Why do more print colors in screen printing cost more?

More colors in screen printing cost more because of quite a few factors. The first being that printing more ink colors requires more screens. Doing More screens means more set-up time before the initial run from printing film to burning the screens to setting up the press and getting the registration right.

Having more screens also means the print run will take longer. Also, if you have a small quantity of T-shirts being printed, then you will have to defray a high amount of screen cost across a lower number of t-shirts. This combination can drive the price per t-shirt up pretty high on small orders with quite a few ink colors.

Some ways to avoid high amounts of colors is to consolidate colors in different parts of the design. For instance if you design has orange, yellow, and red in it, perhaps you could consider changing the yellow and red to orange and just doing orange instead. It all comes down to how the design will look with fewer ink colors.

Another great way to lower your print colors is to use the t-shirt color in the design. For example going back to the above scenario of having orange, yellow, and red in your design, you might consider doing something like printing on a red shirt. This will allow you to remove the red from the design completely and to simply have the red t-shirt coming through instead on the parts of the artwork that call for red.

One thing to remember is that the price is based on the number of print colors per location. So two colors printed on front and two colors printed on back equals four total print colors even if they are the same colors on front and back. This can get even more expensive in scenarios where people want to get a five or six color logo printed on both the front and back since that basically means a total of ten or twelve colors!

The bottom line is that if cost is a major consideration for your order then you are much better off printing as few ink colors possible in as few locations as possible. Doing a one color print on one side of the t-shirt only is the most economical route to take. Don’t forget that the type of shirt selected and the quantity being ordered also play a role in the pricing.

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