Everywhere around logos, designs and art shows up and comes out of the woodwork using a modernized version of an older technology. Screen printing is a helpful way to expose a company name and/or logo to the public. Screen printing originally started out using silk as a medium but has since moved on to using stretched porous, finely woven nylon or polyester fabrics, with carefully stenciled designs, and delightful creations take form and come to life. From many of Andy Warhol’s famous works to such commonly used items as T-shirts and hats the practice of stretching a fabric and laying out a non-permeable material to cover areas of the fabric to be unaffected by dyes has created influential and marketable works of art. This inexpensive form of advertising creates a wide range of possibilities for a company to establish itself in the market, or for an already established company to gain great recognition.
With a great flexibility and range of uses across different platforms and materials, screen printing has become a widely accepted form of pseudo-media. With uses varying from textiles, ceramics, metal, wood, paper, glass, and plastic, there is not much screen printing cannot accomplish. It remains apparent that screen printing is evident in all walks of life. It is impossible to walk down the street and not see hundreds of screen printed items on a daily basis. Everything from soda bottles, to T-shirts, to coffee cups, and cars are all screen printed. With such a wide array of uses, screen printing also has many different techniques for being accomplished.
The most common for of screen printing is known as photographic emulsion. Simply put, photographic emulsion is a process whereby a photosensitive substance is hardened and subjected to ultraviolet light, using the desired stenciled design, the monochromatic design is transferred onto the vehicle such as the ones listed above (textiles, ceramics, metal, wood, paper, glass, and plastic).The process is completed by rinsing away the excess emulsion that was not hardened by the light in either water, or solvent. In the end, it leaves only the desired screen printed image on the medium. Screen printing has grown into great popularity to brand our everyday household items, and familiarize us with famous commercial brands as well.
Every time we put on a T-shirt or use a coffee mug, we are using a product of screen printing, which has brought artwork and advertising to the masses. Banners, logos, graphics, and art have all been created and replicated countless times as a result of this revised technology. Since the development of screen printing and the evolution away from silk, the technology has improved to include photographic printing processes to create works of art, namely those of Andy Warhol (mentioned above). This technology continues to bring familiar household names into our lives and beautiful works of art into our hearts. Although using a harsh and abrasive chemical process, the end result is one to warm the hearts and minds of past generations and futures generations of innovators.