If you haven’t tried Direct To Garment (or DTG for short) printing before, you’re missing out on a powerful new way to print your shirts! If you’ve ever found yourself at a crossroads with screen printing because of initial cost, minimum orders, or design limitations, then it’s time you try this new technology for yourself. Over the last two years we’ve been continually developing and perfecting our DTG prints so that we can provide our customers some of the best quality work in the industry.
While there are still times when screen printing is a good option, there are many reasons with DTG reigns supreme. Read on to see our top 5 reasons why DTG is better than screen printing.
1. No minimums
If you’re ever tried to make your own shirts you’ve probably ended up at one of two places: a sketchy t-shirt shop where they only do vinyl lettering and stock graphics, or a massive screen printer that’s pumping out thousands of shirts a day. If you ended up at the first place then you probably paid $40+ for someone to put ‘Kiss The Bride’ on a t-shirt. If you ended up at a screen printer, they probably told you you need to order 24+ ‘Kiss The Bride’ shirts or it will cost you $40+ per shirt.
The great thing with DTG printing is that we offer no order minimums, and pricing that makes sense too. Since the setup with DTG is all done digitally, there’s no costly screen setups so single-piece and small orders are a breeze. This also makes it ideal for sampling since you can try different variations, test designs, or even print single pieces for promo, photoshoots, etc.
2. Faster order turn-arounds
Direct to garment printing is instantaneous. Within 10 minutes, you can go from design to completed garment, which is pretty much unheard of in the printing industry. In the time it would take to have your order set up and the screens made by a screen printer, we could have your order printed, boxed, and out the door. On most orders, our typical order turn-around time is only 1-3 days.
If you have a great relationship with a screen printer and they’re willing to do you a favor, you could get an order in a week, but you can usually expect to wait 1-2 weeks to get a smaller order done. In bad situations when you’re working with a large screen printer, your small order might continue to get pushed to the bottom of the stack while they tackle the 1000+ piece orders that are paying the bills.
3. Unmatched detail
Direct to garments printers can reproduce detail with pinpoint accuracy. We can print up to 2880 x 1440 pixel resolution, so even the smallest lines and details come through.
With screen printing, you can still get crisp prints but you lose a lot of the finer details. When you think about it, you’re pushing a thick ink through a piece of fine mesh, so any ink that can’t pass through those holes gets omitted from the design. Check out the example below:
Next to each other, the DTG and screen print of the same design look similar. The DTG print we did on the left is definitely more refined at this view, but once you get close up, the difference becomes night and day.
Looking at them at this level, it’s clear DTG (the top print) is the winner. The cityscape is clearly visible, even the roofs of the houses and power lines are crisp and bright. The sky too has depth and shading, whereas the screen print version is spotty. On the bottom screen print version the details in the city have been reduced to dark shapes.
4. Unlimited colors
One of the hallmarks of direct to garment printing is the ability to print the full spectrum of colors. With screen printing, colors on a design are separated and mixed before printing. With DTG printing, colors are mixed on-the-fly in the print head itself. This means no painstaking color-matching before printing, and no limit to the shades and hues you can achieve. This technology is particularly amazing when you’re printing photos, gradients, art, or any other designs that are rich in color and detail. We like to say that with DTG printing, any design is possible! Nowhere else are you going to be able to get this level of depth, detail, and color, all with the cost-effective option of doing single-piece or small runs.
5. Unmatched design flexibility
Have you toiled away on a design for hours until you finally think it’s right, only to get a run printed and find a bunch of adjustments you need to make? With screen printing, this can mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars lost in unsatisfactory product and designs.
With direct to garment printing, you can easily test subtle design tweaks, different sizes, alternative placements, anything you want really, all with single pieces. We could even print several variations on the same shirt so you can compare them side-by-side. Never before has it been easier to test and perfect your print creations.
Plus, with color and detail restrictions no longer an issue, you might even change the way you design altogether!
Want to try DTG for your next printing project? Contact us today to get started!