Saturday, March 16, 2013

Understanding Promotional Product Print Methods

With dozens of imprint options, how do you determine the best option for your product selection?

I've put together a quick reference guide for a few of the most common processes to help you understand your options and make the best choice for your items.

 First up is screen printing.  This is probably one of the most widely known print methods but not always completely understood.  This process typically uses spot colors, a standard recipe of premixed inks, which are applied directly to a surface.  Your desired image is seperated by color and transferred to films.  The films are then burned to screens.  Ink is pushed through the screen which allows ink to pass through the areas that make up the image.  This is usually the least expensive method but typically requires a minimum quantity to be truly cost effective.

This method is best for apparel, water bottles, stress balls, can coolers and plastic pens.

Digital printing is great for images that contain a lot of color.  A physical printer is used with specially formulated ink and printed directly onto your item.  This process is also referred to as full color or CMYK printing.

This method is best for mouse pads, note pads and light colored tshirts.

Embossing and debossing creates a 3 dimensional effect.  To create this look, dies are created using metal to form the look of your logo.  The item is then heated and pressed between the metal dies to create a raised or sunken imprint.  Embossing is a raised image and debossing pushes your image down into the product.

This method is best for leather/vinyl portfolio's, custom chocolate, and backpacks.

Embroidery is the process of using a needle and thread to create an image on a product.  Your image will need to be "digitized" which is similar to tracing an image.  It determines where the stitches will go, the direction and type of stitching.  Fine lines and detail in small images are not always achievable with embroidery, so it's important to keep this in mind when designing your logo if you plan to embroider it on apparel.

This method is best for apparel, tote bags, linens and towels.

There are many other imprint options available and we would be happy to help you understand all of them.  I hope this information has helped!

Are you working on an event, charity sponsorship or promotional campaign?  Contact us today and we'll help you develop a campaign that is unique to your needs and audience.

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Pad printing, screen printing, digital printing, heat transfer, hot foil blocking, embossing, debossing, laser engraving, sublimation

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Custom Printed Shirts on a Budget


This time of year many organizations are looking for custom printed tshirts.  Custom printed tshirts are great for youth groups, summer child care camps, company picnics, community service projects and much more.

If you are like most and have a set budget to work within here are 5 tips to keep in mind when creating and ordering your custom shirts.

Tip #1 - Order shirts in volume.  As with most custom products, a bulk of the cost is in the setup.  It is possible to order screen printed tshirts in quantities as low as 12 or 24 pieces but keep in mind the setup costs are the same whether you are ordering 12 shirts or 100 shirts.

Tip #2 - Use fewer colors in your design.  Each color in your image will require a separate screen and film for the process.  These items increase the setup cost of your order.  If you plan to order just 1 or 2 dozen shirts, you will find that a 1 color design is going to be the most cost efficient way to produce the shirts.

Tip #3 - Be flexible on the color and shirt fabric.  Some color shirts, typically darker colors, will require extra steps in the printing process which will lead to additional costs.  Using a basic cotton or 50/50 cotton/poly blend white tshirt is usually the least expensive way to go.

Tip #4 - The number of print locations will impact the cost of your shirts.  If keeping costs low is a concern, your organization should determine if it makes more sense to print on the front OR back side of the shirt.  Printing on both sides will increase the price of the shirt.

Tip#5 - The last thing to consider is shirt sizes.  Unfortunately, there may not be too much you can do about this.  The least expensive shirts to purchase are between a size small and an extra large.  Once you start getting into a 2X size or larger, even a basic cotton tshirt will run you an additional $4 or more.

Depending on the size and colors of your design and the desired color of the tshirts, screen printing may not be the most cost effective way to go.  There are a few other printing options that can be discussed with your promotional product adviser.

If you're thinking of ordering tshirts this Spring, contact us today and we'll help you plan out your shirt design to fit within your budget.

We carry many shirt brands including Hanes, Jerzees, Reebok, Nike, Port Authority and much more!

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