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Inside the Imprint Process: The Super Scoop on Screen Printing [VIDEO]

A couple of weeks back, we announced the start of QLP’s spanking new informational video series, all about the different imprint processes that are used to decorate your promotional items.

Well, hold on to your hats, folks! Unless you want them screen printed, that is. That’s right: we’ve got the first in-depth video ready for your learning pleasure, and it’s all about the screen printing process!

If, like 99.999999% percent of the U.S. population, you’ve ever worn a t-shirt with a design printed on it, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of screen printing. But what is it, exactly, and how is it done?

We know these questions have been keeping you up at night. Or, at the very least, you’ve wanted to know what goes into making any items you have screen printed. Don’t worry; we’ve got your answers right here. Take a look at our video explanation of the screen printing process!

There’s nothing like hearing the word “emulsion” to let you know that you’re really learning something. And who knew that when you apply sunblock to your skin, you’re kinda sorta screen printing yourself, just without the screen? Or the ink?

Screen printing is one of the most popular and commonly used decoration techniques, and now you know why. The process allows the ink to stick to any number of surfaces, making it versatile and easy to use. Plus, it looks cool, in the expert opinion of those here at QLP.

But that doesn’t mean that we’re neglecting all of the other amazing promo product imprinting processes. After all, what’s a video series with only one video in it? Well, it’s pretty much… a video. We’ve got lots more to show you, though, with videos about pad printing, embroidery, digital printing, heat press, and debossing still to come!

So keep your eyes right here on the Quality Logo Products® blog, or let your gaze wander over to our YouTube channel, where you’ll be able to find even more information on promo product printing. Let’s face it, you were probably on YouTube anyway; tune into the QLP channel, and you can at least say you were doing some promotional research the next time your boss catches you without your browser window minimized. Heyo!

Until next time!

What were you most surprised to learn about screen printing? Still have questions about the process? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. Chase

    HAHA! The Bread and Butter! That is awesome! Great video! This can really help client understand what a setup charge is too! Because the setup charge is the cost of making the screen to print your logo on the product. This should be really helpful! 🙂 Thanks team!

  2. alan

    Wow, I guess I didn’t realize how quickly printing happens!

  3. Jen

    Who knew all that fun could be contained in ONE building?! But seriously, they make it look so quick and easy when in fact…not so much! The manpower that goes behind just one order, especially if done on a rush, is amazing. Hats off to our production teams!

    I like that this video shows a variety of items being screen printed. We often get asked “Why do I have to pay a separate setup fee per item?” The video shows that the same screen cannot be used for the same item because of item size, dimensions, etc. Sometimes it takes a visual reference to better explain that. Who knew highlighters had to be heated to imprint? Mind=blown.

    I was most surprised to see how much work is involved before the ink even touches the items being imprinted. Going back to the “manpower” behind an order, I was surprised to see how involved the emulsion and screen-making process was. All of this time factors into the cost and turnaround time for an order. I appreciate the behind the scenes look, as it makes me that much more grateful for our production teams! Thanks guys.

  4. Ashley

    Well first of all, I am quite hungry after watching that video and never knew how appetizing screen printing could be! All kidding aside, I think this is a wonderfully informative video and find it to be help for not only customers but also a sales rep like myself who doesn’t get to see or experience the actual printing process on a regular basis. Not only do I have a new appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into getting a logo from the computer screen to the actual item, but seeing the real screen be created is so cool! Maybe I am biased having an interest in photography and having worked in the dark room developing my own film and prints, but I had no idea how the same light sensitive premise applies to burning the imprint into the screen. It is also nice to see why it is necessary to create a new screen for each specific item that I going to be printed. Who knew there were so many intricacies that go into printing for each unique item? The machines are all different, the size of the screen varies depending on the item to not only work best with the curves and shape of the item, but to also maximize the available area that can be printed. I think it crazy that the highlighters need to be heated up first before they are printed, I loved seeing a “Bunsen” burner on the assembly line. I would love to learn more about some of the other unconventional techniques that are used to get the perfect print! Great video and I can wait to learn about the other imprint methods out there!

  5. Ryan

    This video is awesome! I really appreciate the humor to lighten the mood. That being said, this video is super important because it shows the most widely used process we use in this industry. I learned quite a few things from this video. I always wondered how small items such as pens and highlighters were screen printed in such high quantities so fast (1 Day Rush), but this video clearly illustrates the high tech machines used to get your imprint on to the items. I used to associate screen printing with small mom and pop shops were every item was screen printed one at a time and placed by hand. It’s cool to know that we are working with professionals and our customers can rest easy knowing that their items are going to be professionally imprinted. This video may not be the “eggs and bacon” to my customers, but i’m a fan! Thanks guys for your hard work on this one!

  6. JD

    I’m a newbie in the business and really had no idea this stuff was even possible, well, I did but had no idea how! Thank you for unselfishly sharing your information, many blessings!

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