Advanced Screen Printing: Design Your Own Team Pennant

Leitha Matz, Maker

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10 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. A Quick Overview

    • 3. Designing Your Pennant

    • 4. Text Manipulation in Illustrator

    • 5. How to Build a Printing Screen

    • 6. Layered Stencils: Another Printing Option

    • 7. Emulsify Your Screen

    • 8. Expose Your Screen

    • 9. Print Your Pennant

    • 10. Final Thoughts


Project Description

Make a Multi-Color Pennant

Someone in your life needs a fan club. (Maybe it's you!)

We're going to use the skills from this Advanced Screen Printing course to make a multi-color pennant -- or maybe even a whole set of pennants if you're feeling motivated!

Use your pennant to cheer on your favorite team, your favorite person, your favorite city, your favorite food... or maybe you'll just design a pennant to inspire yourself.


Upload your final pennant and show everyone how you got there by including any sketches, inspirations or other assets you created along the way. A completed project may include:

  • mood boards/inspirations
  • hand-drawn sketches
  • digital drawings
  • in-progress prints
  • final print
  • notes on your process and inspiration


  • Check out my Pinterest Pennant Board for some vintage pennant inspiration
  • Ray Dombroski's Typographic Logos class can help you make a unique custom typeface pennant.
  • I also recommend George Bokhua's animal Brand Marks class and Aaron Draplin's Family Crest project for design ideas.
  • Streetwear is a super (and free) vintage-look font
  • I also used the font Vincent, which looks collegiate and only costs $10.


When preparing your screen, you probably need a dark room (do check your photo emulsion fluid for specific directions... some types of photo emulsion say you don't need darkness until you dry the treated screen), but you also need to see well enough to spread the emulsion on your screen. Some people use darkroom lights or yellow bug lights for this process (look for a light that doesn't put out UV-A). I do my work in a dark bathroom with a little yellow night light.

So then... exposure: if you have a place to lay your screen in good, direct sunshine, by all means, use that for your screen exposure.

If not, you'll need a bright light (check your local hardware store for a 500 watt flood light) and you'll need to clamp it to a stand that's positioned about 32 centimeters above your screen surface. Keep the light turned off, and after you've brought out your treated screen, positioned the transparency on it and fixed it in place, turn on your work light for 5 minutes.

Then go wash it out with a powerful spray of lukewarm water.


This list might look long, but you probably have a lot of these things around the house already.

  • Transparency film
  • Access to a printer
  • A piece of glass that fits inside your frame
  • Two printing screens (or more, if you have more colors)
  • Fabric ink (I'm using Speedball, but there are other brands as well)
  • Ink-speeading squeegee
  • Small brush for post-printing touch-ups
  • Felt in your choice of color and weight (You'll need enough cut out a pennant)
  • 8 raised push pins (Push one into each corner of the flat side of your screen frames before you treat and dry them.)
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper (to cover your printing surface)
  • Sink/Tub with a spray hose
  • Something to help gently scrub your screen. I use a dish scrubber.
  • A dark room (possibly with a darkroom light or a yellow bug light)
  • A dark storage space or lidded boxes that are larger than your printing frames
  • Dark fabric a bit larger than the size of your screen (to prevent exposure reflection)
  • Direct sunshine or another source of bright light (see "A Few Words on Light," above).
  • A flat printing surface
  • A clean-up rag (never a bad idea)
  • Rubber gloves (for screen clean-up... don't touch the emulsion remover!)
  • A set of old clothes you don't care about staining

If you're making your own printing screens, you'll also need:

  • One or more new or old wooden picture frames
  • Thin poly, cotton or silk fabric
  • A light-weight staple gun
  • Staples for the staple gun
  • A small hammer

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