Digital printing vs Screen printing

Posted by needtshirtsnow 07/23/2016 7 Comment(s)

Digital Printing vs Screen Printing



Most of the time Digital Printing is referring to methods of printing that a digital image is printed using an inkjet or laser printer. In the t-shirt world, it is usually referred to as DTG Printing, Sublimation, Vinyl, etc.

Screen Printing is one of the oldest forms of printing on clothing. Screen printing uses a mesh to force ink through a screen onto your apparel.


Digital printing on clothing can be more cost-effective when ordering a low quantity of items. Digital Printing is also capable of printing high-resolution Detailed artwork. Digital printing works best when printing in full color.  

Screen printing is more cost-effective when ordering high quantities. It is also the better method to choose for 1 color images. The reason I say this is because of speed. Vinyl also produces some of the best-looking 1 color graphics because there is no ink involved.


Digital printing methods such as Dtg can take a shirt and your digital graphic and print it in less than 30 seconds. In real-time 3 minutes. That is because we will pretreat the shirt load the image in our rip software and load the shirt in the printer. The downfall is if there is a need for 500 shirts, it will take the same amount of time to print each shirt.

Screen Printing will need to set up a screen. This process alone can take around 45 minutes. After the screen is set up. Depending on the press, most will be able to print over 500 shirts per hour. Making it faster than digital printing on larger orders.


Quality is equal between screen printing and digital printing if the methods are done correctly. When done incorrectly Screen printing can crack and come off. Digital Printing will fade or if using vinyl incorrectly come off.


When ordering digital printing the Price per shirt will generally stay the same. The reason is that it will take you the same amount of time regardless of how many shirts you are purchasing. Screen printing is different. The prices go down the more shirts you purchase because it will take a shorter amount of time to print each shirt. 

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7 Comment(s)


I have a band and we're planning on getting some shirts made. There's only one color on the shirts and we're planning on making a lot of shirts. Based off what you said, screen printing is the better choice for large quantities with low colors, so I'll go with screen printing.

Braden Bills:
05/02/2017, 11:29:42 AM,

It's interesting that screen printing can be better than digital printing. I didn't realize that it could work so fast! Being able to make 500 shirts per hour is very impressive.


its amazing distinguish. we have use screen printing and also digital printing. thanks for this factors for screen printing.

Taylor Bishop:

I just wanted to thank you for helping me understand more about some of the differences between screen printing and digital printing. It's interesting that, even though screen printing could take up some time to set up, it can eventually be faster than digital printing. I'm actually really curious to be able to see these different kinds of printing methods in action, so that I can visually see and compare the differences between them.

09/22/2017, 01:41:20 AM,

Thanks for explaining about digital printing and screen printing. it was an interesting article!

Sariah Meagle:

I've been designing shirts and sweaters recently and I was wondering if digital image printing is a good option. Aside from the method being capable of printing high-resolution artwork, you mentioned that it can be done in less than 30seconds! That's just amazing!

05/18/2018, 12:17:14 AM

I think Screen Printing is best option for High Quantities, on the other hand Digital Printing is effective for Smaller Quantities.Very Informative Article!

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