of this stuff before you actually send it off, right? Yeah, As Hogan said, there's a lot of restrictions. But also one of the really fun and cool parts of screen printing is a lot of variation that you can add in, and we'll cover that here in a bit. So from here will go on Teoh the process from beginning of designing a poster which for me starts off on a sketch phase, and then we can go on from there on dfid yer out things like what paper? We're gonna print on what colors we're going to choose and actually out putting files to get printed, Um, which is a little more of a process than just sending a final file to a digital print

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