Screen printing involves printing art, logos and other designs on almost anything, from t-shirts to posters to tablecloths. In order to become a screen printer, formal training at a vocational training school is the best way to get started. A degree or certificate program will give you valuable hands-on experience and extensive knowledge of inks, color processes and other terminology. Here are a few other methods that will help you become a screen printer.
Becoming a Screen Printer
Educate yourself. The best way to become a screen printer is to go to an institution that provides hands-on training. Knowing terms is helpful, but in screen printing, you'll be better served by mastering techniques and skills that can only be acquired by doing. You'll learn about art software programs such as CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator that dominate the screen-printing industry. Adobe Illustrator enables the screen printer to take artwork from the computer and transfer it to hats, textiles and other garments.
Apply for an apprenticeship with a screen-printing company. This will give you the opportunity to practice and develop your skill level with a trained professional. Performing tasks at this level helps familiarize you with different printing presses, dryers and other equipment necessary to run a screen-printing operation.
Obtain a degree or certificate in screen printing from a qualified Institution. This isn't a requirement, especially if you're planning to start your own business, but larger companies may require their employees to have a formal degree or certificate of formal training. A strong background or a degree in graphic arts and design will serve you well if you decide to open your own screen-printing business. It can save you money because you won't have to hire other people unless you want or need to.
Purchase a start-up kit that includes all of the essential equipment you need to screen print. Your kit will include ink, a wooden screen, a squeegee, emulsion, degreaser, a heat gun, a scoop coater, 10 positive film sheets, a spray nozzle, scrub pads, a sheet of flat glass, a 500 watt halogen cure light and an instructional DVD. You can purchase start-up kits from places like www.silkscreeningsupplies.com. This step is only necessary if you plan to become a screen printer as a business owner or use it as a hobby. Start-up kits range from the simple to the more complex and the cost can range from $500 to $10,000. The cost fluctuates depending on your equipment needs. If you're screen printing on a very small scale out of your basement, chances are you're going to be spending on the lower end of the spectrum. Conversely, if you're looking to make a big business investment, you could easily spend thousands of dollars.