Screen printers who create designs with multiple layers of colors can add depth and dimension to their prints. But, this is a more advanced technique that takes some practice to get right. Using color theory principles, the color combinations you use in prints can evoke certain emotions and elevate your designs, though you need to know how to utilize them properly together in order to get the best results. To create multi-color prints your customers will love, continue reading through the following best practices to set you up for success.
Use Quality Inks
The quality of ink you use can make or break your multi-color designs. You want to use ink that is high-quality and suitable to the fabrics you’re using. Plus, they need to be able to layer effectively without bleeding or detracting from the look of the design. This will also enhance the longevity of the print and help it retain its look even after multiple wears and washes.
You can use both plastisol inks and water-based inks for multi-color printing, you just need to select the proper ink type for the look you want to achieve.
Choose the Right Screens
Screens with a higher mesh count will be better for designs that call for fine details, while lower mesh count screens are better for printing solid areas. One is not necessarily better than the other, but you need to make sure you are choosing the appropriate screens for your designs. Doing so will help you achieve the look you’re going for.
With pre-burned screens from Arena, you can achieve stunning and progressive prints that your customers will appreciate. Durable and long-lasting, using pre-burned mesh screens not only result in higher-quality prints, but you’ll end up saving time and money too.
Print in the Proper Order
When printing multi-color designs, you will need to create multiple layers and screens for your design, with each layer being dedicated to one distinct color. If possible, you should start with the lightest ink colors first, then the darker ink shades to prevent contamination.
Understand Color Theory
It’s important to have a good understanding of color theory when you are creating multi-color screen print designs. As you layer the various colors, you may notice that they interact with each other in ways that you didn’t expect, giving you a different look than you anticipated. So, you should be aware of the color wheel, what colors complement each other, and how to play with contrast so you end up with visually pleasing multicolor prints that your customers will love.
Between each ink layer, you need to ensure that you are letting the ink dry fully before you add the next layer. This will keep the lines in your design crisp and the different layers from bleeding into one another. Follow the guidelines of the ink manufacturer so you know how much time you’ll need to let the ink fully dry.
If you’re just trying out multi-color prints for the first time, be open to trial and error until you find the right inks, methods, and order for printing. You may not nail it on the first try, but with practice, you will find your rhythm.