Screen vs. DTG Tee Shirt Printing: Which is Best for Your Needs?

When you need a shirt with your business logo or for an event, you want the best quality printing for the right price.

Custom-made t-shirts grow in popularity every year as a way to commemorate an event, advertise, or show your personal creativity.

Your design should stand out, be affordable, and last for the long-haul.

How do you know which printing method is best? Let’s look at two of the most popular options: DTG tee shirt printing vs. Screen printed t-shirts.

What’s the Difference?

Knowing the difference between Direct-To-Garment (DTG) printing and Screen Printed t-shirts helps you decide which method is best for your t-shirt design.

DTG Printing

If you need an elaborate design and multiple colors, DTG printing is a great option.

Creating customized shirts using DTG printers provides more versatility for design and creativity. Your design is printed directly to the shirt. But, note there are limits to where you design can be placed when choosing DTG shirts.

This option is perfect for small batches or one-off shirts.

You won’t often find a pricing discount for larger volumes since each shirt is ordered and produced individually.

But the trade-off is a beautiful and unique design on a limited number of shirts.

Screen Printing

This method is one of the most popular ways to produce a batch of customized shirts.

Your print shop creates a screen of your design. Then ink is pulled over the screen to get the design onto your shirt. This method pushes the ink onto the shirt.

Screen printed t-shirts are more cost-effective for a large volume of shirts. You’ll find price breaks for larger bulk orders.

However, design and color options are limited compared to DTG printing.

What Do You Need?

Both options sound great, right? But which one is right for you?

Consider what you need.


Because you’ll order screen printed shirts in bulk, the cost-per-shirt is lower.

If you need a large number of shirts with a simple design, screen printing vs. DTG printing is the better option.

However, you’ll need more money upfront to place the order for screen printed shirts.

Weigh the benefits of a lower cost per shirt vs. how much money you need upfront for your order.


Screen printing works well on a wide variety of fabrics. DTG printing is best on 100% cotton fabrics.

If you need a light-weight blended or breathable fabric, screen printing is your best option.


How soon do you need your shirts?

Allow more time for production of a bulk order of screen printed shirts. Using only one color helps reduce production.

DTG shirts are a popular drop-ship option, often reducing production and delivery time frames. Customers order one shirt at a time for individual delivery.

Choosing DTG Tee Shirt Printing vs. Screen Printing

The best choice between DTG tee shirt printing vs. screen printed t-shirts depends on your needs.

Learn more about different types of tee shirt printing. Then when you’re ready to make your shirt design a reality, contact us.

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