Screen Printing Versus Digital Printing

Screen printing became a popular method of printing logos and designs onto textiles in the twentieth century.  It is popular in the art world as well as through commercial manufacturing.  Screen printing is the best and quickest method of producing large numbers of shirts or art at a time.  Another main advantage of screen printing is the relatively low costs associated with it.  You can print onto many different kinds of materials and this is what made screen printing popular among artists.  It gave them a new and versatile medium in order to express themselves.

When looking at screen printing services versus digital printing for your t-shirts or any other kind of artwork, there are a few advantages to the old school screen printing process that outweigh the digital process.  Screen printing is better for printing on darker colored shirts or materials, while providing a higher color vibrancy than what can be achieved through digital printing.  The ink is also applied much thicker which creates brighter colors and contrast.

Digital printing is best for lighter colored shirts and images that have a lot more detail to them.  Screen printing is ideal for non-traditional images and print.  It can also be done on a wide array of different textiles including cotton, polyester, nylon, and burlap.  Screen printing also provides better ink and color options that digital printing does.  This will make your images crisp and able to stand out and shine.  Screen printing is definitely a more involved process than digital printing, but with all of the advantages and the labor of a great final product, it should make your decision between screen printing and digital printing that much easier.

There are many different places available in Houston that provide both screen printing, as well as digital printing services.  You can also find their reviews and other information online in the hopes that you can make an educated decision before you commit to one or another.  Experts are always there to help, and will be able to show you the differences between the two techniques.  Let the final product be your deciding factor.

Common Screen Printing Mistakes

Screen printing has been rising in popularity since its beginning.  Screen printing is a generally easy and inexpensive medium for artists to use to express themselves, or for individuals and business to make and sell t-shirts and expand their businesses.  It is also a quick process that can produce quality art and t-shirts in mass numbers.  There are, however, a few common mistakes you should be aware of before beginning a hobby or career in screen printing.

  1. When choosing your image, do not use any jpegs with low resolution.  Your image will not come out clear.  The image should be a minimum of 300 ppi at print size.  (pixels per inch)
  2. Match the design you are using with the proper screen mesh. You will want to take into consideration how detailed the image is that you will be using.  Also, the mesh size is measured by the amount of ink that the screen will hold.
  3. If you are working for a client, always be sure that you have them approve the final design before you begin working. This will cut down on wasted materials and ensure that your client will be satisfied with the final project.
  4. Always make sure that the ink is properly cured. Check the temperature while doing it.  Plastisol inks are the most common when screen printing t-shirts or other apparel.  They do not dry until you cure them.  The optimum temperature should be between 300 degrees and 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Make sure you are achieving the correct squeegee angle. There should be a 45 degree angle.  Anything over a 60 degree angle may cause the ink to not go through the mesh evenly.  Always practice your squeegee angles first.
  6. Keep your work space and hands clean. This will help prevent smudges.  Clean up any spots right away with a wet cloth.
  7. Make sure the right amount of ink is making it onto the shirt. Don’t allow the screen to get clogged due to too much ink.  Try printing on a soft base.
  8. Finally, work slowly and carefully. Take your time to reach the desired color and design you want.  It gets easier the more times you do it.  Practice, practice, practice.

You are now well on your way to creating your own custom design t-shirts.  Just keep all the points above in mind, and you will be better equipped to handle the common mistakes and missteps of screen printing.  If you have any questions, there are numerous screen printing shops in Houston area that would be happy to explain or answer any questions you may have.