Throughout the world, millions of people have used screen printing to produce shirts, posters, and other items. Screen printing services are ideal for a host of jobs, but not all. How can you tell whether your project is right for this approach? Here's your checklist.


Generally, screen printing works best on projects that have high volume demands. When using a screening, a printer sets up stations. This is essentially a factory line where one layer of colors goes onto the product, it dries, and then it moves to the next station for another color. Printing continues until all the layers of colors are on the product.

Unless you're interested in it for aesthetic purposes, screening isn't great for low-volume production. Most wouldn't want to make 10 T-shirts this way, for example. It takes time to create each screen, test the batch, and confirm that the finally assembly looks right. With a very low volume, you may be better off with decals or even direct inkjet printing.


Even with smaller print runs, coming back for more makes screen printing services more appealing. For example, a youth sports league might need 25 to 50 uniforms for its players. If they plan to come back every year, they can have the printer hold onto the screens.

Likewise, screen printers can use common screens, such as numbers, across many customers' projects. They can then use your specific set to customize the section that calls for it.

You'll note that the combination of volume and repetition is best. If you print 1,000 shirts and plan to print 1,000 more for each of several future batches, screen printing is often an amazing solution.


A defining feature of screening is breaking an image into what professionals call separations. For example, the CMYK process uses four separations. These are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

You assemble an image by overlaying the separations. Using a technique where dots of each color are set next to each other, you can create in-between colors. Green, for example, comes from mixing cyan and yellow.

Modern graphics software packages always support separations. This makes it very easy to create something in a program like Photoshop or Illustrator using the appropriate separations for your preferred process.

Usually, this approach works best with vector graphics and some simpler photos. If there are large blocks of a single color in an image, it will probably work well with screen printing.