Five ways to spot a bad screenprint

Posted by John Patrick Reynolds on

This is your print-off-and-keep guide on how to spot a bad silkscreen print. 

These are five faults that a silkscreen printer must avoid if he/she is to produce a clean image:

1 Over-inking. This can happen if the image on the stencil is too close to the edge of the screen and it is difficult to make contact with the paper.

2 Under-inking. This can happen if the ink has dried on the screen, if there is not enough ink on the screen, or if it is too viscous.

3 Uneven inking. This is sometimes a problem if the snap – the gap between the paper and the screen – is not sufficient and the paper sticks to the screen after inking.

4 Double inking. This happens when the printer over-inks the screen, or presses down to hard on the rubber blade which he uses to apply the ink to the paper, and ink is forced underneath the screen instead of just being applied to the paper. The next time he tries to print, that will result in a ghost edge.

5 Mis-registration. If the second colour is not properly aligned, then it will land on the paper in the wrong place. A slight mis-registration is probably tolerable – or even desirable, as it is evidence of the hand-made nature of the print – but you don’t want to aim for it.

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