Screen Printing Startup: Starting a Screen Printing Business

Screen printing is a business venture I am very conversant with. I happen to have managed a printing press that offered offsetting, typesetting, lithographic services and screen printing.
Screen printers generally use a mesh to transfer ink on a substrate. They then use a hard sponge or foam to apply the ink through precise wrist movement.
The ink wets the substrate to form an impression on the item. The mesh is then extracted and the ink is left to dry.
Things to Consider
You need to learning the trade and choosing the best screen frames. Others are mastering curing, flashing, screen cleaning and reclaiming techniques.
You need proper mesh selection, type of emulsion and controlled exposure control. Make sure you purchase quality equipment for better results.
  • Learning the trade
  • Choosing the best screen frames
  • Master curing
  • Flashing
  • Screen cleaning
  • Ink reclaiming
Learn the Trade
Before you can start a screen printing business you need to learn the trade. Learn proper screen printing technique and color variations.
 Learn through books, e-books, online resources, a trade institution or an apprentice program. Alternately you could hire a professional in the field to teach the basics.
Items Screen Printed
Screen printing is done on household utensils such as cups, plates, flasks and plastic cutlery. Other items are canvas, cotton cloth, plastic containers and novelty items.
They are impressed on novelty items like bottle openers, flashlights, key handles and t-shirts. More items screen printed are balloons, fabric, signboards, banners and labels.
  • Cups
  • Plates
  • Flasks
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Canvas
  • Cotton cloth
  • Plastic containers
  • Bottle openers
  • Flashlights key handles
  • T-shirts
  • Balloons
  • Fabric
  • Signboards
  •  Banners
  • Labels
Materials Used by Screen Printers
Screen printing equipment are not pricey and many a manually operated. The skill is highly technical and the practitioner needs to learn the trade.
To accomplish the art they use different materials. You could purchase discharge ink, cracking ink, shimmer ink, foil and mesh.
Equipment Used in Screen Printing
 Common items used by printers are hand bench, stencil, pallet tape, industrial sink and sponge. Others include scrub brushes, emulsion, dryers, curing unit, drying rack and screens. More are spot cure dryers, screen expose units, and vacuum frames.
  • Hand bench
  • Stencil
  • Pallet tape
  • Industrial sink
  • Sponge
  • Scrub brushes
  • Emulsion
  • Dryers
  • Curing unit
  • Drying rack
  • Screens
  • Spot cure dryers
  • Screen expose units
  • Vacuum frames.
Licensing and Permit
Incorporate the business into a LLC or sole proprietorship company. You need employer tax identification number and liability insurance. Apply for a trade license and use proper waste management protocols.
Lease a Shop
You don’t need much space to run a successful screen printing business. Most of the equipment and tools a manually operated or semi automatic. Rent a shop in a commercial area with lots of pedestrian traffic.
Marketing
A screen printer is only as good as the product. Make sure you use visible lettering devoid of spelling errors and stain.
You could offer your services to t-shirt manufacturers or individual customers. Top patrons are schools, government offices, companies and event planners.
Build a Website
Owning a website for your business is very important. The website provides an avenue to reach potential customer outside your demography.
Make sure the site is SEO optimized and easily navigated. Showcase your skill, designs and products. Add an about us page, contact page, shopping cart and a dedicate phone line.



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