When it comes to screen printing artwork containing gradients, paintings and photo-realistic imagery, simulated process is the preferred printing method. It is the best option for full color t-shirt printing. Through the use of halftones, optical illusions, and screen print voodoo magic, the print tricks your eyes. To understand the basics of any process printing, you’ll need to understand halftones.
Halftones reproduce color gradation in artwork by using a series of dots created at various sizes. Below is an example of a one color halftone reproduction.
If your artwork has more colors, it requires more screens. For example, we used 6 colors to create the print below. We used halftones to create all of the gradients and “blend” the different colors into one another. From a short distance, this “blending” gives the illusion of many more colors being used, but that’s just the print tricking your eyes. Upon closer inspection, you can actually see the halftones of the various colors. See, we told you it was magic.
Simulated process can range from extremely simple to extremely complicated. Technically, a line of text with a gradient of the rainbow is simulated process, and yet, so is this 7 color example. With 40+ years of combined experience, we not only have the technical expertise to execute simulated process prints, but we even use water-based + discharge inks to do so, giving you an eye-catching print that feels like part of the shirt.