Digital. It’s a buzz word that’s prevalent in many industries, and for good reason. Digital processes and technology have reshaped some industries – while turning others completely upside down. In large format printing, the advent of the digital age has been substantial as well.

The costs of digital printing are dropping, while the quality of the output is rising. This inverse relationship surely indicates the decline of older, more conventional printing processes, does it not? What about screen printing?

Although digital printing is becoming increasingly prominent, screen printing is still alive and well today – and should remain that way for quite some time.

For high volume projects, screen printing is still the more economical option. But that’s not all; once the initial set-up for a print job is done, it’s much faster. Less machine hours, less money, and projects completed sooner. Screen is still on top when it comes to high volume output.

Another important factor in any print project is durability. It all starts at the point of contact. Screen printing adheres better to difficult substrates like low-energy plastics. Along with better adhesion, the ink film laid down on a screen press is thicker than that of digital. This creates greater resistance to abrasion–screen printing almost never needs to be laminated.

With this in mind, the end use of the material (ie: whether it’s indoor or outdoor, permanent or temporary) is very important in determining the appropriate print method. Where a tougher, longer lasting image is required, screen still has the edge.

Another advantage for screen is the ability to use spot colour inks. If your artwork contains only a few colours, it can be produced with those specific inks instead of using process colours. This can be used to reduce cost and maintain consistency, or it can be used to enhance with specialty inks. Intense blacks, white overprints, fluorescent colour, metallics, glow-in-the-dark, scratch-off or raised clear are all common options used to elevate a print project.

To ensure the best printing options for your next large format or specialty project, look to PrismTech's screen and digital capabilities. Our team is amongst the highest skilled in the industry, but it's our commitment to a project that separates us from the rest.

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