Welcome to the world of branding a product. Here are some of the common ways your logo or message can be decorated onto a product.
Laser engraving gives a permanent finish and creates a high perceived value.
It is ideal for metal and glass items and because it is a digital process can be used for personalising products with individual names.
Different materials produce different effects when engraved. In metal objects such as pens there is often a stainless steel coat underneath the top coat of enamel or rubberised paint. Engraving brings up the silver of the steel against the colour of the top coat.
Laser engraving is normally our favored decoration method for pens, metal keyrings, clocks and high value metal products. The laser removes a small amount of the product’s surface giving an ‘etch’ effect.
Computer controlled laser beams permanently etch your desired artwork onto metal type products. This is a complex and technical process with very precise and even results, for a professional and high quality finish which will certainly impress.
If you have a logo that looks good in black and white, it will engrave well.
Full Colour Label
Full colour labels are used for products with substrates that are difficult to print successfully with any other method. Full colour labels are either printed with a digital inkjet printer if they are vinyl or a digital printing press for paper labels. Only approximate PMS colour matches are possible with digital printing. Full colour labels can be printed on a white or transparent background,
Sublimation gives great flexibility in creating unique products and designs.
It is achieved by heat transferring a digitally printed full colour image from a paper transfer to the product. This process can reproduce stunning, vivid, full colour graphics but there is limited control over the colour outcomes which makes reproducing PMS colours very difficult and in some cases impossible. Only certain surfaces and materials can be branded with sublimation printing. At present, the best result is achieved with a white base such as a white fabric or a white ceramic mug. Non woven bags can be sublimate printed and then laminated to give extra strength and durability.
Embroidery is an excellent choice on medium to heavyweight fabrics (polo shirts, hoodies, jackets, caps, backpacks and many bags). It always provides a quality look and finish. Once three or more colours are required, embroidery is often more cost effective than printing. It is particularly good because it can go over seams, whereas a screen print over a seam will often have a “break” in the image caused by the lumpiness of the seam. It is best for small areas such as badges, monograms, and logos under 100cm x 100cm or 4” x 4. Embroidery costs vary not with colours but with the ‘stitch count’ (which increases with size). This is why it is important to have a firm quote on the actual embroidery you want.
The embroidery process involves a design stitched on to a material through the use of high speed, computer controlled sewing machines. ‘Stitch count’ is the number of individual stitches required to reproduce a particular design.
Machine embroidery allows us to recreate logos on clothing and any other soft material such as sports bags. We take a design supplied in jpg file and ‘digitise’ it into a format that is then recognized by the embroidery machine.
This production method is used for printing media such as paper, vinyl and magnetic material used in the manufacture of labels, badges and fridge magnets etc. Both digital inkjet and digital printing presses are used in the production of digital media.
Direct to product digital printing involves the transfer of ink directly from the print head of a special inkjet machine to the product and can be used to produce full colour printing on flat or slightly curved surfaces. It is difficult to reproduce exact PMS colour matches and some colours including metallic gold and silver are not possible to achieve. One big advantage of direct digital is that machines can print a layer of white ink under the copy making them ideal for branding dark coloured products.
Direct to Garment
Direct to Garment printing is very cost effective for small runs for Tee shirts, Singlets and hoodies. However, it needs a light coloured or white fabric.
Pad printing is one of the most practical and popular ways of branding promotional products due to its ability to reproduce images on uneven or curved surfaces (like golf balls) and print multiple colours in a single pass. Close PMS matches can be achieved on white surfaces but as the colour of the product gets darker the ability to match PMS colours diminishes. Like screen printing your logo is first made into film, which is then transferred onto a soft silicone pad, and ink is then introduced and printed onto your chosen product. Pad printed products are everywhere – the keys on your keyboard, promotional pens, promotional clocks and a myriad of other promo items
Screen printing is suitable for many items including Tee shirts other clothing, posters, drink bottles and mugs, conference bags and towels.
It produces visually strong images because each colour has to be designed and printed as a separate layer. It involves forcing ink through a mesh screen with a squeegee onto the product. It is excellent for large print areas on flat or cylindrical objects (such as drink bottles and ceramic mugs.) Tee shirts, hoodies and bags screen print very well too – as long as seam lines are avoided. Close PMS matches can be achieved on white surfaces but as the colour of the product gets darker the ability to match PMS colours diminishes. Sometimes an extra coat of ink needs to be applied when printing a light coloured ink onto a dark surface. Often black or dark Tee shirts will cost more because of this additional coat of ink to make sure the light colour ink shows up. Screen printing is best suited for spot colour reproduction and is not recommended for logos with half tones in them.
This is the most common form of printing on clothing and any textiles. The cost of screen printing is governed by the print run size, the amount of colours we print and the size of the print.
We can also provide specialised prints like puffs and foils – just ask for more details. PMS colour matches are no problem.
Before we commence with any screen print job always send you a proof for your approval.
All colour images can be separated into 4 different base colours. This is called a CMYK colour breakdown. The result in terms of your branding is a colour separation of 4 images, each image comprised of one of the four colours (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black) These four colours can be combined to create thousands of colours covering all combinations shown on PMS charts.
Resin coating or doming an image produces a stunning 3 dimensional effect and elevates the perceived value of any product. Vinyl labels are resin coated which produces a very durable weather proof label that is almost indestructible. Resin labels can be printed in full colour and used very effectively to brand a large variety of products. As they are digitally printed, only approximate PMS colour matches are possible
Full Colour Heat Transfer
There are several methods of producing heat transfers. They can be printed and cut to shape on a digital inkjet printer. The disadvantage of this method is that the transfer can look like a label when heat pressed onto the product. Other methods are screen print, offset or full colour digital printing onto a release media. These methods give a finished print very similar to direct printing but the image is often much sharper and can reproduce finer detail. Heat transfers are commonly used to brand textile surfaces and bags. They are heat pressed onto the product and produce a permanent bond. Only approximate PMS colour matches are possible with digital printing. One of the main benefits is the fixed cost for a large number of colours in the image or message.
If a conference bag is being printed with additional sponsor logos, it is very likely that there will be more than five colours to be printed. Digital transfer print is a very cost effective solution.
Foil Stamping or Embossing
For leather and leather like products like wallets, compendiums, journals, wine coasters.
This is the highest quality branding onto leather or PU ‘leather look’ items and can be done in gold or silver. Zinc plates press or melt your design onto leather, PVC, and other materials resulting in a “raised” or “embossed” finish. Embossing adds depth, and texture. Foil can be added to the embossing process resulting in a silver or gold raised logo. We impress an image in relief to achieve a raised surface. The one-off cost of making a mold needs to be taken into account. it is most cost effective if you are planning to emboss more than 100 items, as the cost of the mold will only add about $2 per item. Once your mold is made, it can be used every time you need more items embossed.
The depression of an image into a material’s surface so causing the image to sit below the product surface is called a deboss.
Your design or logo is set on a metal relief die or plate and it is heated and pressed onto the surface of the promotional item to achieve a recessed branding finish
Printing on Ceramics
The best effect is achieves when the print can be baked into the mug’s glase.
Kiln Fired Decal
Kiln fired decals are transfers printed with a ceramic ink that are applied to coffee mugs and glassware which are then fired at high temperatures in a kiln. The advantage of kiln fired decals is that the print becomes part of the surface and is permanent. They are also good for decorating mug handles and the inside lip as well as producing larger print areas on irregular shaped mugs or glasses. It is possible to obtain approximate PMS colour matches.
Why a Mug?
Look on most desks and you will see what is the user’s most prized possession The thing that rightfully takes pride of place is the humble office mug. With the way the business is going, flexible working hours, open plan offices and stress of modern life which have become the norm, people want something familiar.
Mugs provide excellent space to identify your brand, you can have your corporate logo, website, company statement or even personalise to individual staff members.
With all sorts of promotional items to choose from you can guarantee that the mug will last; it doesn’t have batteries that you can’t replace, the branding won’t come off, it won’t fall apart and most importantly it won’t go out of fashion.
Any promotional item you chose should reflect the values of your company. As well as conveying the right message about your brand as you should never forget who will be using the mug.
Be original. The more original or unique the mug or branding the more likely the customer will use it – remember they may already have their faithful mug so yours has to be better to convince them to use it.
Guide to printing on Towels
(with thanks to Simba Towels)
Digital printing is a print process using a printer that is similar to a colour ink jet desktop printer. It is very fast and lead times for towels are very quick! PMS colours can be matched but accuracy is not 100% as we are mixing 4 inks to create a colour.
The inks used are printed on the surface of the towels but have a very soft feel and are colour fast.
Digital printing example – Aussie World
Fibre Reactive printing on Towels
Reactive dyes are used on towels where many colours are required. Fibre reactive dyes react chemically to combine with the fibres of the towel. The inks fully impregnate the terry or velour fibre of the front of the towel.
The dyeing or printing is done under heat and high-pressure sprays. The soft feel is achieved by washing the towel after printing, which removes any excess inks and gives the towel a soft feel.
Permanent colour images are provided by the reaction between the reactive dye and the final fabric, which may be cotton, polyester, microfiber or cotton mixtures with polyester. Reaction occurs upon heat activation of the printed ink image.
Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a towel, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A screen is made of a piece of mesh stretched over a frame. A stencil is formed by blocking off parts of the screen in the negative image of the design to be printed.
The screen is placed on top of the towel and water based ink is placed on the screen. A squeegee is used to push the ink through the holes in the mesh to fill with ink and print the towel. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-coloured image or design.
Once the ink has been transferred to the towel it is placed on a conveyor belt and dried in an oven to ‘cure’ the ink and make the print colour fast.
There are various terms used for what is the same technique. I.E screen printing or silkscreen printing because silk was used in the process prior to the invention of polyester mesh.
INKS used on Screen printed towels
Water Based Inks
Used for Tone on Tone print and for printing Colours onto white towels
These penetrate the towel fibres and with added softener create a soft feel. These inks are great for large area prints onto towels where texture is important. The inks lay on the surface of the towel pile and will soften after a few washes.
Used for IVORY TOUCH effects and to print COLOURS onto coloured towels
Discharge inks are used to print lighter colours onto darker towels They work by removing the dye of the towel and replacing with a coloured pigment. – With this ink exact PMS colours are a little difficult to control but we can get a pretty good match!
Some coloured towels (IE colour ROYAL) do not respond well to discharge inks and we do not recommend this process.
Metallic inks are not suitable to print onto towels
Plastisol inks are not suitable to print onto towels
Dye-sublimation is a printing process that uses heat to transfer special dyes onto materials such as towels, fabric, plastic, card and paper.
The process is commonly used for decorating apparel, specially designed towels, signs and banners, as well as novelty items such as cell phone covers, plaques, coffee mugs etc. The process uses heat and pressure applied to certain materials. The sublimation process is limited to certain materials and cannot be printed onto cotton. SIMBA have developed a polyester band on the cotton PhotoPlus beach, golf and sports towels which can be printed. The artwork is printed onto special paper and then transferred to the panel under heat and pressure. The inks are turned into a coloured gas which prints the band creating a brilliant image!
Because the dyes are infused into the polyester band of the towel at the molecular level, rather than applied at a topical level (such as with screen printing), the prints will not crack, fade or peel from the towel under normal conditions.