Maybe you guys can help me figure out the best way to do this...screen printing may or may not be the best answer.
I have a friend that runs a small design firm. He is currently working with a pretty high profile client (high profile for our city anyway) to design some graphics for branding in their new facility. One of the things they are wanting done is to have the graphic applied to a glass door. The first thing he thought of was a digitally printed film....or cut film. But the design has gradients....digitally printed ink on a transparent film would work but the ink would also be transparent and would look washed out. The solution there is to print onto a white substrate so that the color is nice and vibrant....but then you would lose the ability to have the gradient fade from color to clear glass. So that led him to start thinking about screen printing and thats where I come in. Halftoning the image and printing it with an enamel ink would work as far as the opacity/brightness of the color and giving it the gradient/fade look that it has....
But this is not something I've ever done before. I'm always willing to learn a new technique, but if there is a better option that one of you may know about I'm all ears!
If screen printing is the best way to do this would we be better off finding a film to print on and then adhere that to the door? Or should I attempt to print it direct to the door on site? Any suggestions for clear screen printable self-adhesive film?
This is the graphic. White = clear glass. Text will be beneath it in a different color....
Andy, yeah it's a one off. The little experience I have with digital printed stuff tells me that the ink will be pretty transparent and hard to get a nice bright solid color on a transparent surface....is that not the case?
It depends completely upon the kind of ink used. Most solvent inks will be transparent, yea. But if you know a good printer in your area with a machine that print white ink you can use that as an underbase to prevent that. I did something similar with a bookstore door not too long ago. We had the vinyl cut to the width of the glass and about half the height so that the seams ran either edge to edge or were hidden behind the bar. Do a wet application and TAKE YOUR TIME and you'll never know there's a sticker there.
Piece of cake I've done this tons of times. Make sure your screen fits fat on the door and nothing like a door jam, for example, is getting in your way. Print with enamel inks, they stick well and aren't transparent. You will want a fairly coarse mesh 156 or 195. Bring along your film and register that to the door (get that approved by the powers that be) and measure where it goes. Get a buddy or 2 to hold the screen on the door, place your squeegee on the bottom gutter, pour a bead of ink across (you do this unflooded). Print. Clean up the screen well because chances are something is F'ed up and you will have to do it again.
Oh I forgot...
print on the inside of the door not the outside cause peeps won't mesh with it as much that way. So you'll need to flip the art.
Degrease the glass before printing or before a redo with 90% or higher concentration of rubbing alcohol. Also make sure there isn't a ton of lint kicking around because the enamel ink take a while to dry. Best to do this at a time when the door doesn't have to be opened all the time with customers