Printing Coasters

A few months ago I was asked to teach a demo on screen printing at Western Technical College in LaCrosse where I recently graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. Naturally, I was super excited by the opportunity.  I spent many hours screening shirts in high school and it's where my interest in the graphic arts began. Of course, back then we were using like Photoshop 3 or something like that and the Motorola Razr was the phone to have, but I have always had a soft spot for the analog processes like silk screening. In fact, it has been quite a while since I have actually printed anything. At the time I had just designed the brand identity that you see across this site, the cornerstone being a one color logo that could be implemented easily across a variety of mediums with ease. One of the sort of silly uses that I had worked on was a paper drink coaster. I had planed on digitally printing them, but since I was doing the screen set up anyway, I figured that I would do a batch of them this way for the demo.

I printed them scraps of photo matte, I suppose you could print them on art board but it would cost a bit more, my materials were free.

The idea was to learn how to print with minimal expense, so I decided to forgo things like hinge clamps and vacuum hold down. We even printed with a home-made water based ink, a total diy attitude. Because of this simplified process,  the finishing  required a little more effort, all the outer edges were trimmed by hand.

After hand cutting the outer edges of each blank, the guillotine cutter slices them into neat stacks of coasters in seconds.

Part of the screen printing aesthetic is the slightly imperfect results.

I did a few stacks each of white and natural stock, total cost is around $0.06 per coaster.