Sometimes the old ways are the best ways.
Screen printing has been around for a long, long time.
Although used before the early 1900’s (The Chinese were the first to develop and use this technique), it took until an easy supply of silk mesh material (the substrate which the ink is pushed through) to be heavily used within Europe.
To start the screen printing process, we first need to spread emulsion across the mesh to create a “Positive” of what we are trying to print. To do this, we first apply vinyl graphics (Stencil) to the screen to block off parts of the design we wish to be printed (were we want the ink to pass through the mesh)
Once the emulsion has been spread over the mesh, we then expose the mesh to ultra-violet light, to harden of the emulsion but leave behind the area in which we wish to print.
The hardened areas are then washed away, leaving behind a positive area in which are piece of print will allow ink through.
Why this old technology is still used today
With advancing technology, its easy to think that ways we produced things in the past would become redundant.
This simply isn’t the case for screen printing.
Why? Due to the fact that this is still an extremely cost effective way to produce signs
Furthermore, screen printing still produces some of the most vibrant and long lasting colours that you see today.
Once a mesh positive has been made, it’s extremely quick to produce the same piece of print over and over again.
Seeing as the positive film stays in place and leaves no ink residue behind once ink has passed through it, you have a brand new clean slate to print another!
Also, depending on the size of the screen print bed and depending on the size of the prints themselves, it might be possible to print multiple copies of the same artwork with just one pull of the squeegee!
This is where screen printing has the advantage over large format digital printers.
Digital printers are incredible machines. They are capable of printing complicated, beautiful designs in a press of a button. The printer does all the hard work for you.
However, the size of the print nozzles per print head is small. This is to achieve fine print, which allows readable text at small font sizes.
Due to the smaller size of nozzles, it also means it takes longer to print off larger areas.
This is where Screen print has the advantage. Need fine print? No problem, as long as its not absolutely tiny, screen print is capable of printing it. Large print? No problem. We can flood coat a piece of A0 material in a few seconds once we are all set up.
Knowing which technology you need to choose.
Thankfully, this isn’t for you to choose. That’s what we are hear for.
Because we have the expertise and the equipment, we can always tell you the best way to produce, well, any sign you want.
If you have artwork ready to show us then great, send it over via e-mail and we can best advise you from there.
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8.30am – 5pm
SIGNS FOR YOU
Altitude Business Park,
The Drift, Ipswich,
Suffolk, IP3 9QN