Frequently asked questions and help information
Home -> Screen Printing Articles

The Number Of Colours In The Design

Last Updated: Monday 4th December 2017

Why is the number of colours in my design so important?

silk-screen-with-print The number of colours is important because screen printing uses screens with an image stencilled into it, like shown in the diagram, to apply that image to the t-shirt.

Each screen can only have one colour applied to it.

So, if we put more than one colour into the same screen, the printing inks would mix together changing the colour of the ink.

So, if your design has more than one colour, each colour will need its own screen.

First, your design will be split up into the different colours, (usually by a graphic artist) this is called colour separation. Then each separation needs to be transferred to film.

This is a transparency for each of the separated colours in the design, filled in with solid black. The film, with the positive image, is used to stencil the image onto the silk screen.

When quoting on your t-shirt screen printing order the number of colours in your design is very important to determine the price.

The more colours, the more expensive the printing will become. It's not just the number of screens and the set-up costs for each screen and film, there is also the printing of each t-shirt that will cost more the higher the colour count is.

Basically it takes longer to print 3 colour layers that to print, say, 1 colour layer.

Printing onto dark or black colours usually requires a white under-base to make the printed image more vibrant and not look like it is all washed out.

A white under-base is also an extra screen, as this image is different to maybe a white colour that may be also in your image.

This means that sometimes printed designs need to have 2 white colours. A white under-base under all colours and a high white that also maybe in your design.

If you are not sure on the number of colours in your design, just send us your design and we will be glad to advise you on the number of colours and what will be involved in printing your design.

Why Use Us To Screen Print Your T-shirts?

T-shirt Screen Printing is the best solution for all your bulk printing needs. If you need to buy in bulk, our team has the perfect printing solution for you!


  • Looking at printing a large order?
  • Need lots of colours printed on t-shirts?
  • Looking for blank tees at wholesale prices?
  • Want to print t-shirts for your local sports team?
  • Do you have different text or images for each shirt?


If you know what you require or have a specific product in mind, we will be glad to give you a custom quote, designed exactly to your needs.

Simply give us a call, use our quote form or email your requirements.

Get in Contact with our Customer Service Office
Rebecca Profile Photo
Hi, My name is Rebecca, I'm your personal promotions consultant. It's my job to help you. Luckily, I am backed by a dedicated team of 20 + screen printers who produce awesome quality work. So if you have questions, get in contact now.
Get in contact

Office Hours - 9.00AM-5.00PM Mon-Fri EST
National: 1300 916 433
Mobile: 0431 052 623
Contact Us | Quote Form | Design Online

I will be recommending your company
 Thanks for sorting out my order -- great customer service!


Need a Few T-Shirts Printed? Upload Your Design Online - Get Started Now!
1. Choose a Style Below