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Screen Printing vs. Vinyl Printing vs. Digital Printing

Here at CustomTees, we offer the best custom t-shirts. We have main ways of putting your unique and creative designs on t-shirts: Screen Printing, Direct to Garment, and Heat Transfer Vinyl. Depending on the service you choose, you can order a shirt at no minimum, large batch orders, unlimited colors, or even add some special effects.

Screen Printing

Screen Printing is the most common tried-and-true method for printing a custom t-shirt. The process basically involves us creating multiple physical screens of your design, one for each color, and then pushing the inks onto the garment through these screens. The screens are kind of like a "photo negative" if you're old enough to remember what developing film was like.

There are no setup fees here at CustomTees, but because of the setup time required to make the screens, Screen Printing is the wisest and most economical choice for large orders of 24 shirts or more of a single design. For a Screen Printed design, you can have up to 8 colors, ranging from the simplest of designs to something a little more complex.

We produce screen prints using either plastisol ink, for more durable prints, or eco-friendly water-based ink for a softer, premium feel. We can also apply special techniques to really make your own shirt really your own. Make your design glow in the dark for a spooky night out. Give it a gilded edge with a foil print or a natural look with discharge printing. Make it sparkle with a glitter print or have it literally pop out at you with high density or puff printing.

Digital Printing/Direct to Garment

If you scoffed at the idea of the 8-color limit of Screen Printing and want the unlimited power that comes with unlimited colors, Digital Printing, also known as "Direct to Garment." is where that power lies.

As the name implies, Direct to Garment, or DTG, prints your design directly on to a cotton shirt with our state-of-the-art digital printer.

If you've got a design that you want printed quickly and just for yourself, DTG is fast and ideal for one-off designs, small orders, or full-color prints. That's right, there's no limit to the amount of colors or the complexity of your design when printing DTG. We can even print a high-detail photograph onto a shirt with this thing.

The inks can be quite expensive, and large batches will take much longer through DTG, so if you're looking to make a bulk order and want it relatively quickly, you can limit your color use and go with Screen Printing instead.

Heat Transfer Vinyl

If you're looking to add a more personal touch to a small batch of shirts, vinyl is a relatively cheap way to do it. We can cut your design out of durable colored vinyl and apply it directly to many kinds of fabric.

If you have a simple design with 1 to 4 colors, this is a great method for making a personalized shirt. Vinyl is ideal for text or logos, such as customizing a sports jersey or making a shirt for your business.

We can make your design even more unique with specialty vinyl designs, including glow-in-the-dark, holographic prints, fashion prints, and metallic foil.

If you have a more complicated design or need more colors, we recommend using Screen Printing for large orders or Direct to Garment for full-color printing.

Custom Printing Services Comparison Chart




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