Experience has taught me that printing choices come down to volume. When first choosing screen printers many of our customers chose water-based plastisol ink mainly because that is all they knew. They liked the quality and how the designs came out. The plan works if there is at least 40 pieces of each kind to satisfy the minimums. The minimum is one of the largest dictators of how much you can afford to print and how many colors. The second was most important factor is when do you need your order and can you afford to wait for the screen printing longer delivery times.
Color is another issue. A 1-color print in one location is going to be significantly cheaper than 4 colors in 2 locations for screen printing. For each color in your design another screen will have to be set-set. This set cost for each different screen can approach $50. This raises your first time print costs quite a bit.
Here are some reasons you should be choosing digital printing:
- No Minimums, print one design to show off to potential customers without risking lots of inventory leftover if a design is a bomb.
- Market Research, along the lines of the above, this allows you to run design ideas by friends/customers for feedback.
- Cost effective, while the price-per-shirt may not be the best ultimate price you have the flexibility of no minimums.
- On Demand Printing where you can get a piece of apparel printed within 1-2 days ordering. This would never, ever happen with traditional screen printing.
At the end of the day your choice will be heavily influenced by your business model and the type of volume/prints you require.