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Screen Printed or Dye Sublimation Lanyards - what's the difference?

Screen Printed or Dye Sublimation Lanyards - what's the difference?

If you’re looking to order some branded lanyards, you’ll need to make the choice between dye sub printing and screen printing.

The difference really lies in how many colours you’re looking for, how detailed your design is, and how important clarity and print finish is to you.

Dye Sublimation Printed Lanyards
Dye sublimation printing uses 4-colour process digital printing, breaking down each colour into a CMYK (Cyan, Magento, Yellow and Black) split, much in the same way as your inkjet printer does.

This means there is no restriction on the number of colours you can have or the images you use. You could use photographs or illustrations using all the colours of the rainbow if you like.

The rub is that what you gain in flexibility, you lose a little in terms of quality of print compared to screen printing.

Printing through 4-Colour process means that the final print finish won’t be quite as sharp as with screen printing, and text won’t be quite as clear.

Screen Printed Lanyards
Screen printing is seen as the best way to achieve a high quality print finish, but is only effective for simple designs or text-only. 

In contrast to digital printing, ink is ‘forced’ through a screen of fine mesh when screen printing onto the lanyard. With screen printing, you can choose exact Pantone colours for printing.

Your logo or text is literally layered onto the lanyard material – which means you feel it as a raised design when you run your finger over it.
Screen printing achieves brighter, more vivid colours and gives a greater contrast between material and print.

So if your logo is single colour, or you want to use your brand’s exact Pantone colour (on both the material itself and the printing), this is the way to go.

When to choose one over the other
If you have a simple design and exact matching of your brand’s Pantone colours and clarity of your message or name is critical, you’ll probably want to go down the screen print route. This way, your lanyards will stand out from a distance.

However, if you have a stand at an exhibition and want to include multiple colours and images, dye sublimation printing is really the only option open to you.

Breakthroughs in printing processes in recent years means that both printing options are similar in terms of cost until you hit the larger quantities, so your decision really rests in what you want them to achieve.

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