Even a great design will suffer from a poor ink:garment combination. While there’s no magic formula in choosing colors, here are a few things to keep in mind:
“Value” refers not to cost, but to the darkness or lightness of a color. Try to select inks that contrast well with the value of your garment colors – like navy on light blue, or white on grey.
A creative way to play with value is “ghost” prints – intentionally using an ink color with a low value contrast to achieve a barely-there design (like black on dark grey, or white on light grey). Ghost prints are better suited to simple, bold artwork, as the low-vis effect will make small details or text difficult to read.
Contrast doesn’t just apply to value. When two colors are combined, even if they share the same value, they can be extremely unpleasant to look at if not paired thoughtfully. This phenomenon is often referred to as “vibrating boundaries”, describing the flashing illusion when your brain is overworked trying to discern between two low-contrast hues.
We don’t upcharge for water-based inks or custom color mixing, but you can maximize your budget by reducing the number of ink colors in your design. The more ink colors your design has, the more screens are required, and that adds to setup & printing time.
That’s not to say less is more – rather, we are really great at doing more with less.
That’s the beauty of screen printing!
Have a specific Pantone color in mind? No problem! Our team has mastered the Pantone-matching process, from color-mixing to the ink systems we use, and each print run goes through a series of internal approvals to ensure accuracy. It is imperative to reference the physical swatch books as all colors are converted to RGB for digital viewing, and every screen is calibrated differently. If you’d like to see what the final printed color will look like before moving forward, we’ve got you – just ask for an ink swatch test. Please note that swatch testing does add to your project’s turnaround time.