Modern screen printing has been around for over a thousand years and due to its unmatched capabilities, we don’t see screenprinting going away anytime soon.
Nobody is ignoring the growth of the digital printing market. New innovations are constantly being announced, yet the biggest appeal for digital printing as we see it remains its flexibility. Since the purchase of our first large format digital press in 2007, we have seen a large increase in shorter run jobs that were never before possible without incurring significant set-up costs. The addition of digital printing offers us the ability to print small jobs quickly and economically with superior image quality. Digital printing gives us the ability to help our customers print a prototype one minute then switch over and print a large production job the next!
However, even with the constant innovations in digital printing, there are still challenges to overcome like high ink costs, low production speed, limited ink coverage, longevity of ink and a limited ink color gamut. These areas will continue to be the strengths of screen printing for the foreseeable future.
At NGS, we service major Retailers and POP Display manufacturers where large roll-outs of the same graphic is common. When speed to market is a priority, there is no digital press on the market that can keep up with screenprinting presses as they can print up to 5 times the speed of most digital presses.
Screen printing’s biggest advantage over digital printing is that it isn’t limited to CMYK. The screen printing layering process makes all the colors more vibrant and provides a thicker ink layer than any digital print can. Additionally, the ability to print a ‘true’ spot color is the sweet spot of screen printing and a weakness of digital printing. Not every Pantone® color can be achieved closely using digital printing’s CMYK inks, which is why new digital printing presses often times have additional channels to print light cyan, light magenta, orange or violet to increase their color gamut. Even with these added colors matching the exact Pantone® color desired is rarely as good as properly matched screen ink.