4. Mixing the inks

Meanwhile the printer mixes the inks. They will choose between water-based, solvent or UV inks depending on the piece.

“Colours will be matched to Pantone references chosen by the client,” adds Harvill. “Colours can vary through different screen meshes and onto different substrates and also on drying. The printer will sometimes spend longer matching a colour than printing the edition.”

5. Printing the job

The printer sticks the film onto the paper in the right position. The paper is then laid on the print table and the screen aligned to print where the film is on the paper. The printer references two edges of the paper with lay stops to maintain consistent registration throughout the edition.

“During the edition the printer will overprint previous test sheets to ensure there’s no movement and that the print position is consistent,” says Harvill. “Additional colours are printed in sequence – usually from light to dark – until the edition is complete. In most cases we prefer to produce a sample for approval after which adjustments can be easily made before printing.”

6. Drying and packing

Solvent and water-based inks are left to dry for a couple of hours; UV inks are cured under UV light.

“Once dry the edition will be trimmed to size, checked for quality and then carefully packed for shipping or collection,” says Gerv Harvill.


"Always use an off-black colour when using overprint preview, otherwise you won't see anything," says Rik Cooper.