Types of T Shirt Inks Used for Printing
Design By Humans has always been at the cutting edge of screen and digital printing. We have pushed theÂ boundariesÂ of screen-printing by experimenting with inks and print size. We have tweaked ink colors and created potions to enhance what digital printing can do. We consider the products you wear as one of our top priorities and we are always looking to get the very best results. So inÂ thisÂ article I thought I would explain some of the processes we use and educate our community on the science that we are entrenched in every single day. Let's get started.
All Over Printing is Shoulder to Hip Designs
All-Over or belt Printing - All over printing literally means we lay the tee down very flat and print all over the tee. It can be complex and have differing results but here at Design By Humans we have done many of them. We have mastered the t-shirts gluing process (to get them flat) and devised some cool ways to get optimal ink coverage. The beautifully printed It Makes The Heart Grow Fonder is a great example of this technique.
Custom Neon Inks Are the Brightest
Neon inks are very bright colored inks from the Pantone color set 801C - 814C and here at Design By Humans we like to play around with these and make custom discharge inks and multiple shades, mixing density and brightness by hand. Fun stuff and it also creates a custom color that only you will have on your tee! Examples, Limited Edition Retro TV Color test man and Limited Edition Last goodbye.
The Sheen of Foil and Metallic Inks
Foil and Metallic Ink - To give a full foil effect, sheets of foil are heat pressed on top of plastisol inks. This is a tricky process with some restrictions so we tend to go for metallic inks here at Design By Humans. Adding Metallic into regular ink creates metallic inks. This enables us to make any color have a metallic finish. We have used this process many times but great examples of this process are Robot Attack and The Wisdom.
The Luster of Shimmer Inks
Shimmer InkÂ -Â This is the same as metallic ink but we mix a lot less metallic into the color. Instead of a full on metal look this give a hint of metallic creating a cool shimmer to any color. An example ofÂ thisÂ is Limited Edition - Shark with Pixelated Teeth.
Natural Soft Hand Inks
Soft Hand Inks -Â We like to get a soft hand feel to our products as much as possible and we mostly achieve that through using waterbase and discharge ink. However we also mix regular inks with thinners and adapt the way we print to avoid heavier prints. Sometimes heaver prints areÂ unavoidableÂ to get the vibrant colors we want. Examples of regular inks treated to get a great softer hand feel are TheÂ DarkÂ Officer and Samurai Tiger.
Discharge Inks for the Perfect Soft Hand Feel
Discharge inks -Â Discharge is basically a bleaching agent that is used to take the color out of the shirt. Discharge can be applied as raw discharge or a tinted (colored with pigment) discharge. Raw discharge will give a dark-colored shirt a bleached look, and tinted discharge results in a more muted tone of the ink color that is used. This effect makes the print feel very soft and almost like it was never printed on at all! Once washed this print will feel great. A good example of a raw discharge design is The Fourth RiderÂ and a great example of tinted discharge inks is LOST.
Vintage Tints from Waterbase Inks
Waterbase Inks - Waterbase printing is very similar to the use of discharge inks but mostly for light colored shirts. Again, the inks are dyed into the fabric. When used on dark color fabrics it gives a faded or vintage aesthetic. When using light ink colors on dark shirts the ink colors will be tinted by the shirt color underneath. White inks printed on a black shirt will cause the inks to be a light grey. Once washed this method of printing will give an amazing soft hand feel. Examples of waterbase inks on our products are 3 Wise Monkeys and In Search of Love.
Cutting Edge Digital Printing on T-shirts
Digital printing - This is a method that is similar to your LaserJet printer on your desk. Machines print an image directly onto a garment or fabric through what is essentially a modified version of a traditional inkjet printer. Think of a regular inkjet printer, which has been modified to 'accept' garments instead of paper. Clever stuff and a technology that is growing very quickly. We at Design By Humans took the best machine on the market and modified it to bring you the best quality of digital printing in the industry. Never settling for the industry standard we hired some scientists to play with our machines and make them better. They succeeded and you can see here on Wild Pop Thing and The Thinker that we have some pretty nifty digital printing capabilities here at Design by Humans.
The Inks we Print to the Shirts you Wear
That was a good introduction to what we do here at Design by Humans and we are always trying out new methods and looking to push our technologies that bit further. Production and printing are lots of fun as a T-shirt lover or designer it is always cool to know the process that art goes through in order to become the garment that you buy, love and wear. Happy printing humans.