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How to Pick a Silk Screen Design for Your Skateboard

Learn how to pick silk screen designs for your skateboard from SHUT Skateboards' Michael A. Cohen in this Howcast video.


What's up guys? We are here to discuss the graphics on skateboards and different methods and how they are applied. This is a little bit more so on the industry end of things. When it comes to self screening, I think it is a great look. It is definitely what I started on as far as skating goes, how I saw my first graphics being applied to skateboards.

This one here is actually one of my boards from younger days and it has been silk screened. This is an original Schutt skateboard. You can tell that it was silk screened because of the feel to it and as well as the look of it. It has the silk screened look. Sometimes, you will notice with different boards, where it comes to the edges on the older ones, you will notice imperfections as far as when the screens pass with different colors. Sometimes different ones come out. So the screen process is like a 99% success rate. When you are in the screening process it is difficult for all your colors to come through at the same time. But, back in the day these guys mastered it and still people are doing amazing jobs with this style of applying graphics to a skateboard. Also to the top sheet as well. I have some other examples here as well.

This is a process we use now. It is called a heat transfer. This is the finished product here. Let me show you real quick, some sheets of a heat transfer. It is almost kind of like shrinky dink. It is that think plastic and what it is, is the graphic is applied to this on almost what is like a paint vinyl material and this then is applied to the board.

The manufacturer who makes these will also put a grid so you will know exactly where to place it on the board. Once it's applied to the area of the board a heat gun and roller is applied to the top sheet to get it to stick to the board. I will show you an example of the graphics. How intricate you can get. I will show you this one from Javier Nunez's pro model here and very similar to one of our veteran friends, Tino Razzo right here.

And then we have my friend Eric Calone, I have done this one to a long board and the rest of the graphic, the backdrop was just the natural wood on this one. We have also done it in a full-dip blue. So what you can actually do is take the canvas, which is your skateboard and dip that or have that completely sprayed as the backdrop color for whatever you want the graphic to come through. Here are some others, this one here and all over Zeen print that spells out the word Schutt.

So this process here I find to be a little better as far as the art work is concerned. Especially when working with this gentleman here, RoStar. Wee have done a couple of pieces with him. You get a better look to it. We have also done some stuff with photographers, so their work shows a little bit better. This here from Krink KR, just really shows the look of the artwork that was done.

With the heat transfer, just know that they do not have that great of a shelf-life, they are a little bit brittle, so storing them, they do flake up a bit. They do need to be applied right away once they are sent from the manufacturer. Another process too that people are doing is hand spray. You can get into airbrush. There is a lot of customization you can do to the board. But, when it comes to manufacturing most companies are using the heat transfer and still using the silk screen.

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