Andy Warhol

A Short History of Screen Printing

What in the world is screen printing? Simply, screen printing is the process of using a mesh-based stencil to apply ink onto a surface—shirts, posters, stickers, wood, and a variety of other materials. The idea of screen printing arose from the concept of stenciling (and in truth that’s what screen printing is a form of). Screen printing can be traced back to the beginning of recorded history where methods can be found in China as early as 960 A.D., during the Song Dynasty. 

Screen printing originally started as just another art form. During the 1960s screen printing was used for promotional items or propaganda. The 1960s was full of civil rights and social justice movements leaving plenty of opportunities for people to express themselves and their views. Sharing ideas that turn into movements requires people to pay attention, and screen printing provided a method to create stunning graphics that caught viewer attention.

It didn’t take long after the introduction of screen printing to commercialism before screen printing became a popular choice for artists—the most notable being Andy Warhol.

Today, we are seeing a revival in the screen-printing industry as artists are creating new twists to the concept. There is also a call for the industry to become more environmentally friendly with its chemicals and inks. So, if you are just starting out in the screen-printing business there is a lot of room for creativity and growth.

For a step-by-step guide on screen printing, visit the Texsource blog.