How to Count Print Colors

Screen printing is essentially printing with custom stencils. A custom stencil is created for each color within the artwork, then ink is pressed through the stencils one at a time onto the shirt.

Each color, shade, tone or hue change requires its own custom stencil. Creating the stencils takes time and adds to the printing cost. The “number of print colors” is really the number of stencils required to complete the print.

Light prints on dark shirts require a primer coat of ink to keep the dark shirt fibers from showing through the light ink. This primer coat requires its own stencil, so it counts as a print color for pricing.

Colors must be distinct. We can’t print gradient colors with stencils.

See examples below. As always, contact us with questions or to request a quote.

Black Elephant Black Print Maroon Print Yellow Print

Stencils required: 1

Print Color(s):

  • Black
 

Stencils required: 1

Print Color(s):

  • Black
 

Stencils required: 1

Print Color(s):

  • Dark Red
 

Stencils required: 2

Print Color(s):

  • Underbase (primer)
  • Yellow
Black Shirt with Yellow & Red Print Athletic Grey with Yellow & Red Grey & Black Print Gradient Print

Stencils required: 3

Print Color(s):

  • Underbase (primer)
  • Red
  • Yellow

Stencils required: 2

Print Color(s):

  • Red
  • Yellow
  

Stencils required: 2

Print Color(s):

  • Black
  • Grey
  

Stencils required: N/A

Print Color(s):

We aren't able to print gradient colors.