Wednesday, December 4, 2019

What is screen printing?

There is a big, fancy definition that I can quote as to what screen printing is.... but the easiest way that I have heard the humans describe it, is a big stencil that you print on a garment, bag, or even a poster.

So there are a couple of basic supplies you need to get a screen created.
The first is a screen (duh) which has a fine mesh pulled tightly across the frame. This creates a blank screen.
The next is an image that you want to print. Each color has to be separated to just that part of the design. So the more colors the design, the more screens that you are going to need.

Now for a little more technical part....
To create the image on the screen... you coat the whole screen with a photo-sensitive emulsion.
It's kind of light coating the screen with a white glue type stuff.

Then comes the fun part, the light sensitive part.
You take the part of your design that you want to print, and block that part of the design (also called design masking) and then expose the whole thing to a UV light.
The UV light cures and hardens the emulsion. Then you wash the screen and wash away the part that was under the mask, leaving a stencil...

So now you have a completed screen. For a 1 color design. You just need to repeat the process for each color in your design, and you're almost there.

Now all you need to do is set the screen up in a screen printing press. This holds the screen steady, and the item you are printing steady so that the whole process is repeatable for as many items as you want to print.

A fancy multi-color screen printing press is shown here.
As you can see, each color of the design gets it's own screen and station on the press. The screens and the platens (the flat part where the shirt goes) both rotate.
Typically you will load, align and adjust all the screens so the image looks good and is aligned. Then you lock the screens down, so they all print the same location every time.
Then you load your shirts on the platens and make sure they are all straight and aligned.
Now you are ready to start printing!
Starting at your first print station (let call it the black screen in the above picture), you will print the black in the first shirt, and then rotate the shirts underneath to the next one and print the black on the second shirt... all the way around until they all have the black print on them. Then you can rotate the screens on top (thus time to the red screen) and print the red on all the shirts.
You can then continue on like this until you have all the colors you need to create the final design.

The actual printing is done by using a rubber edged paddle (think squege) to force the ink through the screen (stencil).

It looks something like this....
A: Ink color
B: Paddle (squege)
C: Design opening (after exposing and washing emulsion)
D: Light cured emulsion (doesn't wash away)
E: Screen and frame
F: Final design (ink is pressed through C)

So that in a rather long a somewhat complicated nut is how screen printing works.

As you can tell from the explanation, the more colors, the more complicated the process works.
Going from a 1 color design to a 2 color design doubles the amount of materials, set-up time, and printing time required.

You are also limited to the number of colors that the printing press has stations.

Okay, wow, that was a lot of typing... I think I have earned myself some crunchies and a little nap.

Until next time....

Thursday, August 29, 2019


Who doesn't love that little scratch behind the ears? The pat on head? That little shake of the pouch of deliciousness when we do a good job?

A little plaque with your name on it...

A crystal award with your name laser etched for all time?

Or maybe just something as small as a "year of service" pin?

All are great ways to let others know that they are appreciated and valued.
And employees and customers who feel valued are WAY MORE likely to stay where they are, and isn't that what we all want?

I am sure Matt has lots of other ideas of ways to say thank you if you have the need.

Until next time...

Thursday, August 22, 2019


I have discovered that you humans tend to be very concerned with what day it is.
Personally I attack my food and nap schedule with the same gusto regardless of what day of the week it is.

But for those of you who like to track the days, a custom calendar is a great way to do that.

Matt has access to all kinds of calendars.... Big ones that go on the wall. Little ones that sit on your desk. He even has some magnet ones that stick on the refrigerator.

You can get ones with cute cuddly creatures...
To classic designs....
You can also get barns, cars, tractors, sunsets, flowers... there are lots and lots of different options.
And they are all good for a full year, so a great value when looking to get your name in front of people for 12 months at a time.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Holiday gifts

The Human Matt has started getting boxes of Holiday catalogs... which means two things..

#1. The stupid delivery guy keeps ringing the doorbell and waking me up from my mid-afternoon/pre-dinner naps...

#2. Things are going to start getting busy with planning for the end of the year for all the customers.

So if you have a need for holiday gifts or year-end thanks you's for customer and clients now would be a good time to start looking. Waiting until the very end of the year can cause problems for both you and my humans.
Like those famous after Thanksgiving sales... items may sell out and be gone by the time you get there.  "So shop early for the best selection" is what the TV always says.

Oh, and speaking of the Holidays.... I promise if we can get a tree again this year, that I won't try to climb it....

Thursday, August 8, 2019


The humans are always working on nametags for different customers.
They say that these are a great way to help people and their employees get recognized and can be much more cost effective than going with a full-on embroidered garment.

Each one is personalized to the wearer and can be transferred from shirt to shirt without poking holes (you humans and your clothes) since they use a strong magnet on the back to hold them in place.

They can come with or without the little chrome frame.
If you like the chrome frame it limits a little the sizes and shapes you can do.

If you don't need the frame, you can be much more creative with your shapes (like that yummy looking fish there).

There also also a wide variety of colors and finishes to choose from.

Just another great idea that Matt can help you with to get your name out there!

Until next time...
- Nala

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Great-Grandpa John - a little history

I have been able to piece together some of the history of Accurate Promotions after listening in on lots of conversations between Matt and the human female (called Jen).

It sounds like the company was originally started by Jen's Grandfather, John back on 1982... which is about 3 lifetimes ago... so I can't even comprehend how long 37 years is!

It turns out that Great-Grandpa John was born right here in Grand Rapids and attended something called Creston High School, where they apparently taught him lots of things.
Great-Grandpa John joined a group that called themselves the 201st Military Police company in 1942 and went over to Europe for about three years. He came home with a couple of fancy ribbons and a flag that Matt keeps in his office.

When he got back from Europe Great-Grandpa John and his brother started a small grocery store here in Grand Rapids. "It was a small operation with no budget for advertising. My brother and I would take turns standing on the corner in our work aprons to let people know we were open!"

John and his brother sold the grocery story in 1953, and he went to work for the company that makes Karo Syrup. (I don't know what a Karo is... but supposedly it sells pretty well). Great-Grandpa was able to work from starting as a salesman all the way up to regional manager.

After working a food broker for a couple other companies, he decided to start selling embroidered patches to local motorcycle clubs. Which grew to classic and collector car clubs. From there they started selling to companies directly.
The business grew to include screen printing as well as embroidery and patches.

Great-Grandpa John was quoted as saying, "The secret to success in business is providing quality, service, and price.  If you provide the best of these to your customers, you will never have a major business problem".

Great-Grandpa John passed away at the age of 70 in 1991. But his daughter Michele (grandma Michele to me) took over the company and continued to run it.

Great-Grandpa John, in addition to the grocery store he started with his brother, and the embroidery company, also started a bicycle shop and an ice-cream parlor here in Grand Rapids.

It sounds like Great-Grandpa John was a great guy, and I wish I could have gotten to meet him.

That's pretty much the history as I know it for the beginnings of the company and Great-Granpa's story.

But that only gets us to the early 1990's... so I am sure there is more to come.
Stay tuned, and I'll see what information I can find about the "middle years".
Thanks for following along so far.


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Air Freshners

The humans just delivered a box of these smelly little circle things that keep calling Air Freshners. Personally, I think it smalls a lot like a pine tree... but I don't completely understand humans.

Matt says that they come in lots of different smells.
Some smell like bubble gum, others smell like flowers, lemons, coffee, even chocolate (which I am not allowed to eat, but it smells delicious).

Apparently it was good fun for Matt to work on these, because they come full color printed on both sides, so he got to do a lot of custom art for them.

Hopefully the other humans who get these little gifts will like the way they make their cars and trucks smell. (That is what I am told they are for).

It seemed like everything went smoothly with the company that makes the air fresheners and they got to our house really quickly for Matt to deliver them.
He even said that they were a pretty good deal on the prices for something that people will keep in the car for months.

Look for more exciting updates on different products coming up... and probably a little more history about my humans, and their company.


Welcome to my Blog!

Hello everyone in the world!

My name is Nala, and I am being pressured in to starting a blog to help out my humans, who apparently have too much to do, and think I should help out....


Anyways, my humans are Jen and Matt, and really are very nice people even though they don't seem to understand my food schedule. I try to remind them every morning at 4:00 that it is time to feed me. Usually I am thanked with expressions like "GO BACK TO SLEEP" and "NO IT'S NOT FOOD TIME", and once they even threw a small pillow at me.

But I suppose they were nice enough to rescue me about three years ago from the "Kitty Big House" as they like to refer to the Humane Society.
Things have been going pretty well despite their apparent inability to tell time.

They own a small company called Accurate Promotions where they provide screen printing and embroidery services as well as promotional products.

As the male human (Matt for easy reference) likes to say, "They can put your name on just about anything!" and I can agree to that.
The number of different things they have printed for customers in just the three years I have been around is pretty amazing.

I will share some of my favorites in the future, and tell you a little more about me, the company, and probably just general things that I find interesting.

Thank you for stopping by and reading... I hope to share more in the future... but now it is time for a nap... I have been up since 4am with only two short naps since.

See you here again soon!


What is screen printing?

There is a big, fancy definition that I can quote as to what screen printing is.... but the easiest way that I have heard the humans descri...