In the print world, screen printing is one of the most common methods used in personalised merchandise production, and with good reason. At ICON, it’s often our main method of printing for time sensitive, high-quality and long-lasting personalised t-shirts, whilst allowing for expert levels of detail and a wide variety of customisation. As pioneers in the printing industry, we’ve seen our fair share of what makes a spectacular screen printed garment, and have compiled a list of all the things you need to consider before embarking on your new order. Let’s talk about it. 


When choosing which of your creative designs to screen print, opt for higher quality images that have thick elements of detail to avoid losing any imagery during the printing process. Similarly, try to avoid very small gaps of negative spaces, as these can fill in or “bleed” easily – Ink is a fluid and therefore spreads a little bit by nature. And if you’re on the more price conscious side, take note that a separate screen is required for each colour in the design, so, the fewer colours in your design, the less it costs to print. 

Pro tips: 

– A general guideline to follow for your prospect artwords is to use fonts at or above 12 points and lines or outlines stroke size larger than 0.3 pt. 

– Artwork type: Vector or Raster graphics

– Convert all strokes to paths or outline any strokes before submitting artwork.

– Convert all text to outlines in case we don’t have the font that you used on file.

Garment or Base Layer:

The versatility of our screen printing services allows for a large variety of garments to be printed on, ranging from accessories such as our Organic Cotton Totes, all the way to our densely textured Polo Shirts. For the highest quality, and most long-lasting results, aim to use Cotton and Cotton blend fabrics, as these are generally multifilament; i.e. have a greater capacity for absorbing ink compared to synthetic materials, particularly cotton knits, as these tend to have a softer texture, while woven cotton can be breezy for the summer months and warmer in winter weather.

Check out our wide selection of garments here.


The primary differences in screen printing are not found in the method but in the types of inks used and the effects that they produce. One of the most commonly used inks in screen printing is plastisol ink which uses spot colours; suited ideally for maximum durability, affordability and endless pantone colour matching. For our eco-conscious clients, water-based inks are the best option, and result in a more soft textured feel. However, if your design is full colour or if you want to achieve a different feel, a different print method might be more suitable. 

Got more questions? Ask a member of our team by clicking here or visit our FAQ for more information.