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Single Colour Screen Printing

Single Colour Screen Printing
March 12, 2018 Kirsty

T King Tips: Single Colour Screen Printing

Screen printing is charged based upon the number of colours within your design and the overall quantity of garments, with higher numbers of colours requiring additional set-ups and time on the print press. Therefore if you’re on a budget, printing in one colour can be very cost effective choice for printing your merchandise or uniform. However, printing in one colour does not mean comprising on design or style.



Here are our top tips for getting the most of your one colour screen prints:

Go Bold

Think ‘Frankie Says’, if you have one colour to work with make your image and text stand out!  An advantage of screen printing over transfer printing or embroidery is that the process is priced upon the number of colours within a design rather than the size of the graphics. Therefore why not scale it up to increase the impact without additional set up charges?

Go Halftone

Halftones are a great choice for those on a budget as a range of effects can be achieved without the usual set up costs that would be associated with multiple colour prints. Halftones are designed to work in a similar fashion to traditional newsprint by making use of a range of small dots that vary in scale or space to create the illusion of gradient, tint or shades.

Think About Garment Colour

Always consider your clothing colours carefully as these can affect both your design and budget. For example printing yellow on a purple t-shirt would usually require a base colour to ensure the vibrancy of the yellow, making the design a two colour print and priced accordingly.

Alternatively, printing in black or navy blue on a white t-shirt would be priced as a one colour print only and save on set up costs. Printing in black ink on a lighter coloured t-shirt is another popular method to include colour without high set up costs.

Where your budget allows printing on contrast and baseball t-shirts can also be effective as your print can be matched to the sleeve colour.


Remember the Devil Is in the Detail

There are a number of small graphic details which can be used to interest to your designs when working with a single colour.


Repeating patterns are a great way to add both energy and fun to a design.

Line Work

Avoid your design appearing flat by varying your line weights; they can be a very effective tool in creating the illusion of depth, tone and shade.


In the absence of colour fonts can be used to add personality to your design. Consider the image you are looking to present with your garments; is this playful, contemporary, fun or sophisticated?

You may also wish to use a mixture of fonts within one design to create visual interest and break up a larger amount of text. Check out our two recent t King Designs, both printed in one colour but with a significant contrast in tone between the two designs.


A good selection of fonts will be available on your desktop PC and graphic designers will have access to an even wider range. There are a number of online sites where fonts can be downloaded for free, however please do check the licensing agreement before using any of these in any commercial project.

If you are using a non-standard fonts please ensure they are outlined, please see our artwork guide for further information on how to prepare your artwork and fonts appropriately for printing.


We hope you found these tips useful, if you have any queries just drop us a line at

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