Why can’t you screen print this color photograph?

Guy Fishing

The most common reason our customers need to change their order or send a new design is a misunderstanding regarding the imprint process.  This can be very frustrating when you need your promotional products by a certain date.

Thankfully, by learning a little bit about the limitations of printing processes, you can avoid a lot of headaches!

Why can’t you screen print this color picture?

If you’ve sent us a color photo for your screen print or pad print, you’ll probably get an email or phone call.

Unlike other methods, screen printing and pad printing involve creating silk screens and stamps that print one color at a time.

Like this:

Pad Printing

If multiple colors are used, the screen or stamp must be lined up perfectly for each color.  Otherwise, there will be mishaps like this:


Lenny Bruce shirt

Although we use machines and have some of the best print technicians around, printing too many colors like this isn’t very practical.  If you account for the creation and setup of screens and stamps, it isn’t very economical either. This process becomes straight-up impossible if you account for all the subtle color shades in photographs.

Isn’t there something like my office printer?

Once you see what pad printing and screen printing looks like, you may be wondering…  Can’t you just use a printer?

Yes, we can.  However, our printers are a little different (with much bigger ink cartridges).

CMYK Printer

When you get full color or four color process printing, you’re getting a form of digital printing.  Like your home or office computer printer, these methods typically use four tones of ink: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.  A computer calculates different combinations of these four colors to achieve a full color spectrum.

With digital printing, we can put that photo we mentioned earlier on more than just your t-shirt.  We can put that photo on a mug, keychain, or even a Bluetooth speaker.

Want colorful promotional products?

If you want colorful promotional products that look like this:

Bodie Short Sleeve Full Color
Bodie Short Sleeve Tees, available from AnyPromo.

A screen print or pad print is not going to cut it.

Look for products on AnyPromo with Full Color, 4 Color Process, or Digital Printing to get vivid colors printed on your t-shirts, pens, tote bags, and more.  Not only will these processes allow you to print unlimited colors on one setup, but you’ll be able to print subtle color gradients as well.

About Zach H 21 Articles
Zach does marketing stuff for AnyPromo. His favorite food is Fettuccine Alfredo.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.