To Digital Or Screen Print – That’s The Question

T-shirt printing in our time has become an expressive art-form available to all and used by many. Whether you are in business looking for more advertising or wishing to get a bunch of shirts for your next family gathering, screen printing is an ideal way to solve these desires. Every group, agency and band has a T-shirt in stock with their logo, clever comments or artwork printed on them for sale.

Consumers and members of the clubs and bands wear their T-shirts to show who they support, belong to or like the organization. Research in 2012 showed that half of all printing in the US is on T-shirts and all these T-shirts are either digitally or screen printed. So how do we choose one method over the other? To digital or screen print, that’s the question.

Screen Printing Advantages

It is interesting that screen printing, which has been around for over a thousand years, didn’t just disappear when digital printing became available and is testament to the effectiveness of the technique. Even today when most designs for prints are produced digitally the screen printer is still used. The reason: digital printers can’t replicate the speed of the screen printer when it comes to large quantity orders, yet.

Digital Advantages

However when we only want one or two T-shirts printed the screen printer is going to be exorbitantly expensive because of the costs of prepping the individual color screens for the design. Whereas the digital printer, with its three step process doesn’t care about quantity. It also doesn’t care about how many colors you need in your design and can print photographic images without losing any detail.

Screen Disadvantages

The screen printer may not be able to pick up all the detail and be a whole lot messier as a process, the product of its labor is durable and lasting. Screen printed images can be washed many times before fading.

Then again ink used in screen printing lays on the fabric and feels raised while the ink of the digital printer leaves no mark and can’t be felt.

Digital Disadvantages

Digital printer ink is more expensive and isn’t always as precise in its interpretation of matching the design colors to print. Oh, and digital printers don’t normally print white, so printing on dark T-shirts can be tricky but, the process is a so much cleaner, designs are easily adjustable and customizable and the amount of multi-color is only restricted by what the printer used is capable of.

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