Printing Methods: Sublimation vs Screen Printing

A Closer Look at our Printing and Production Process

If you are interested in ordering any sort of promotional item, it is a great idea to familiarize yourself with some of our printing processes. The process used to create the piece determines how the piece can be designed

Two common processes we use here at Name Brand Promotions are sublimation and screen printing. Promo products, such as t-shirts and other apparel, banners, flags and bags, use both of these processes.

Screen Printing

Screen printing involves transferring a design into stencils. The stencils are placed over the fabric or material which is being printed on, and then ink is spread across the stencil using a squeegee, which covers the exposed areas. A separate stencil must be created for each separate color in the design, and the colors are printed in layers on top of one another. This makes it a good choice if your design only has 1-3 colors in it. Many also favor this printing method because of its texture and tactility. However, because each color has to be done with a different stencil, there is a higher probability of misalignment during the printing process, which may result in a less crisp and clean final product. Over time, on a well loved and well worn promo item, cracks may appear in the surface of the print.

Screen printing is ideal for simple designs with few colors

Sublimation

On the other hand, sublimation is a process in which the design is digitally printed onto transfer paper as a mirror image of the original. The transfer paper is then placed onto a heat transfer, which sublimates the design onto the promotional item. Sublimation means that something passes from a gas state to a solid state without becoming a liquid during the process. There are a lot of benefits to choosing sublimation. Because the design is digitally printed, there is no limit to the number of colors you can use! Sublimation can also achieve gradients, which isn’t possible using screen printing. Sublimation allows the dye to permeate fabrics, and prints all colors at the same time. This eliminates opportunities for misalignment, color bleed, or cracks forming in the surface of the print.

Sublimation achieves gradients, lights, and shadows in a way that screen printing can’t

Whatever your needs, we have a way to make it happen! Get in contact with Name Brand Promotions today. We’ll help you design a piece that is sure to turn heads and please your customers.

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