This is a photographic journey through the process of printing posters for the Columbus Young Professionals' "IGNITE" event on May 2nd. Each step is performed by hand in our shop, using only the finest materials.

Long before we can even think about pulling ink across paper, we spend time prepping the designer's file for press. This usually takes quite some time to get just right but the results are worth it! Every color in the design is separated into its own layer and then each layer is converted to a black and white image that is used to print films, which you will see below. 

Long before we can even think about pulling ink across paper, we spend time prepping the designer's file for press. This usually takes quite some time to get just right but the results are worth it! Every color in the design is separated into its own layer and then each layer is converted to a black and white image that is used to print films, which you will see below. 

Behold the completed 13x19" films for the red and black layers. The films are inspected on the UV light table to ensure that there are no flaws. This same light table is used to expose the screens, which will be explained below. 

Behold the completed 13x19" films for the red and black layers. The films are inspected on the UV light table to ensure that there are no flaws. This same light table is used to expose the screens, which will be explained below. 

This is what 500 sheets of 19x25"  110# card stock looks like. Even the best design and printing technique can be doomed by using cheap paper, so we only use French Paper. They are simply the best in the business. French Paper has been owned and operated in Niles Michigan by the French family since 1874. They produce top-quality papers in just about any color or thickness imaginable. We place bulk orders monthly and the CEO, Brian French, recently told us that we are one of his favorite customers. That was nice of him to say! They are a great American company and we will never print on anything else!

This is what 500 sheets of 19x25"  110# card stock looks like. Even the best design and printing technique can be doomed by using cheap paper, so we only use French Paper. They are simply the best in the business. French Paper has been owned and operated in Niles Michigan by the French family since 1874. They produce top-quality papers in just about any color or thickness imaginable. We place bulk orders monthly and the CEO, Brian French, recently told us that we are one of his favorite customers. That was nice of him to say! They are a great American company and we will never print on anything else!

No two print jobs are alike, so we typically spend a lot of time trimming the 19x25" stock to size. Here are 60 sheets of 110# French Paper, trimmed to 12x18" (10 more than the customer ordered just in case something fishy happens during the printing process). Speaking of great American companies, our paper cutter was made in Wabash Indiana by Premier. Two years and thousands of cuts later and it still slices through thick card stock like a hot knife through butter. 

No two print jobs are alike, so we typically spend a lot of time trimming the 19x25" stock to size. Here are 60 sheets of 110# French Paper, trimmed to 12x18" (10 more than the customer ordered just in case something fishy happens during the printing process). Speaking of great American companies, our paper cutter was made in Wabash Indiana by Premier. Two years and thousands of cuts later and it still slices through thick card stock like a hot knife through butter. 

The screen (imagine a window screen but with hundreds of threads per inch, pulled tight like a drum head) is coated with a substance called emulsion that remains water soluble until it is exposed to UV light. The films you see in the previous photo will allow light to expose certain parts of the screen while the black areas will leave other parts water soluble. After a couple of minutes on the exposure unit, the screen is rinsed with water and we are ready to print!  A sheet of card stock paper is placed on the table underneath the screen and then ink is pulled across the screen with a long squeegee. The ink will pass through the screen and onto the paper in the lighter areas but not on the darker areas that you see above. Once the ink is pulled across the paper, the screen is lifted and what we have is the first layer of our two-color print!

The screen (imagine a window screen but with hundreds of threads per inch, pulled tight like a drum head) is coated with a substance called emulsion that remains water soluble until it is exposed to UV light. The films you see in the previous photo will allow light to expose certain parts of the screen while the black areas will leave other parts water soluble. After a couple of minutes on the exposure unit, the screen is rinsed with water and we are ready to print! 

A sheet of card stock paper is placed on the table underneath the screen and then ink is pulled across the screen with a long squeegee. The ink will pass through the screen and onto the paper in the lighter areas but not on the darker areas that you see above. Once the ink is pulled across the paper, the screen is lifted and what we have is the first layer of our two-color print!

Following hours of design, making films, trimming paper, screen prep, exposure, and mixing ink--we finally have something to show for all of our hard work! The print is carefully inspected and placed on our drying rack to await the second color of ink. Here we can see the detail of the tiny little logos from the bottom of the poster. Tasty!!!

Following hours of design, making films, trimming paper, screen prep, exposure, and mixing ink--we finally have something to show for all of our hard work! The print is carefully inspected and placed on our drying rack to await the second color of ink. Here we can see the detail of the tiny little logos from the bottom of the poster. Tasty!!!