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I'm looking for information on how the screen printing process works in regards to tints and/or gradients. I'm not to the point of printing my own shirts yet, so I'm using a fulfillment service (Print Mojo). What I'm looking for is information from a designer's perspective. If I use tints, does that mean that a screen must be made for each tint, or is there a way of doing it all on one screen. Also, what about gradients? Do they need a screen for each color in the gradient?

Any information and insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bob-O
 

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It is physically possible to print a gradient (by laying down more than one ink colour on one screen), but it's a fairly manual process, somewhat hit and miss, and I seriously doubt you could find any commercial printer willing to do it. Some printers will do tints by overprinting... not sure if a commercial printer would do that for you or not. There's a lot more that can be done with screenprinting than what a printer is willing to do on a work-for-hire basis (because it's not worth the effort, or because it's too risky and they can't afford ruined shirts, or etc.).

The general rule of thumb is one screen per colour. A gradiated or tinted colour is a different colour, so it's going to need a different screen. There are ways to design around that though, like printing half-tone dot patterns to fool the eye, etc.
 

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thats incorrect. A gradient or tint are part of a specific color and are on the smae screen as that color. If you have a plate with solid red but in another are the red fades to nothing it will be on the same plate. During output you specify dot size and angles with the norm being 45 dots per square inch.
Take a color photo and convert to greyscale. You actually now have a sscreen made of various tints of black. With proper dots, angles and screen mesh you can reproduce that image perfectly.
 

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Fluid said:
thats incorrect.
No, it's not.

Fluid said:
If you have a plate with solid red but in another are the red fades to nothing it will be on the same plate.
And if it fades to purple?

Fluid said:
With proper dots, angles and screen mesh you can reproduce that image perfectly.
Not perfectly, but yes good enough for some designs.

As I said... there are things you can do in the design phase to fool the eye - but that's not the same thing. It's also not much help if you want to gradiate red to blue, or have a proper tint/tone of red to red/white or red/black (a heavy ink deposit vs a light ink deposit, or a spaced out dot pattern vs a tight dot pattern, is not a tint).
 

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If that red fades into purple than it still would be on the same red plate as the solid red. just a gradient where it fadees into the purple.


Tints your correct. A true tint of a color is a totally diferent variation of said color with the addition of another color or shade. This can be achieved by adding a percentage of black or white or even a complimentary color.

manually printing gradients is tough as your pressure, angle and speed need to be consistent or you colors will vary from shirt to shirt which is why some will put gradients or even percentages on separate plates to better control the dots.

I misread your reply and apologize for any confusion I may have made
:) cheers

I mucked up my naming on the purple I was backwards <g>
 
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