How many colours are in my t-shirt design?

Update – if the article below doesn’t help, simply email your design to Neil and he’ll get back to you ASAP with an answer.

If you’re going to be screenprinting your images onto t-shirts, you need to know how many colours are in your t-shirt design. Now that should be straightforward, right? Well, yes and no. Let’s look at a few cases where it’s not quite so simple.

How many colours are in my t-shirt design?

But first, why do we even need to know how many colours there are? Why can’t we just print your shirt, dammit?

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Yeah, that’d be nice, but screenprinting isn’t like other types of printing. Printing onto a rough, uneven surface like a t-shirt means we first need to make a template for each colour. Those templates are called screens — pretty much a stencil.

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The ink passes through the gaps in the screens to create the print on the shirt. Each colour means a new screen and a new layer of ink. So you can see why it’s cheaper to print t-shirt design with one colour than four colours. Four colours = four screens.

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So far, so simple. But there’s some common questions most people have:

  1. Is white a colour?

2. Is black a colour?

Yes — both white and black are colours. We know physics disagrees, but how many physicists do you know running screen printing companies? If it needs to be inked onto a shirt, it’s a colour. Think about it like this — if you have a blue t-shirt, then it makes sense that white is a colour as you’re adding a whole new layer of white ink on a blue background.

3. Can you print my photographic image?blog-post-about-t-shirt-design-from-Ramptshirts

The answer to that one is — it depends on things like shirt colour and the type of artwork. We’ll answer that one in a future blog. In the meantime, just email your design to Neil for a quick analysis.

4. I still don’t know how many colours there are. Can you help me?

Sure — head tothe Ramp T Shirts homepage and hit us up on live chat. We’ll take a look for you.

So to sum up: Every colour needs a separate screen/stencil for the ink to be printed through.

Any questions?

If there’s anything we can do to help, just ask in the LiveChat box, give us a call, or email us. And don’t forget the free checklist below so that you have all the things you need to know before ordering custom t-shirts and more in one quick and easy document.



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