Gerv Harvill and Rik Cooper of Mission Print explain he process of creating this screen printing poster.


The artwork shown here was supplied as full-colour art. Rik Cooper explains how he prepared the original image for screen-printing.


“Firstly I had to pick the Black using Photoshop’s Color Range,” says Cooper. “I then used a greyscale image, imported it into Illustrator and used the Live Paint Bucket to create a vector version of the main black artwork. I then redrew the other colours, placing the photo in the background.”

He continues: “With the print process going from light colours to dark as I layered up the artwork, using a 0.25mm trap where needed. Finally, I used overprint preview to check my layers properly before sending to print.”


1. Artwork Separation

After receiving the raw artwork, Mission Print separates it into spot colours. They discuss options with the client for paper, print size and borders, watermark postion and ink finish. The separated file is then sent to the client for sign-off.


2. Film Output

Gerv Harvill says: “Once the file has been processed and approved by our print manager it’s ready to run to film. Our designer checks the film before taking it to the screen room.”


3. Preparing the stencil

“Our screenmaker tapes the film positive into position on the reverse of the screen,” explains Harvill. “The screen is exposed to light in one of our exposure units, the film is then removed and the screen washed in warm water.”

The areas of screen emulsion exposed to light through the clear areas of the film remain intact, while the areas where the black areas of the film prevented light reaching the emulsion are washed away.

“The screen is then dried and any imperfections in the stencil are corrected.”