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Digital Printing vs. Screen Printing

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When you purchase signage, you want to get the best value for your dollar. This involves selecting the best printer (sign company) for the job. So do you use a Digital Printer or a Screen Printer?

What is the difference?

The main differences are colour availability, durability, and time to produce (turnaround).

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It makes more sense if you understand how each process works:

Screen Printing Method

Involves creating a stencil of your design (called a “screen”), and then Ariat Women's Lively Work Boot


Digital Printing Method

CUSHY DR.BRINKMANN Damen Stiefel, Stiefeletten, black, 961454-1Digital printing basically involves a giant version of the desktop inkjet printer you may use at work or home, utilizing CMYK ink cartridges and developing colour blends digitally using a computer. This allows for a photographic print incorporating much more detail than traditional screen printing.

Digitally printed signs are also laminated, which means the product can last much longer without fading and is more resistant to scratching and damage.


As previously mentioned, digital printers typically apply a clear laminate film over the print to protect it, making the sign last as long as the substrate will hold out.
Screen printing typically does not include this protective overlaminate, therefore the print is more susceptible to weather damage and wear-and-tear.


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Here’s a handy cheat sheet:

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