Monster Press is known for its high quality, detailed screen prints. Co-founder Will Petersen breaks down a multicolour retro-themed print his team produced for psychedelic rock band Straylings

(1) This job was for a psychedelic rock band, Straylings, for their ‘Wild Medicine‘ tour. The artwork was made for them by Nena Maree, who is an illustrator from Cape Town, South Africa. We were on a pretty short deadline for these – we ended up with one day to turn these around from proof approval – so it was pretty important that the job ran smoothly.
(2) There were a couple of colours that needed tweaking on press, but that‘s fairly common when printing on a discharge underbase with medium opacity inks, and when you‘re picky about colour accuracy. It took about as long as we predicted, and there weren‘t any major issues on press or any misprints.
(3) The design was printed on dark grey heather Bella+Canvas T-shirts, using Wilflex Epic Plastisol inks on a discharge underbase. We decided to print it with a discharge base as this gives a good balance between a soft hand, vibrancy and colour accuracy. Dark heather contains 50% polyester, but it’s one of the few 50/50 colours that gives decent results with discharge ink.
(4) The artwork was provided to us as a flat raster image, so the colours were manually separated in-house using Photoshop. There were originally 10 colours, which we reduced down to seven (eight with the base) and these were approved by the customer before printing. The image wasn‘t too much of a pain to separate as it was a decent quality file.
(5) We used our 10/12 MHM S-Type Xtreme automatic press to print these, with a Calmatech QC4661MW flash. Squeegees were triple durometer 65/90/65.

(6) The underbase and top colours were printed through 200 (78T) mesh using Newman roller frames tensioned to 25nm. The discharge underbase was flashed briefly, then the rest of the colours were printed wet-on-wet on top, in the following order: 

1. Underbase
2. Dark red
3. Dark yellow
4. Light yellow
5. Bright red
6. Mid blue
7. Bright blue
8. Dark grey
(7) We used an Adelco Ecotex gas dryer to cure the ink. This has a 180cm wide belt and 8m of tunnel, and was set at around 2 1/2 minutes.