San Diego Screen Printing | How to Create Long and Lasting Prints Part 1

This content was written for BREAKOUT CREATIVE

In the San Diego Screen Printing industry, there are constantly thousands of shirts being printed, many of them with different types, brands and styles of ink. When you search for San Diego Screen Printing, and see a long list of available printers in your area, how do you know if you’re getting the best print possible? What’s the different between DTG (Direct To Garment), Sublimation, Vinyl Transfers, Embroidery, Water-base, Eco-Friendly… the list never ends! We’re going to quickly go over a few of these items in this Part 1, of “Long Lasting Prints”.

DTG (Direct To Garment)

Direct to Garment printing is getting more and more popular today, and is putting the San Diego Screen Printing industry to the test! Direct to garment, otherwise known as DTG is the process of applying ink to a shirt like a home printer would do. It’s using digital information to place ink precisely where it needs to go, thus re-creating your artwork without the fuss of the work that goes into screen printing, which we’ll go over in part 2. Here are the positives of DTG printing: Unlimited colors. There are no limits to your color choices. Although you might not be able to get the same density and brightness as traditional San Diego Screen Printing, DTG printing allows you to recreate art that might be expensive or difficult as a screen print. DTG is also good when the quantity of items needed is low. Because the entire setup is less tiresome than screen printing, you’re able to get a lower volume of items. The biggest downside to DTG is the print longevity. DTG is well known for fading quickly compared to other methods of printing. This because while screen printing is applying ink with pressure into the fibers of the fabric, DTG printing is laying ink on top. At BreakOut, we offer this service, but the best way to get started is showing us your art, and letting us know what you’re trying to accomplish.


A vinyl transfer is a great way to get your idea onto apparel. A transfer is made by cutting sheets of vinyl using a machine that looks like a home printer would, but instead of ink, the machine moves a small knife. This knife cuts the vinyl very slightly, and only applies enough pressure to allow the vinyl to be peeled, revealing your image, or shapes. This can then be applied using a heat press. In the San Diego Screen Printing industry, you’ll find this readily available and at BreakOut, we’ve done lots of small jobs using vinyl. Most popular have been for apparel needing simple text, such as bachelor or bachelorette gear. It’s great for someone looking for simple text on apparel, at a smaller quantity. We also use it for numbers on sports gear!

And there you have it. 2 commonly found methods of printing on apparel in the San Diego Screen Printing industry. If you’re looking for more information, visit Part 2 of Long Lasting Prints where we’ll go over Sublimation and Embroidery or give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer your questions over the phone: 858-513-1799.