Communicating what your needs are to your artist.

Welcome To Cora’s Corner, where every month I am going to help you with your artwork issues. This month I would like to discuss what your artist needs to know to create your artwork..

There are several elements involve to creating artwork for screen printing. The obvious information would be what elements or theme the image should be. However other things affect the image you end up with.

You need to tell your artist;

1)     How many colors in the design.

It’s always best to know how many colors are in the design upfront. There will be less time involved in reworking the design later.

2) What colors are in the design.

Knowing what colors are involved helps with how the design will be                    laid out and if space or outlines will be needed.

3) How big the design needs to be.

Size matters. Text needs to be a certain size to be readable. Outlines have to be a certain minimum thickness to be able to be printed.  Items have size restrictions.

4) What color(s) is the garment.

Color of the garment affects number of screens used in printing.  Color of garment can be used in the design.

5)   What fabric the garment is made of.

What kind of fabric the item is determines how thick the ink needs to  be, how much details can be in the design, or if halftones can be used.

6) What format the image file needs to be.

Creating and saving the design in the proper format is important because of how your printer needs to manipulated the file or output the file.

7) Are their gradients in the design.

The intent of the design could be enhanced with shading created with gradients.

8)  Are there color blends in the design.

Related to gradients, color blends or secondary colors necessary to create another color with limited colors used in the design. This often happens when the printing press has less print heads than colors needed in the design.

9) Does the image need an underbase.

Underbase is necessary when vibrant colors needed on dark or color  garments. This counts as one of the colors used in the design whether you can see it or not.

10) Does the image need a choke, trap or butt registration.

Some printers use theses methods when printing. It is necessary to know because it will affect look and set-up of design. Choke is the under color being slightly smaller as not to show around the edges of the color on top. Trap is two colors slightly overlapping to help line up colors next to each other. Butt registration is two colors touching next to each other without overlapping.

11) Will specialty inks be used.

Specialty inks usually have other elements in the ink that determines how much details can be in the design. Example is glitter which needs lower mesh screen. Therefore it limited how small the details can be in the design.

12) What font(s) need to be in the design.

Fonts come in many styles. They tell the message and their style helps convey the message.

13) Halftones and/or solids.

How simple or dynamic the design needs to be, what the garment and ink being used are, determines if halftones can be used.

The more information you can give your artist before they start, the quicker they can design what you need. Hopefully this keeps revisions to a minimum as well.

Until next month.

Cora Kromer|