When it comes to printed marketing tools for your business, or even items for personal use, it can be difficult to know whether you should opt for traditional methods such as screen printing, or whether to embrace technology and go digital.  

To help you decide, here is a brief overview of traditional and digital printing methods: 

Screen printing in brief 

With the use of a stencil – which is otherwise known as the screen – layers of ink are carefully applied, one at a time, to the printing surface at a Local Printers in Stoke On Trent. When a new colour is required, a different screen will be used.  

Highly versatile, screen printing can be used to apply print to a wide range of materials, including plastic, textiles and latex. Because the printing doesn’t have to be applied under any pressure, it makes it a great choice for printing on such things as balloons, wallpaper and clothing.  

Digital printing in brief 

Newer and involving more complex computing, digital printing is when an image on a computer screen is firstly analysed, then converted into the right format for printing, which is done directly onto the appropriate surface.  

Often used for such things as coupons and direct mail marketing products, digital printing provides a crisper, more modern finish, and when compared to the process of screen printing, the method is a lot more detailed. Able to be used for almost anything, digital printing offers a whole host of different ways to personalise items, and can be done far quicker than screen printing.  

What is the difference in cost between the two methods? 

A lot will depend upon how many printed items you want, and if you’re having a small number printed, screen printing as a method might make it more expensive due to the cost of the initial setup. That said, the more printed items you want, the cheaper the screen printing process will become, as the initial setup fee is usually charged as a one-time fee.  

If you want a smaller number of items to be printed, however, you may find digital printing to be a more affordable option.  

Colour is another important factor to take into account when choosing between the two methods, as while digital printing in black and white costs less than in colour, should you want to use a hundred different colours, the price remains the same. For multiple colours when screen printing, on the other hand, a new screen is needed for each one, bumping the cost up.  

How do the two methods compare when it comes to quality? 

Giving a much more vibrant finish, screen printing may be more effective for bolder images with less detail, especially when printing takes place on a surface that’s dark. For more detailed, intricate work, on the other hand, the thin layers of ink in digital printing offer a more precise final print.  

The pros and cons of both methods at a glance 

Screen printing pros: 

  • Affordable for bigger batches 
  • Designs can be placed with more versatility 
  • The bigger the order, the cheaper the cost becomes per unit 
  • Prints can be personalised with the help of badges 

Screen printing cons: 

  • For multiple colour printing, it may not be cost-effective 
  • A significant initial investment is needed 
  • There can only be one design for each batch 
  • Colours may bleed 

Digital printing pros 

  • Quick; great if you need printing done to a tight schedule – some local printers offer same day printing services 
  • Affordable option for smaller orders 
  • Ideal for personalised items; designs can be changed frequently 
  • Crisper, sharper finish 

Digital printing cons 

  • Colours may appear different on the screen to the printed version 
  • Cracks can appear in folds 
  • Costlier for bulk batches 

With printed marketing tools still being highly effective nowadays, it’s worth carefully considering your options before plumping for your chosen method. To discuss your printing options in more detail and find the ideal printing solution for your needs, chat to a local printing shop in person, or online.