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The Distinction between Digital and Screen Printing

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The Distinction between Digital and Screen Printing

Before digital printing, manufacturers and designers in Printing Press in Dubai relied on the more conventional approach of screen printing, which is still popular today. Screen printing necessitates a high degree of ability on the part of the production crew, as there is far more involved than in digital printing.

Screen printing, unlike computer-generated graphics, necessitates the creation of a stencil (screen) to transfer the design to the cloth. Screen printing uses a new stencil for each colour, which is applied one at a time to form the design, as opposed to digital printing, which may apply many colours at once. It's a more time-consuming and precise method of printing, but it's worth it.

Screen printing entails generating a stencil (which printers refer to as a "Screen") and then applying layers of ink to the printing surface using that stencil. Each colour is applied with a separate stencil, one at a time until the desired effect is achieved.

For designs that require a high level of vibrancy, printing on dark garments, or speciality items, screen printing is the ideal alternative. Screen printing uses a thicker ink application than digital printing, resulting in richer colours even on darker clothing.

The fact that these products are printed by hand enables the creation of one-of-a-kind items such as water bottles, can coolers, and mugs, as the printer can manually manage curved or uneven surfaces. Screen printed goods have a minimum order quantity due to the additional materials and labour time required for this printing process.

Because the ink used in screen printing is placed in a thicker layer than in digital printing, it generates brighter colours, making it the ideal alternative for producers wishing to print bold and colourful graphics on darker textiles.

Screen printing is better for:

1.       Larger, high-volume orders.

2.       Unique or oversized print areas.

3.       Single-colour prints, such as text or logos.

4.       Specialty or special fx inks.

5.       Printing on polyester and other synthetic fabrics.

6.       Vibrant colours on dark-coloured fabrics.

7.       When exact colour matching is required.

Digital printing is a much newer procedure in which your artwork is processed by a computer before being printed straight onto the surface of your product. Because the ink is directly bonded to the fabric of your garment, digital printing is neither a heat transfer nor appliqu'e.

Digital printing for Printing press in Dubai is best suited for things that demand a high level of detail as well as orders of a limited number. Because digital printers do not utilise screens, they may produce photographic prints with far greater detail than traditional screen printers. Digital printing is preferred since the ink is applied thinner (to obtain such detail).

What are some of the advantages of digital printing?

1.       Designs that are bright and colourful

There are no limits on how many colours may be utilised in a single design, so you can print as many as you like.

2.       Details are important

Digital printing is better for designs that require a lot of detail since it can make a photographic print, which has more detail than traditional screen printing.

3.       The bare minimum for setup expenses

Unlike screen printing, digital printing is significantly easier, faster, and less expensive to start up. Because there is no need for a variety of various screens, the time required and the manual labour expenses required are reduced.

4.       It takes less time.

If you're short on time, digital printing is your best choice because it can manage a large order quantity in a short amount of time.

5.       Minimum order quantities are reduced.

Because digital printing setup is less involved than screen printing, manufacturers often demand a considerably lower minimum order quantity, making it ideal for smaller firms and those seeking a one-off design.

Both processes have different finishes - if you want a more real, vintage, or softer appearance, screen printing is a good option; however, if you want a more current, fresh, and sharp look, digital printing is a good option.

There are several factors to consider when determining the ideal printing process for you; we outline the key advantages and disadvantages of each approach below.

1.       Cost comparison

Based on the quantity of prints required, one of the procedures may be preferable to the other. For example, if you only need a few copies, screen printing is usually not the ideal option because the initial setup might be costly. However, the more prints you want, the less expensive this procedure will be in the long run since once the screen printing equipment has been calibrated, there is no need to repeat the process. This configuration is frequently paid as a one-time price — the origination fee.

Digital, on the other hand, comes out much cheaper for lower volumes because there is no origination cost to pay.

The cost of a print can also be determined by the number of colours used. Black and white digital printing is less expensive, but it makes no difference whether you want one colour or one hundred. With screen printing, each new colour necessitates the purchase of a new screen, therefore any extra colours will be costly.

2.       Comparison in Quality

While screen printing produces a more colourful finish (particularly when printing onto a darker surface), digital distribution is more suited to precision work since the layers of ink are thinner, ensuring a more exact final print.

Screen vs. Digital Printing: What's the Difference?

Screen printing's advantages

·       For large batches, it is cost-effective.

·       Design positioning flexibility - artwork may be readily relocated and printed at multiple angles or positions.

·       The lower the cost per unit, the more you order — although the initial setup charge might be costly, the more copies you require, the less it costs. You won't have to pay the price again after your artwork is put up, which is excellent if your design doesn't alter often.

·       Although you won't be able to personalise prints using this approach, Printing Press in Dubai print badges that we can later use to personalise prints using a digital printer.

·       It is also feasible to make complicated multi-coloured graphics when utilising professional equipment and an expert printer. While the intricacy of the process limits the number of colours that the printer can employ, it does allow for more vivid colouration than is achievable with digital printing alone.

Drawbacks in using screen printing

·       When printing in several colours, it is not particularly cost-effective.

·       An item of significant initial expenditure is necessary.

·       Each batch has only one design.

·       Colours can flow into one another (which you could say is a good thing if that's the aesthetic you want)'

Digital printing's advantages

·       If you're on a tight timetable, fast can be the best alternative.

·       It's the most cost-effective option if you simply need a few prints.

·       Greater adaptability — this allows for more frequent modifications if necessary. Ideal for sending personalised correspondence.

·       The finish is sharp and crisp.

Both styles of printing have different levels of labour participation. Everything is done by hand in screen printing, which necessitates a larger workforce, but in digital printing, the majority of the work is done without the use of a computer. As a result, less labour or manpower is required.

Digital printing's downsides

·       Errors in colour matching — the colour on the screen may change slightly from the colour when printed.

·       Fractures in the folds - when the ink isn't entirely absorbed into the paper, cracks might emerge.

·       When a large number of prints are needed, the price goes up.

So, which method is the most effective for you? The dispute between screen printing and digital printing may be readily resolved by examining your project's requirements. When selecting between the two procedures, consider the following questions.

1.       How many items do I wish to buy?

If you're placing a large order of thousands of products, screen printing will most likely be the most cost-effective alternative. If your purchase is less than that, digital printing is the best option.

2.       What is my Budget?

The cost of your purchase will be determined by a variety of criteria, including size, design, and turnaround time. Choose a pricing point, then choose what is most important about your order. For example, if you want a highly detailed design printed on a few T-shirts, you should go for digital printing. While screen printing can be more cost-effective for high-volume orders, smaller quantities ordered from Printing Press in Dubai are likely to be more expensive because of the cost of ink.

3.       How quickly do I need my order completed?

If you need a quick turnaround, digital printing may be the ideal alternative due to its quick manufacturing times. Screen printing is a more time-consuming and intricate procedure. The printer must create unique screens for each picture and colour, ink the substrate by hand, and then heat dry the ink. The printer then has a lot of cleaning work to undertake. Because of automated procedures, production time has grown shorter in some circumstances, but in general, you may expect a lengthier wait for screen printing.

4.       Durability and Longevity

Heat is used to dry ink in screening, but digital printing utilises a heat press to bake the ink into the cloth, making it significantly less likely to break or fade.

5.       How detailed will the design be?

Digital printing catches more details than screen printing. If you have a design with a lot of delicate details, you should consider digital printing.

6.       How many colours can one get?

Both digital printing and screen printing can produce multi-coloured graphics, although screen printing is often more costly. Digital printing allows you to experiment with colours and designs without significantly raising the cost. Because colour separation is required, the cost of many patterns and colours in a single screen printing order will be much higher.

7.       How exact will the colouring be?

Screen printing does not require printers to combine colours to get specified hues, but digital printing does. Screen printing is the best option if the exact colour is crucial to you.

8.       What type of material being used

Digital printing offers fewer material alternatives, you may have to resort to screen printing to obtain the one-of-a-kind things you want. However, with digital printing, the ink does not penetrate all the way into the cloth, preventing breaking. Screen printing employs thick layers of ink that can shatter as a result of wear and strain. Digital printing in Printing Press in Dubai is excellent on cotton, but screen printing works well on a variety of fabrics.


That's all there is to it. Hopefully, this tutorial has given you a better understanding of the procedures involved in screen printing and digital printing, as well as the results you may create.

  May 07, 2022       by Ashir       130 Views

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