Good Bye, Jonathan

Jonathan will be leaving ASAP Screen Printing on August 11th, 2017. 


Jonathan has been with us since 2012. During this time, Jonathan has made significant contributions to ASAP and I am most grateful. His biggest contribution is his persistence in getting us on track with the GSA Contract that we had lost in 2008. In addition, Jonathan designed, tweaked and launched this beautiful new website.

ASAP Screen Printing is 31 years old now and although I have seen many employees come and go, it has never been easy to watch them go.  Jonathan will be going to better his future and many others, as he will be in the educational system.

Please drop a line, stop by, or pick up the telephone and join me in congratulating Jonathan and wish him the very best.


M. Shiekhy

Screen Printing 102: Full Color Process

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Here at ASAP, the majority of our apparel jobs are done using Spot Color Process printing. But as great as Spot Color printing is, it has its limitations. When tackling detailed artwork with blended shades of colors, we use Full Color Process, also referred to as CMYK printing (referring to the 4 colors used, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, BlacK).

Full Color Process Printing is similar to Spot Color printing in that it uses silk screens like stencils to create an image when ink is brushed over them. However, Full Color Process differs in that it uses only the 4 colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black to create the image. In this sense Full Color Process is more like how a newspaper photo is printed; hundreds of dots of ink of different colors all come together to create a blended, highly detailed image like the one below:


So here is how it’s done:

1. We separate an image into up to 4 layers (depending on the image, as few as a single layer may be used). For example, let’s look at the design below:

The original image, as provided to us by the client.

The original image, as provided to us by the client.

We will create 4 different layers for this image, corresponding to each of the ink colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

When each of these layers is made into a silk screen the area that is black will let ink through, while the area that is white will block the ink. The gray areas are created through tiny black dots - bigger and closely grouped dots make a dark gray area, whereas lighter and loosely grouped dots make a lighter gray.


When the silk screens are made for each layer, we will then apply ink to each screen when it is on top of the shirt. The colors are usually screened on in order of lightness, so a typical order might develop going from Yellow to Cyan to Magenta and finish with Black.

Note that in between the application of each layer, we use heat to dry the shirt to ensure there is no smudging of the colors.

After all the layers of ink have been applied, the complete image is created on the shirt:

Copy of IMG_1163.JPG

Beyond graphic designs, the Full Color Process can even be used to create photograph-like images, like the one below:


So as you can see Full Color Process printing is a powerful way to create a detailed blended image for a high volume order!

Screen Printing 101: Spot Color Prints

Here at ASAP we use two methods for most of our apparel printing; spot color and full color process (referred to printers as “CMYK” which refer to the 4 colors used, to be covered in a later post). Here we’ll go over Spot Color Screen Printing because it is what ASAP uses for most apparel orders. It creates a high quality, durable print job for large quantities of apparel. Spot color printing uses a “silk screen” much like a stencil. This mesh-like screen lets ink through the transparent portions and blocks ink on the blue portions.

So here is how it’s done:

1. After a design is approved, we will separate the design into each color. So if a shirt had red, blue and green colors, each color in the design would become its own layer.

2. Each color layer will then have a separate silk screen made for it. In the example below, we have lettering with a single color, magenta. So there will be a single silk screen to print on this shirt.

3. Next we apply our handmixed ink to the silk screen. The silk screen acts like a stencil, the area that is blue will block ink, the area that is clear will let ink through onto the shirt.

4. Once the apparel order is completed; we either keep the screen for future orders (saving our customers set up time and cost) OR we recycle the screens for future designs. This massively cuts down on the waste ASAP produces as a business.

To see our silk screening process and our other capabilities in action, check out our video here!

Silk screening is simple in theory but takes skill to do well. We have been doing silk screening for over 30 years and ensure quality at every step - so from design to production to delivery, you will get expert level work at ASAP.

ASAP University - Your Expert Class on the Printing Business


The world of printing can be vast and complicated.

With a dizzying array of options, people need a way to learn and become informed customers.

We have over 30 years of experience printing in Northern Virginia and are excited to launch the ASAP University blog series! In this series we will give you a behind the scenes look at printing. This series will help your discussions with your printer, or can just be an interesting read about the world of printing!

You’ll get an insider look into topics like:

  • Spot Color Printing for apparel

  • Full Color Process (CMYK) printing for apparel

  • Photo Transfers for apparel

  • Graphic Design work

  • Offset Printing for stationary

  • Full Color and Black & White copy

We have a host of print capabilities to fit your exact specifications. For an overview of our business check out our intro video here!

Excuse Our Mess...

Welcome to the New ASAP Screen Printing

Beautiful new website. Same great service.

Pardon our dust, we are still putting the finishing touches on our content. 

Dear followers, we welcome your input. Please feel free to contact us with any helpful improvements, additions (or subtractions!) to our new website. If we like your ideas and implement them on the site, as thanks for your help we will reward you with a coupon for 15% off your next order with us!

Thank you again for visiting!