How can you prepare an image for silk screen printing

Certainly, one of the biggest challenges for those who want to screen print is having good quality results. There are those who feel that the image and colors differ greatly from what they have sent. Then, it generates discomfort for the final result of the work. For that reason , we ask How can you prepare an image for silk screen printing? Let´s see.

Prepare an image to when silk screen printing

First, it is of utmost importance to send the original file, because doing so will obtain the best results when you are printing in silkscreen.

Second, you must send files over 300 dpi (pixels per inch). If you do so there will be less chance of increasing the resolution of the file. The higher the pixel in an image, the higher the resolution and the better the clarity of the details in a file when it is printed. If the image quality is less than 300 dpi, the “resolution boost” will have to be applied and will result in a pixelated image.

image for silk screen printing

Reasons for sending the image for silk screen printing in vector format

Another factor that guarantees success when it comes to silkscreen printing is sending the image in vector format. This format has the advantage of maintaining image quality, even if it is enlarged or reduced.

A bitmap image is one that is made up of pixels, you need 300 dpi so that it doesn’t pixel, but vector images don’t need that. It can enlarge or shrink. Vectors are based on mathematical calculations made by the machine. So they always look sharp.

Programs used to prepare an image for silk screen printing

Adobe illustrator works in vector format they could also add bitmap images, but its main function is vector illustrations.

Photoshop works with bitmaps.

Points to keep in mind when you are sending images with texts

If the image was worked in Adobe illustrator and you have written text, you have to right-click and give the option to create contours. This way you will transform the text so that the machine no longer understands it as letters but as shapes and when it comes to screen printing it will look the same. You also must to keep in mind the following aspects.

1.    The most commonly used files for silkscreen printing

• Photoshop (saved in .psd or .jpg or .tiff)

• PDF (bitmap images)

• Vector (.EPS)


• Illustrator (.AI)

2.    The size of the image for silkscreen printing

The image must be the same size as the item in which it will be located. For example, if we are going to print a T-shirt, the recommended size is up to 10 cm maximum, therefore, the original image should be 10 cm.

image for silk screen printing

Common color problems

One of the biggest tasks in silkscreen printing is that the color is similar to that of the referenced image. We list at least two problems below:

1. Monitors do not have standardized colors, so the red color that appears on my computer is not the same as that of the machine where it is printed.

2. Another reason is that the human eye looks differently, for example, two people see the same red color with a different shade.

image for silk screen printing

How do we solve the color problem?

Firtsly, we have to understand the composition of the colors, on the one hand, we have the RGB (Red Green Blue) and there are also the CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow black). When using the screen of a computer we use the term RGB and when it is by printed means, CMYK is used. In this way, instead of asking for the blue color, we will say R = 50 G = 100 B = 200 or if it is for print C = 90 M = 40 Y = 20 K = 0.

Apart from those values, ​​there are also hexadecimal codes such as 14GF57. There are also the PANTONE. It is a very extensive color palette and each color has a code. So you no longer say blue but you say PANTONE U47, for example.

As we could see, the success when preparing an image to print in silkscreen is in understanding everything involved in this process. So, starting with the selection of the image, going through the format in which it is sent, its color and size. So if we want quality you must attend every step and every aspect very carefully.

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