Printing logos, words, or any other sign is a common marketing practice. Manufacturers use two types of printing techniques – screen printing and laser printing. Screen printing is a century-old printing process but modern screen printing was invented in 1907. Screen printing is more of a manual task and you will need experts to use this technology.
On the other hand, laser printing is a very new method that was invented in 1969. Laser printing is fast, flexible, and a full automation process. Companies use it in manufacturing processes as a post-process method, laser printing can work on both metal and plastic parts. You can use laser printing to make your logo or slogan on sheet metal parts and plastic parts.
As promotion is the key to success and modern digital devices made designing more complicated, it became very challenging to deliver a unique design. In addition, how you will implement your design is also very important.
If your promotional campaign has an imprint process, which printing process will you choose – laser printing or screen printing? What factors should impact your selection? Let’s discover this in this article.
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You can guess the process from the name. It’s a process in which the design is printed on a screen, and then ink is passed through the hole to create the design on your promo item. There are five main ingredients – the marked surface, ink, a squeegee, a mesh, and a stencil.
The process is pretty straightforward. First, you print the design on a screen and force the ink to sit on the promo item applying force through the small holes. It is the most cost-effective way of printing a single-color promo design because you have to make separate layers to implement another color.
Through screen printing, the design you achieve is a mirror image of the stencil’s cut-out design. There is an interesting story behind the name “screen printing,” Mashes used in this process were made of silk only in the past. But today, polyester is the main ingredient of the meshes. However, stainless steel and nylon meshes are also available for specific applications.
The History of Screen Printing
Screen printing has a long history. The earliest example of screen printing was found in ancient China. Samuel Simon, an English guy, patented the screen printing in 1907. Fun fact: screen printing made the paper currency possible.
Screen printing became popular after the second world war. Before that, the technology was mostly used for political propaganda on banners, t-shirts, flags, and even military tanks. After that, this technology became popular for promotional purposes.
A laser printer works like more of a computer printer. The laser beam creates the mark when it hits the surface and oxidizes it. In this case, the promo design is printed on your product using an inkjet or laser printer. The color changes happened during the oxidizing process.
The most fun part here is you can virtually design anything with any color. You can print anything with a laser printer, from a simple design to a complicated barcode. Moreover, you can create any complicated geometric design. The operation can be held in two ways. In some machines, the laser moves on the material, and in other machines, the plate moves along with the laser.
History of Laser Printing
Although laser printing was invented in 1940, the laser printer became available to the general public in 1980. The first home-use printer was invented by HP, but the quality was below standard.
But after much R&D and large investments by big IT companies, now we have laser printers that can print top-quality images on any material.
Laser Vs. Screen Printing – Which one is better for you?
Nobody can answer this question in one single line. Many factors are behind choosing one of these technologies. As It depends on various factors we will try to cover some factors here:
Material – You can use screen print virtually on any type of material. But laser printing has some limitations. You can not use a laser printer on materials like glass, metals, ceramics, plastics, plastics, polymers, etc.
Color – Laser printing has no color limitations. You can create colors using the computer color code system. So, the number of colors is endless. On the other hand, you have to use different mash for adding different colors to the material using screen printing, making the process lengthy and costly.
Production time – Laser printing is much faster than screen printing. Modern laser printers can produce multiple outputs at a time. But screen printing takes a longer time.
Impact on the surroundings – Screen printing needs chemicals. It needs cleaning agents and inks, which have an environmental effect. On the other hand, laser printing is a completely digitalized process. Hence, it has no impact on nature whatsoever.
Durability – When it comes to durability, screen printing has the upper hand over laser printing. The color of screen printing stays years after years. But laser printed color from a poor machine can be washed out even after 10 washes. But modern high-end machines are capable of printing colors that last a long time.
Set up – Setting up a laser printing environment is very easy. In fact, people buy laser printing machines to print garments for special family or social events. It does not require a large space, tons of materials, or special training to operate them. But, you will need special skills if you want to operate a business-grade laser printing machine.
Screen printing is an ancient technology, but still, we use them for its gorgeous printing capability and durability. Moreover, it is a cost-effective method for single-color printing work. Laser printing, on the other hand, is a very dynamic method. The opportunity of producing design is endless here. But setting up a business-grade laser printing environment is costly.
Both the methods have their own pros and cons. It depends on the user who will make the choice depending on their budget, business plan, and skill set.