We offer screen exposure services so that you can screen print at home. Exposure for photo stencils is often the most difficult part for DIY screen printers. We sell aluminum screens and can expose them for you so you can get your hands dirty and print!
If you’ve never screen printed before, we recommend taking our Screen Printing 101 Workshop to avoid unnecessary frustration and headaches.
OUR SCREEN EXPOSURE PROCESS
- Purchase a screen from us, or bring in your own. If you have a home-made screen, make sure all staples are covered in tape – we won’t put anything on our exposure table that might damage it.
- Send us your artwork (email@example.com). Please refer to our artwork guidelines below to help you format your documents.
- Pay in full. You can call us with your credit card number or stop by the shop to make a payment.
RECLAIMING YOUR SCREEN
If your screen already has an image exposed on to it, we can most likely wash it out for you. This process is called reclaiming. Reclaiming a screen starts at a non-refundable $15. In cases where your emulsion is old or you have dry ink in your screen, we may need to use a screen detergent and a little elbow grease. An additional fee applies. We will let you know in advance before we charge you.
If we try to reclaim your screen, but are unable to wash the image out, we cannot refund the reclaim charge(s).
OUR STANDARD SCREEN: 20″x24″ (156 or 160 mesh count)
Screen Size: 20″x24″
OVER SIZED SCREEN EXPOSURE
Screen Size: Over sized (Larger than 20″x24″, but smaller than 32″x42″ – screen frame size, not image size)
Exposure Cost: $30-$50 depending on the size of the screen
How Long Will it Take? 5 days from the time we receive 100% payment and artwork to our specifications
PREPARING YOUR ARTWORK
WE ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING FILE FORMATS:
- Photoshop CS3-CS5 at 300dpi (.PSD, JPG, .TIF, .BMP)
- Illustrator CS3-CS5 (.AI, EPS)
- Please do NOT send .PDF, Word, or Indesign documents.
In order to print comfortably, you need a margin (of at least 3″) between your artwork and the inside edge of the screen. Therefore, each screen has a usable exposure area.
- Files should be black and white with no grey tones – if you need your image halftoned by us, there will be an additional charge
- Photoshop files should be 300 dpi and all fonts should be rasterized to a single layer.
- Illustrator files must have all pictures embedded. All fonts should be converted to outlines.
- File document at 100%.
- Fonts should be greater than 11 pts.
- Line weights should be greater than .75 pts.
- Please see our artwork guidelines for more details
Note: These are basic guidelines that we recommend for preparing your artwork for screenprinting. Depending on your skill level you may feel comfortable with smaller fonts/line weights.
GETTING US YOUR ARTWORK:
- You can drop your artwork off at the shop (please make an appointment!)
or email files under 5MB to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- For larger files, we encourage you to use a free ftp service, such as You Send it, WeTransfer, or Drop Send.
SCREEN EXPOSURE FAQ:
How is my image exposed onto my screen?
- We coat the screen with a photo sensitive emulsion. Then we place
the film (a black image on a clear background) on the screen and expose
the whole thing to light on our light table. When the emulsion is
exposed to the light, the clear areas harden allowing for the black
areas to be washed away, creating your stencil.
My screen already has an image on it. Can you wash the old emulsion (image) off?
- If your screen has an image on it from a previous run, we offer reclaiming services for $15 per screen.
- Depending on the condition of your screen, we may or may not be able to reclaim it the $15 fee applies regardless.
- In cases where your emulsion is old or you have dry ink in your screen, we may need to use a screen detergent and a little elbow grease. An additional fee applies. We will let you know in advance before we charge you.
- Please remove all tape before you bring in your screen. If there is a buildup or residue, we may have to charge our additional cleaning fee of $10 per screen.
Can I expose more than one image on a single screen?
- Yes as long as your images fit comfortably onto the usable area of the screen. Please ensure you fit all image into one file.
I am using a carousel press. Is there anything special I need to request?
- Please inform us if you are printing on a carousel press and need an image shot in a specific place on your screen. We cannot guarantee that it will be lined up precisely but we will make every effort to be as close as possible.
What if I need my image in a specific spot on my screen?
- Please inform us if you need an image shot in a specific place on your screen. We cannot guarantee that it will be lined up precisely but we will make every effort to be as close as possible.
Can I bring my own film to save some money?
- You can bring in your own film, but the cost stays the same.
- If you bring in your own film, it has to be on vellum or acetate and we cannot guarantee that we can expose it.