One thing that never fails to make our day is when a customer, who has never seen shirts in print production before, picks up their order at our facility and is amazed by the process. The majority of “first timers” express to us that they had no idea so much is involved in printing custom t-shirts. It got us thinking that everyone should have a better understanding of what goes into delivering quality printed garments. Here’s a look at the ASG process.
1. First things first.
First, we prepare the art. Many times we receive art that is not quite print-ready. We take the time to ensure that the art is cleaned up and ready for film, resulting in a print that has clean, bold lines with noticeable details.
2. From the computer screen to film.
Next, we print the art on film. For each color, we create a separate film. This process is known as color separation. Think of each film as a layer that must be re-aligned on the press. We use these films to create precise stencils of your custom art. If your art has one single color, this step can be as basic as quick quality check before and after printing. Art with multiple colors requires more time.
3. Double Check.
After film output, we proof our work again. At ASG, we take pride in our efforts at providing superior quality. We don’t mind taking the time and care to do things right.
4. Selecting the right screen.
Now, it’s time to prepare the silk screen. Choosing the right mesh count is key to quality printing. We stock a variety of silk mesh screens from an 85 count to a 305 count. Each custom print will require a different amount of ink to flow through the mesh screen depending on the detail and type of art.
5. Preparing and exposing the screen.
Once the appropriate screen is selected, we begin the process of creating the stencil using the film we created earlier. We prep the film against the screen, measure the dimensions to ensure the print will show up at the correct location on the garment, and quality check our work once more for accuracy.
To complete the stencil, we expose this screen in a light box using an industry grade emulsion to transfer the design to the screen. (The film is kept in a customer file for your convenience should you choose to have more prints done in the future.)
7. Rinse, inspect, repeat…
The screen is then rinsed, inspected, and prepped for the press. This process will allow the ink to flow only within the specified boundaries of the stencil.
8. Auto or manual?
Now, it’s time for printing. Automatic or manually, shirts are placed on the press by hand for printing. When using multiple colors they are flash cured between appropriate colors, so bleeding does not occur.
9. Turning up the heat.
Once the print is complete, the tees will be retrieved by hand and placed on the conveyor belt to go through a dryer.
10. The finished product.
The results – a high-quality, long-lasting custom tee.
Artwork and Design Services
Not an Illustrator or Photoshop expert? Not sure what vector art is? Need help putting a design together? ASG has you covered.
We accept art in the following formats:
- EPS (Preferred)
- AI (Adobe Illustrator)
- PDF (Acrobat)
- PSD (Adobe Photoshop)
* 300 dpi or higher at print size
To ensure your complete satisfaction, art proofs are sent to you, via email, for approval prior to printing. (Please note, additional service fees may apply, depending on your project.)