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Printing methods.

Here at Inkline, we use multiple screen printing methods to make sure your prints look as true to your vision as possible. There are many factors at play when choosing the proper print method for your design These includes the simplicity of the design, the number of colors, the use of gradients, the use of semi-transparency, and whether or not your print is photorealistic or includes elements of photorealism. Let's take a look!

Spot Color

Spot color is the most common screen printing method in the industry. While halftones are sometimes utilized during this process, it usually only involves solid colors. Because of this, spot color is the best way to reproduce colors vividly and accurately. This method does not work for re-creating photorealistic designs.

an example of a spot color design separated into its component colors.

Spot color separation example Inkline printing Columbus, OH


CMYK is the oldest print method for color reproduction, dating back to 1906. It is still the method commercial paper printers use today, whether it be books or newspapers. If you look at a color newspaper print using a magnifying glass, you'll notice it consists of four different colored dots: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. These are the component colors all CMYK prints utilize. CMYK screen printing works best on white or very light-colored garments.

an example of an image converted to CMYK halftones.

CMYK halftones example Inkline Printing Columbus, OH

Simulated Spot Process

Simulated Spot Process is very similar to CMYK printing, but instead of using the same 4 colors for every print, it uses standard inks that are generally more opaque. This means that this method results in better color stability when printing complex half-toned images on darker garments. Simulated Spot Process is the most popular separation-based print methods used today.

an example of a simulated spot process print.

Simulated spot process print example Inkline Printing Columbus, OH

Heat transfer (vinyl, screen printed, direct to film)

Heat transfers are a great, cost effective option for things like names on a jersey or smaller runs of garments with a high color count. Transfers are completely separate from our standard screen printing process, instead using a press to apply a design under high heat and pressure.

a heat press transfer being applied to a garment.

Heat press transfer being applied Inkline Printing Columbus, OH

Anything else.

Don't see the particular method you're looking for? Perhaps you need embroidery, coffee mugs, pens, business cards, etc. We print that too! Feel free to send us a message highlighting what you would like printed and we'll make it happen.