Printing Pantone Colors on White Underlays

screen printing pantone colors

screen printing pantone colors

What is an underlay?

Often, when printing colors onto shirts it requires a base layer known as an underlay. An underlay is a layer of white ink or sometimes dyno grey ink which is printed before the design colors are printed and almost always required with colored t-shirts. The underlay creates a base between the color of the shirt and ink color. If a darker garment is printed without an underlay. it can greatly impact the the opacity and final color of the ink being printed on it.

Matching a Pantone color

In the world of design, we most frequently refer to specific colors as Pantone colors. Pantone colors are used to accurately select and communicate colors across industries. Here at MarkIt we Pantone match, so whatever shade of blue you’re looking for, we’ll certainly be able to mix it and match as close as possible. All inks have a certain degree of transparency. Due to this transparency, a white underlay will lighten the ink printed over it. Transparency in ink colors vary, therefor the more transparent an ink, the more it will lighten with an underlay.


Colors that are most transparent include dark blues and purples along with neon/fluorescent colors. Inks such as these with high transparency may lighten up a full shade from the desired color. Depending on how critical the desired Pantone color is, high transparency inks may require strategic planning and swatching to reach the correct color. Despite this, here at MarkIt we are dedicated to get the right color, every time by approving the final Pantone color on press after its been printed as a final pull down before production.

To learn more about printing Pantone colors, contact us.

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