What does a novice printer need to know about CMYK screen printing?
CMYK or four-color process printing is a great way to achieve full-color images with minimal screen setups. Using cyan, magenta, yellow, and black process inks, it creates a wide range of colors due to color blending and halftones. CMYK printing does have its challenges though.
It's extremely important to maintain consistent pressure throughout the printing process. A difference in pressure between strokes creates different degrees of "dot gain" (bleeding of the halftone beyond its intended diameter). To avoid this, I like to run all of my CMYK jobs on an automatic press. It's the surest way to replicate squeegee pressure and angle, print after print. If done on a manual press try and keep your pressure as consistent as possible. If possible, hang the print you used for approval close by to compare your prints during the run. This can ensure image consistency. Also, it's essential that your registration is spot on and aligned. Inks are blending to create different colors, and if the dots are not lined up correctly, you won't recreate the image properly.