Which Is Best? Screen Printing or Digital Printing

Screen printing involves creating a stencil, and then using that stencil to apply layers of ink on the printing surface. Each color is applied using a different stencil, one at a time, combined to achieve the final look.

Digital printing is a much newer process that involves your artwork being processed by a computer, and then printed directly onto the surface of your product. Digital printing is not a heat transfer or appliqu’e, as the ink is directly adhered to the fabric of your shirt.

When deciding between screen printing or digital printing for your next apparel run, it’s important to understand the unique benefits each has to offer.

Screen Printing or Digital Printing

As technology advances, the gap between screen printing and digital printing methods will narrow. Below are a few elements to understand before choosing between screen print and digital print:


In most cases a “feels like nothing’s printed there” print can be achieved with screen print, even on dark shirts When printing digitally, while prints on white shirts are nice and soft, prints on dark colors tend to be a bit rubbery since there needs to be a rather significant under base to retain colors.


If you’re going for a standard full front design, digital and screen are good to go.  If you’re looking for something a little more non-traditional like an all over print, then there will be a clear choice.  While there may be some minor limitations, screen printing can get this done with ease.


Printing on cotton is always the best no matter if you’re going SCREEN PRINTING OR DIGITAL PRINTING.  Screen printing can handle polyester, nylon, teflon coated fabrics, burlap, bamboo, you name it. Digital printing is another story.  Its more or less limited to 100% cotton and printing polyester on is okay as long as no under base is needed.


Screen print looks great, always has, always will.  Both Digital and screen will look nice, crisp and clear as long as the source art is good.  So the determining factor is color.

Omaha Shirts & Retro Shirtz

We specialize in screen printing, and designing custom t-Shirts in Omaha Nebraska. You can usually have your very own made custom t-shirts today!

The process of creating, printing, and designing custom t-shirts in Omaha typically takes under 15 minutes per print. Saying we print same day is an understatement.

For us, it’s still important to have personalized service and a touch of in-house design to make a t-shirt screen printing project go off without a hitch. We’ve seen a lot of people using online-only discount printing services that come to us after a printing or embroidery error that put them in a bind.