Is white considered a print color with screen printing?

The short answer is definitely yes, white is considered a print color for screen printing since it is an ink color which would actually need to be printed on the shirt. Thus adding white as a print color would be exactly the same as adding black, blue, red, green or any other color in terms of how it impacts the price.

However, there are several things at play here which often confuse the situation. Many people are simply surprised to learn that white (or black) are print colors simply because they do not consider them "colors" in the same sense as blue or red for example. Again this is because for screen printing the pricing will depend on how many screens are needed to run the design. If white (or black or any other color) is in the design and needs to be printed on the shirt then it needs its own separate screen and will thus be priced like every other color.

The good news though is that if white is in your design and your shirt color is white then you will not be charged for it. That is because in this case we would not actually print white ink. Instead wherever the design called for white it would essentially be made transparent and the shirt itself would come through, thus saving an ink color without altering the design. However, this is by no means specific to white; the same would apply to black on a black shirt, or red on a red shirt etc. If the shirt color can be used in place of a print color in the design this is a very effective way to lower save an ink color and lower your price.

Another factor which occasionally confuses the pricing aspect of the order, and which tends to occur most often with white, is that for people's own designs which they have created and are sending in for printing white is by far the most common background color. For this reason when we receive a design with a lot of white in it that appears to be a background color then we assume that the white is not actually a color in the design and that the shirt will replace the color when it comes time to printing. However, on rare occasions this is incorrect and the customer did not have a background color in the artwork and instead wants the entire thing printed as is on the shirt. This can sometimes lead to misquotes and confusion, but can usually be worked out relatively easily with good communication.

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