Screen Printing 101 : Vol.2.2 – Designing for Print : Halftones

Halftone dot patterns
Halftone dot patterns

Screen Printing 101 : Vol.2.2 – Designing for Print : Halftones

Taken the designing stage a little further with some more insight into how screen printing changes the process.  There are some tricks that could come in handy before starting a design. Some of you may know the basics of color theory and some things we learned as a child. Like what do you get when you mix red and yellow? – Orange. You can do some things with screen printing that will have a similar effect. You are able to create halftones which are basically a dot pattern. Laying a half-toned color over another (red over yellow) it will cause the eye to see orange even though it is really red dots on a yellow background. These effects can save the use of an additional color which of course can save you money.


Half-toning is also how we do most grayscale images. You can see this in the image above. This is half-toning close up and at a distance so you can see the exact effect it has on creating a range of shades out of just dots.


If you use a percentage of any colors in your designs they will not come out as a different color but the full color in a percentage of dots. The lower the percentage of color the smaller and further apart the dots will become.

Screen Printing 101 : Vol.2.1 – Designing for Print

Various Product Sizes and Print Areas

Got an idea for a design?? Have you considered the types of garments you will be printing on and their size ranges (youth small to adult 3XL)?? If you have an understanding of the garments and their print area sizes you can better plan your design to make the most of the area available. For example if you have a more vertical design and are printing on hoodies the design will be a lot smaller do to the print area on a hoodie due to the pocket. There are two ways you can handle that particular situation: You can do two sets of film one for the regular shirts and one smaller for hoodies (but this will cost more due to the extra setup for the different size film) OR you can use the smaller size that fits the hoodies for all garments you are printing (which will only be one setup saving you money). It just depends on how you set up your design. You will run into the same issue if you are printing on small youth shirts and adult 2-3XL or larger. The youth sizes have a smaller print area than the larger adult shirts. These are just a few of the factors that come into play when designing for screen printing.

We take all these different elements into account when creating a custom design for you. Our expertise guarantees that you will get the best design and great print for your projects. We love working with customers that bring their own design as well as being ready to create something from scratch to bring your ideas to fruition.

Screen Printing 101 : Vol.2 – Size & Location

Size & Location

So where all do we print on a shirt? We have various standard locations that are most common for printing but we can actually print most anywhere on a shirt if desired.

Our standard placements are: Left Chest – On the Pocket – Sleeves – Full Front – Full Back – Upper Back “Patch”.

Print sizes are an overall max print area of 13″w x 15″h on our standard screens. We can print on oversize screens up to 17″ x 17″.

Some common sizes: Left Chest 4″ x 4″ – Pocket 3.5″ x 3.5″ –  Short Sleeve 3.5″ x 3.5″ – Long Sleeve 3.5″ x 14″ – Full Front/Back 13″ x 15″

For more info you can check out our resources pages at –

Screen Printing 101 : Vol.1.1 – PMS Colors

PMS Colors

After discussing the basic idea of the number of colors in a design we need to look at the actual colors that would be used. We use the Pantone Matching System to ensure consistent colors.

Otherwise known as PMS Colors. These are regulated colors that are created to stay consistent with every use whether it be a month or years down the road, or whether it is printed here or half way across the world.

Most companies already have Brand colors which are typically a PMS color. If your company doesn’t have exact PMS colors we will be more than happy to find the closest possible PMS color(s) to match your current materials and branding. There is a wide range of PMS colors to choose from and they add more every year.

Screen Printing 101 : Vol.1-Colors

NPi number of colors example


How many colors do you have in your design? ( 1,2,3,4, etc.)


What does that mean?


Let us break it down for you and help you understand how the number of colors affect the look of your design as well as the effect on pricing.


The image shows the differences between the number of colors from 1 color to 4 color . With each color needed there is a screen that needs to be setup for printing. The lower number of screens the lower the overall price. It would just depend on your budget and the intended use for the end product. Giveaway items may not need to be more than one color. Something that will be representative of your brand or company would be more beneficial printed in your company colors as it was designed. With screen printing we can work with any number of colors to ensure your product is affordable and printed to exceed your expectations as well as the intended use of your product.

One additional thing to consider in the amount of colors is whether you will be printing on a dark colored garment. To keep the full saturation of a color we have to put down a layer of white ink which we refer to as an underlay or under print. Doing so allows the color to remain true and not allow the garment to affect the colors you have chosen. All inks are somewhat translucent which when printed directly onto a colored or dark garment can affect the outcome of the color. Just like basic color theory, blue & yellow make green … print yellow directly on a blue shirt and it will have a greenish tint. There are some occasions when we wouldn’t need the underlay and that is where our expertise comes in handy for you. We’ve done this long enough to know the ins and outs which we use to your advantage. Our knowledge and experience will save you money on top of our already unbeatable prices. Just one more way we do our best to help our customers in any way we can.


We will cover iNKs next in our series : Vol.1.1