Learn how the team at MagnaColours used multiple special effects inks to create a unique screen print celebrating viva magenta, the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2023

Garment decorators may already be aware of Pantone’s annual ‘Colour of the Year’ initiative, says Paul Arnold, marketing manager at MagnaColours.

“Since the year 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has declared a colour of the year, chosen after much debate and discussion, to reflect consumer-orientated trends in colour, fashion, and design.”

The colour for 2023 has been announced as viva magenta 18-1750.

“According to Pantone, this shade is ‘rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength’,” says Paul.

“It’s certainly a bold, vibrant, and punchy colour, and one that the MagnaColours team could envisage lending itself well to water-based screen-printing inks.

“For this step-by-step guide, we used multiple inks and special effects from the MagnaPrint range at MagnaColours to create a screen print that celebrated this rich shade of magenta, whilst showcasing the different surface textures that can be achieved by combining different inks into the same design.”


(1) For this print we wanted to bring in multiple textures and effects from different MagnaPrint ink ranges. We selected inks that would work well on press together including our AquaFlex V2 range (including a neutral underbase and three top colours), the metallic-effect ink Bling, our Multichrome Red ink for a two-tone, pearlescent effect, and Suede Foam NF for some high-build, suede texture

(2) To allow the viva magenta shade to really sing throughout the design, we created an abstract vector artwork based around the recognisable Pantone colour swatch motif. Separating the design for screens based on the aforementioned ink systems, we could select the required mesh counts for each print area. In total, the design required seven screens using a mixture of 43T/110 and 62T/158 mesh counts

(3) The colour reference viva magenta 18-1750 is what’s known as TCX colour within the Pantone matching system (PMS). This essentially means that the colour reference is taken from a textile swatch (TCX = Textile Cotton eXtended). Our mixing system, MagnaMix, is colour-matched to a different set of references – coated spot colours. This meant that we needed to use the Pantone Connect app to provide the closest match for our colours that are preloaded on the MagnaMix database – 7636 C. Once confirmed, we were able to generate recipes for each of the inks that we needed to closely replicate the viva magenta shade. We added the required quantities of MagnaPrint Eco Pigments to each of our ink bases and mixed thoroughly

(4) When setting up the screens on your press, we recommend making sure that there is around 3-5mm of off-contact distance between the screen mesh and the garment. For this design we used medium 60-90-60 shore rectangular squeegees and set the blade angle to 15° (10-15° is ideal). Following your underbase, the screen order in the machine should go from smallest to largest print areas. We printed the Suede Foam NF ink last, to avoid the ink from expanding under our flash units

(5) The inks used for this print generally have a higher solids content and as such are designed to be printed using a double stroke. When printing, the first stroke applies the main ink deposit on to the fabric, while the second stroke smooths the surface. The ink should always be applied to the surface of the fabric, not driven into the fibres. When printing using an automatic machine, use medium speed and light to medium pressure. We also flash cured the prints in between each screen

(6) It’s now time to send the garments down your dryer. We used an M&R Mini Sprint 2000 dryer at 150°C for two minutes. Depending on the size of your dryer you may need to adjust the dwell time

(7) The finished print on a black cotton garment showcases the different ink systems and provides different levels of texture and contrast even though the viva magenta colour features on the design multiple times