Checking out Screen Printing and Offset Printing

Customized graphic tshirt printing is an important part of many businesses’ marketing strategy and communication. Choosing the right printing method is essential so you get the kind of impact you are looking for and to minimize cost and waste. Here we look at two popular techniques in printing, screen and offset, how they differ and what advantages each offers for those different applications.

The process of printing itself

In terms of the process, offset is a more modern development using a lithographic process that is automated and technologically advanced. From a printing plate the image is transferred onto a blanket made from rubber and then onto the printing surface it is meant for. Most commonly that surface is paper. You can achieve precise and very good quality prints every time even with fine text.

Screen printing is an old method that has been modernized and remains hugely popular today with things like tshirt printing. A mesh screen has ink transferred through it using a squeegee onto the printing surface. You can have bold designs and colors but it is less effective with detailing. It is commonly used to print things on all kinds of items including customized garments.

What kind of image detail can be achieved

Offset printing is favored for how well it can reproduce images in high resolution and extreme detail. Even small text, fine lines and detailed images are reproduced thanks to the advanced technology it uses such as fine color management, high res plates and more. When paper projects require details and high-quality images for example on packaging, magazines and brochures, businesses use this.

Screen printing creates images that are more tactile and textured and you can create a thicker design by changing the amount of ink used. This can create a 3D-raised effect. You can get more dimension from using it which is why posters might use it, but the artwork is not highly detailed.

Surfaces they print onto

As mentioned with offset printing you are looking at printing onto paper-based items. It is very uncommon to use this method with nonpaper options like plastics or fabrics.

Screen printing is very versatile and can be used to print on almost anything you can think of. Fabrics like you find with graphic tshirt printing but also ceramics, paper, metal, plastics, glass and more. It is popular because it is so adaptable. A business can order customized shirts at the same time they get some branded mugs.

Considering the colors they use

When it comes to colors offset uses a wide range so that it can very faithfully recreate all kinds of images and details and shading. It uses the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black color model. It is great for high-quality branding materials.

Screen printing has a lot of flexibility when it comes to colors with the inks used. They can mix different inks together to achieve different ones and you can match colors to your branding or create unique shades. It means there is a lot of opportunity for things like tshirt printing.

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