Are you in a dilemma between screen printing vs offset printing? Actually, both the printing technique is the way of crafting design or image on different media including glassware, clothes, ceramic decorative items, wooden items, etc. The difference lies in the processing, not in the purpose. There are different benefits and facts for both printing techniques. Both techniques make high-quality printing products. Still, there are some facts regarding which approach is better for what material and design type.
Customizing t-shirt or other decorative items is fun. Doing it offers immense joy when you get the finished product. But, what is the difference between screen printing and offset printing? If you know the answer to this critical question, it will open a confusion-free way to create perfection in printing. Know things well.
Comparison Table of Screen Printing Vs Offset Printing
Look over the focused points that differentiate the screen printing from the offset printing technique in the most distinguishing manner.
|Capable print media|
|Paper, fabric, ceramic, glass, plastic, wood, metal, etc.||Paper and paper products|
|Size of the dots|
|Approx. 100 dots per inch||Approx. 175 dots per inch|
|Image printing quality|
Descriptive Comparison Between Screen Printing and Offset Printing
It is essential to know the differences between both printing processes in detail. This is because what technique you choose genuinely depends on what material and purposes you have to print. So let’s have some information on screen-printing and offset printing to know their distinguishing features.
1. Color Using Capacity and Technique
The number of colors you can use for each technique is limited. It is an important matter. You cannot select a random design and print through any printing technique. You have to know the capacity of the printing processes.
Screen printing is a technique that uses the screen to set the design and then transfer it to the print media. In this process, you have to create an individual film for individual color. Then, on one stencil, you can set the part of the design that holds only one color. After setting the mesh, you will apply all the films or stencils on the screen correspondingly. Then you have to scratch the screen on the print media. So, you can use a significantly less amount of color here.
If you go for more than 5 colors of stencils, it will be almost impossible to set all of them on one screen. That is why screen printing is known as better for 3 to 4 colored designs or images. If the pictures have lots of colors, screen printing is not preferable. Generally, screen printing is not advisable for the image printing process.
On the other hand, offset printing is famous as CMYK printing. This CMYK states four primary colors, including cyan, magenta, yellow, and key. Here, the key means black color. As the name says that this process uses four primary colors to print. This process uses these four colors as the basis, but you may include lots of color presentation by lightening or darkening each of the four colors. So, the offset printing process can create a more intricate design than the screen printing process.
If you have to print a detailed design, offset printing is suitable, but screen printing is better for dainty design or image.
2. Suitable Type of Design
The printing technique varies with the design type. Some designs use more colors, and some use less ink. Some designs have gradation, and some do not need it.
Screen printing is perfect for the solid ink design. In this process, for each of the colors, you have to make a separate stencil. It makes it easy to notice the color depending on the Pantone color chart. If you want to make some modifications, you can make for unique colors. So, screen-printing allows indicating and modification one color before setting the design on the screen.
When your design needs gradation and color effects, the screen printing process is not enough. In that case, you have to go for the offset printing technique. Offset printing allows to blossom color effects and gradation of different colors.
So, you have to consider this matter too. There is less chance to show your creativity for screen printing, while offset printing provides more options.
3. Quality of Printing
The quality of the printed image can be determined by the ‘lines per inch’ unit. So if the image uses more lpi, the quality of the image will be higher than the image with less lpi.
Screen printing technique uses approx. 100 lines per inch to print the image with fewer color options. It is similar to newspaper printing quality. The dots are more significant than the offset prints. For the bigger size of dots, screen printing can make a bit grainy photos or images. Actually, screen printing is better for pattern printing with 3 to 4 colors.
The offset printing process uses 175 lines per inch. It is higher than screen printing. So, it makes a much better printout. That is why the offset printing process can create more coverage from edge to edge. After printing in high lines per inch quality, the output is smoother and even as it uses the rollers and the plates to set all the color and the design on the print media.
4. Print Media Options
Not all printing processes can print well on all types of platforms. Therefore, it is a crucial matter to know on what base the printing technique can print.
Screen printing is the most popular technique to print on fabric. Many people like to screen print their own shirts, pants, sweaters, bags, backpacks, workout gear, flags, binders, aprons, etc. screen printing is also suitable to print on glass, ceramics, and papers.
On the other hand, offset printing technology offers more crafting than screen printing. You can print in large volumes on paper, plastic, cardstock, metal, and wood. However, offset printing is famous for building gross production of posters, book covers, brochures, books, business cards, flyers, newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and mailers.
5. Production Speed and Setting
Screen printing is suitable for high-volume printing with a less intricate design that uses fewer amounts of colors. It is actually better for dark fabric printing with bright colors. Setting this method takes lots of time and cost. It is for the setup of stencils for each color individually. Production after setting is also time-consuming than the offset printing technique.
Offset printing is also efficient for large-volume production. Though setting these printing ingredients is time-consuming and expensive. It is because it needs to create each of the plates for a design. If it is about making a deal, you have to take permission for a long time as the plate setting takes a longer timetable. After setting the plates, production is faster than the screen printing technique. There is no worry about the color and quality of the printed output. Those will be great. Only the setting time is the fact of time.
So, if you want to produce low-volume, it will be costlier because the set cost is the same.
6. Durability of Output
The durability of the screen-printed product is not so good. The printed design cracks or fades with time. At the same time, the offset printed ink stays long as new. Some ink can be water-proof, too, for offset printing. The setting of the ink in the screen printing process is attached with the impression, and in contrast, the offset printing technique sets the ink by the absorption of ink. So, offset printing is responsible for making more durable inking than screen printing.
Top Pick for Accurate Printing
Screen printing is a traditional printing technique, where offset printing is a modern one. However, both the method can produce high-quality prints. After discussing screen printing vs offset printing, it will be easy to select one way between them.
If you have low-volume printing jobs like personal printing or a home printing job, you can consider the screen printing technique. For example, to print bright colored designs on dark fabric, screen printing does very well.
If you have loads of printing jobs using more colors with detailed design, you should offset printing. You will get more chances to work with colors and play with designs by printing through the offset method. For large businesses, this technique s better to save your time and labor too.
Customizing the fabric or ceramic vase or glassware is an enjoyable task. If you can do it in mass production, it would be a way to earn some money. There are many printing techniques. The most popular method is the screen printing and offset printing. When you have to choose between screen printing vs offset printing, it is difficult as both ways have many similarities. In addition, both techniques need time-consuming settings and labor.
If you know the significant differences between them, it would be easy to choose one based on your need. So, get the specific points and find one.