Differences Between Screen Printing and Digital Printing | Blog

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Differences Between Screen Printing and Digital Printing

Screen Printing and Digital Printing in Grand Rapids, MI

When ordering custom apparel for sports teams or companies, you want to know what you’re paying for. In this blog post, we will go over the differences between screen printing and digital printing so you can make an informed decision before you buy. The questions in this blog post are meant to help you decide which screen printing process is most appropriate for the apparel you have in mind. We also recommend consulting with a Grand Rapids screen printing company to determine the right way to customize promotional products.

Screen Printing

  • Printed by hand
  • Ink is applied thicker
  • Effective for light and dark shirts
  • High vibrancy
  • Effective for specialty products
  • Low level of detail
  • Minimal order required

Digital Printing

  • Printed by computer
  • Ink is applied thinner
  • Effective for light shirts
  • Low vibrancy
  • Not effective for specialty products
  • High level of detail/photographic
  • No minimal order required

What color is the t-shirt or promotional product?

During the screen printing process, the ink is applied thicker. Dark colored t-shirts will need to be screen printed so the color can show up properly. Otherwise, the contrast won’t be high enough between the background and the design itself. Light colored t-shirts can be customized through digital printing, which uses a thin layer of ink.

What shape is the promotional product?

The shape of the promotional product determines what printing process will be most effective. For example, if you want to print designs on mugs, you’ll want to look for a promotional product company that offers screen printing services. Since screen printing is a manual process, the printer will be able to print on uneven or curved surfaces. You can count on the experts to know how to screen print unique promotional items.

Are you ordering in bulk?

If you need screen printing t-shirts or other promotional items, you’ll have to order in bulk. This is because of the labor involved and the time it takes to create the physical setup for your custom design. Since digital printing is run through a computer, you are able to order low quantities. For example, if you have an organization with only 5 volunteers, you don’t need to place a bulk order of 100 t-shirts.

Do you have a design with lots of details?

Look at the design you want. If there is a high level of detail or you’ll require a photographic print, you’re better off with digital printing. Since digital printing applies a thin layer of ink, you’re able to show more details. Thinking about the printing process before you place your order can save you stress and money. For example, if you need a photographic print on a t-shirt, you’ll want a light colored shirt to serve as the background. If there is a small level of detail involved, customized screen printing will apply enough ink that your design will show up on dark backgrounds.

SportingU is a Grand Rapids customized apparel company dedicated to giving you the best results. If you are interested in our screen printing services, give us a call at (616) 730-1614.


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