Screen Print vs Embroidery: What’s Right For Your Design?

screen print embroidery


Embroidery is a process of sewing a logo or design onto a fabric in which the design becomes one with the fabric. Embroidered designs sew best on garments that are made to be embroidered on. A common garment that does not do well being embroidered is the standard t-shirt. Often, t-shirts are too thin to properly hold stitches. Garments made to be embroidered prolong the life of the embroidered logo but also the life of the garment. These garments are typically hats, jackets, polos, and more. Usually, embroidered designs are relatively small because the larger the logo, the higher the cost. Embroidered garments leave a crisp and clean looking finished product. The thread is also coated, giving it a sheen which makes the logo pop.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is an embellishment process where ink is squeegeed through a screen onto a garment. In simple terms, it works very similar to a stencil. Unlike embroidery, screen printing can print on a wide array of garments and items. The most common of these garments are t-shirt and sweatshirts. This is due to the surface of the garments being smooth, allowing an easy base for the ink to be applied. Also, screen printing is much more cost efficient for large or detailed logos and large quantity orders.


Often, when choosing between screen print or embroidery the first thing that is asked is the price difference. There are many different factors that determine this, but don’t fret – we’ve got you covered.

For embroidery, price is often determined by stitch count and quantity. The larger the logo or design, the more stitches that go into the embroidered piece. The higher the stitch count, the greater the price. What is favorable about embroidery, is that the amount of colors in the design do not effect the price, unlike screen printing. Here at MarkIt, we can embroider up to a 15 color logo.

Another thing to consider for embroidery is whether or not the artwork to be embroidered is digitized. Digitizing is the process where we convert your art into a digital format that can be processed by our embroidery machines.  It works very similarly to vectoring your artwork for screen print. If the artwork file is not digitized, there is an additional fee that ranges from $30-$40. We also offer specialty processes and threads such as puff/3D embroidery, metallic and glow in the dark thread that could be an additional cost.  If you’re looking for a generally small design, such as pocket size with many colors, embroidery is most likely right for you. To read more about the process of embroidery, click here.

For screen printing, the price is determined by three factors – quantity, number of locations and colors per location. Each color in the design is equivalent to one screen. Therefore the greater number of colors in your design, the more screens required, the higher the cost. Often, colored shirts also require an underlay. This is a base print to assure that the desired ink color shows well enough on the shirt. This then means that some colors require two screens, increasing the cost as well.  For screen print, we also require a vectored file of the artwork that will be used for the design. Vectored images can be resized an infinite number of times and still retain it’s quality. Files that are often vectored include PDF, AI and EPS. If the artwork is not vectored, there may be an additional fee.


Both embellishment processes have their pros and cons but we hope we’ve given you a better idea of what may be right for your design. Please contact us with any further questions and to get started on your design!


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