The first step in the creation of a screen
printed object is the creation of artwork to be used for
Because the stencil method you will use
later to prepare your screen is photographic, you must
first make a positive.
A POSITIVE is a design (words and/or images)
on a transparent or translucent material. The positive
will then be used to burn the image onto the stencil material.
FOR EACH COLOUR A
SEPARATE POSITIVE IS REQUIRED.
may be made by hand, by camera, by computer, or by copier machine.
CREATING A POSITIVE BY COMPUTER: The latest technology
in computer software allows creations of artwork with ease
and precision unrivaled. Many choices of print type and the
ability to arrange it however desired, saves hours of work.
Pictures can be scanned into the computer and transformed
to your specifications, or you may use "clip art" from the
program. The different colour jobs can be printed a such right
onto X200 positive paper, ready to be exposed.
CREATING A POSITIVE BY CAMERA: Images can be photographically
enlarged of the following procedures will allow you to create
a film positive to meet your customer's specifications:
CREATING A POSITIVE BY HAND: Images can be photographically
enlarge or reduced on clear acetate.
1 Rubbing dry transfer lettering (Tec-type, Letraset,
Geotype, etc.) onto clear acetate (Transtay). You will need:
a roll or box of clear acetate (Transtay), an assortment of
Tec-type lettering, and a burnisher for rubbing down letters.
Tracing the image onto matte acetate using black ink and
a technical pen or brush. You will need a roll of matte
acetate, at least one technical pen, preferably an assortment
of point sit a bottle of black ink and a small touch up
Cutting the image out of masking film, using a knife. You
will need a roll of Amber of Rub Automask film; at least
one knife, with replacement blades; a roll of gloss blockout
tape for corrections.
Using a copier machine to copy/enlarge/reduce your image
BASIC TOOLS AND SUPPLIES: In setting up a work area specifically
for artwork, include at each station a drawing table and a chair
or stool at the correct height. A light table is ideal because
it will allow the students to see their work more clearly.
||other possible needs
||T-squares / ruler
||stock art files
A POSITIVE BY HAND
DRY TRANSFER LETTERING ONTO CLEAR ACETATE (TRANSTAY)
|FOR STRAIGHT TYPE:
- Tape a sheet of graph paper or the layout guide
to the drawing using masking tape.
- Tape a clear piece of acetate over the graph
paper or layout guide.
- Burnish (by rubbing the letters with a burnisher
tool) the message directly onto the clear acetate,
using one of the lines on the graph paper or layout
guide as a guide. Space the letters closely together
for a neat and professional look.
FOR ARCHED TYPE:
Tape the layout guide to the drawing
table using masking tape.
- Tape a clear piece of acetate over the layout guide.
- Burnish the message directly onto the clear acetate,
using one of the curves as a guide to align letters.
Be sure to angle letters towards the centre.
AN IMAGE ONTO MATTE ACETATE
Matte acetate is an acetate that has a matte finish on one
side and a glossy finish on the other. Tape the acetate
with the matte side up (this is the side you will draw on)
over the image to be traced - your drawing or other image.
(It is useful for tracing an image off a cap or jersey,
or in some cases, tracing bad reproduction artwork). Of
course, this method can be used to trace over lettering
as well .
Using pen and ink trace over your image.
If this is to be a multi-colour print you must make as many
pen and ink tracings as there are colours in the job.
Remember: When using matte acetate as a possitive, you must
ensure that the image be perfectly opaque. This means that
you have to repeatedly ink over the image to ensure that
completely no light is projected through. A less than opaque
positive will yield a stencil that will not wash out completely
and therefore you will have an unsatisfactory imprint.
ASSEMBLING BASE ART
Putting together all
parts of your artwork - images and message
After the different elements of the artwork have been
completed (the burnished message and the line drawing),
you must assemble or put together the artwork all together
onto one acetate in order to have the positive for the
stencil that you will be preparing in the next stage of
the screen printing process. Remember: These directions
are for a one colour job (eg.black) and therefore you
would require only one stencil. If your job has more than
one colour, you need one stencil for each colour. In this
case you would follow the directions for all multi-colour
artwork to create more than one stencil.
- Tape a layout guide to the table, then tape a clear
piece of acetate to it.
- Cut out all the type and illustrations using a knife,
so that there is about 1/4" of space left around them.
In order not to scratch the ink and letter surfaces,
it is advisable to position all lettering and drawings
face down on the acetate.
- Now position the type message using the grid or layout
guide to help you align, and secure in place with magic
- Position the drawing in the centre or off to the side,
according to customer specifications, and secure in
place with masking tape.
- NEVER ALLOW ANY TAPE OR ACETATE TO OVERLAP A MESSAGE
OR GRAPHIC. These overlapping lines will expose and
show up in the final print.
- You now have a completely ready to expose positive.
You may want to apply registration marks and to cut
THE IMAGE OUT OF MASKING FILM
film can be used for cutting out an image, such as a scripted
team name, or for creating second and subsequent colour overlays
on an existing positive.
an original image:
- You are tracing
the image's outline using a knife blade. Cutting masking film
requires practice. You will want to cut the top film (orange
or red), but not the bottom carrier sheet (clear).
- After the image
has been cut, the outside image must be stripped away, leaving
you a complete, ready-to-expose positive.
a second or subsequent colour overlay:
- You will need to
tape down the original artwork (ie. a line drawing).
- Cut the individual
colours out of the masking film, cutting just into the outline
of the design to allow easy overlapping of colours.
POSITIVES WITH VELUM (DRAFTING PAPER)
for simple jobs! Fast and very economical! No expensive darkroom
and processing chemicals!
- Create your artwork
in pen and paper, or use the computer to prepare the images
and message, or copy a picture.
- Now simply copy
your artwork by running the velum through a laser printer* or
photocopier* and create an instant positive.
- Again, you must
make one positive per colour used in your artwork.
- The image created
should be as opaque (black) as possible to block light during
exposure. Use an opaquing pen or black marker to darken any
areas, if necessary.
- Place the positive
image face up on the print side of the screen and expose using
stencil method chosen. Screens will take slightly longer to
expose (add about 20% to exposure time).
FOR ALL MULTI-COLOUR ARTWORK
As mentioned in the previous instructions for creating
a positive, you must have one positive for each colour
in the print job, regardless of how you have created the
positives. Three colours require 3 positives.
- You must register the artwork overlays to one another
so that the different colours will appear where they
should. This is done using registration marks or targets.
- With the base art (usually the darkest colour) taped
onto the table surface, position one registration mark
in the upper righthand corner and one in the lower lefthand
- Tape the next overlay, completely registered (in line)
over the base art, and position new registration marks
in the position over the first ones.
- Continue with subsequent colours. You will end up
having properly registered artwork that is easy to re-register
should the positives become mixed up. The marks will
also help the printer to register the screens more easily
to label the right bottom area of the positive(s) using lumocolor
pen. Include the artist's name, number, and colour to be printed.
The lumocolor pen is permanent but light enough not to expose
onto the screen.