DTG vs Screen Printing

Which is better, screen printing or DTG, is an ongoing debate, and we are here to provide the facts you need to justify your t-shirt printing method of choice. Here are the pros and cons of DTG vs Screen Printing in terms of cost, color, and quality.



DTG vs Screen Printing Cost

DTG Cost

DTG printing can be an excellent choice for a single t-shirt and low-quantity orders, making it a good option for sample t-shirts.

It becomes more expensive as the quantity increases since DTG cannot yield the same volume discounts with screen printing larger orders.

Any garment that needs a white under base will generally cost about 25% more than those that do that.

Screen Printing Cost

Screen printing is a cost-effective option when printing multiple t-shirts.

As the number of prints increases, the setup costs reduce and become more economical than other printing techniques.


DTG vs Screen Printing Color Vibrancy

DTG Colors

DTG allows you to print complex details, multiple colors, and mixed shading. Direct to Garment printing is a perfect choice as it offers an affordable way to create fantastic prints.

Screen Printing Colors

The initial costs for multi-color screen printing will be slightly higher than DTG options, but in the end, it's worth it if you want a high-quality finish more vibrant and tactile feel.


DTG vs Screen Printing Quality

DTG Printing Quality

DTG printing has come a long way and continues to move the needle in terms of print quality. When printing designs with intricate details, or a wide range of colors, DTG is superior compared to screen printing.

However, DTG-printed t-shirts are not as exact when it comes to color as with traditional screen printing; though the base layer used does help to add some degree of longevity to the t-shirt’s print.

It is also worth noting that t-shirts will vary slightly in color on anything other than a white t-shirt because the base layer will wash away some of the vibrancy.

Screen Printing Quality

Screen printing has long been one of the most reliable methods of producing high-quality designs on t-shirts, and for a good reason.

When compared to DTG, which prints with some color inaccuracy, screen printing offers an unmatched level of detail, clarity, and vibrancy.

DTG Printing Pros and Cons

DTG printing works best for complex designs and photography.

DTG Pros

  • Ability to print detailed graphic-heavy designs or photographs onto garments
  • Unlimited colors
  • Inexpensive for small orders and one off prints

DTG Cons

  • Colors not as vibrant or accurate as screen printing
  • DTG is not as cost-effective as screen printing when printing larger quantities

Screen Printing Pros and Cons

Screen printing works best for 1-4 color prints and graphic heavy designs.

Screen Printing Pros

  • More vibrant print quality
  • More accurate color representation as a result of color matching
  • Generally works out less expensive the more you print

Screen Printing Cons

  • Setup fees to cover the cost of making the screens are included so it costs more for small runs
  • Multiple colors require more screens making it more expensive