The Easiest Way to Make a Print Pop on a White Shirt
Golden Press Studio turns up the heat with a multicolor, Miami Vice-themed print for a tattoo shop. Needing to print a two-color pocket, four-color back, and one-color sleeve, the shop takes on the challenge to make this bodacious print. Watch the team burn the screens, register, print, and cure to make a vibrant, vibin' print. All done with standard FN-INK™ colors. It's totally tubular.
For this print, Jonathan decided to use screens with 200 mesh count. He picked out the slightly higher mesh count for two reasons. One — part of the design has halftones, so he'll need a higher mesh count to maintain that detail. Two — he wants to lay down a thinner ink deposit so the print feels softer.
For emulsion, Jonathan uses Baselayr Complete because it holds smaller details like halftones well. Time it takes to expose the image will depend on your exposure unit, humidity levels in the darkroom, color of screen, type of emulsion, mesh count, film density, type of thread in screens, and more. With the LED X-Vactor and the rest of his setup, Jonathan found 30 seconds to be the sweet spot. To learn more about calculating exposure times, check out this article.
To get this print to pop, Jonathan chose FN-INK™ since the plastisol ink is vivd and vibrant. Another reason he picked FN-INK™ is due to its low-cure feature. By keeping the temperatures lower in the conveyor dryer, Jonathan will be able to reduce the likelihood of burning the white shirts. For colors, he uses black, lemon yellow, fuchsia, and light blue.
You gotta register before you start printing! Jonathan likes to print the darkest color first and align the rest of the colors to it (the black registration marks makes it easy to register all the other colors).
PRO TIP: Mix that ink well before you start printing! Thoroughly mixing the ink to the point where its creamy makes it easier to print and pass through the mesh.
After you've printed the black, place clear packaging tape over the registration marks on the squeegee side on the remaining screens. Jonathan puts tape on the marks because if he has to tweak the registration, he will not have to clean ink out of the registration marks. He'll be able to wipe the ink off the tape and get back to registering. Rinse and repeat with the pocket and sleeve prints!
After 420 prints on 60 shirts, Jonathan finished the order. The print looks fantastic. The shop did a great job capturing the Miami Vice, 80s theme within the print. If you liked this process video, head to Golden Press Studio's YouTube channel to see more rad how-to videos.
Been printing with FN-INK™? We want to see your prints! Tag us on your posts or use #ryonet. We'd love to share it on our channels.