AN OVERVIEW OF DECORATING TECHNIQUES
Choosing the right product for your promotional program is essential to achieving your goals. It’s equally important to select the right decorating method for your promotional merchandise. There are many factors to consider, from the substrate (material) and color of the product to the design of your logo and the imprintable space allotted for the promotional message.
At World Class Promotions, we take the time to discuss and recommend decorating methods to ensure that your logo and message will result in a memorable, lasting impression.
The explanations below are designed to introduce you to the decorating options for promotional merchandise. We hope you find this information helpful.
DEBOSS or EMBOSS is a process in which a metal die is created from artwork. The die is then heat-pressed into the material, leaving a depressed or raised image of the artwork. This method is used on leather and other substrates.
DIGITAL PRINTING in full color graphics is a newer process that involves your artwork being processed by a computer, then printed directly onto the surface of your product.
EMBROIDERY is the art of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn and usually includes up to six colors. Embroidery is available for fabric products such as caps, bags, blankets, towels and aprons, and can also be applied to leather and vinyl products. Pricing is based on total image size and the total number of stitches.
ETCHING is either a sand blast or chemical process that etches decoration into solid surfaces such as glassware, crystal or metallic surfaces, leaving a satin texture tone-on-tone finish.
HOT STAMPING/FOIL STAMPING is a process of transferring a single color in gold, silver or colored metallic foil to the material. This requires a metal hot stamp die and is usually limited to reasonable flat surfaces without texture.
LASER ENGRAVING is a process that uses light to burn an image onto the substrate. It gives your logo a clean, polished appearance. The imprint color may vary depending on the material of the product. Laser Oxidation is available on items where the surface and the substrate are the same color. (The imprint turns black with Oxidation.)
PAD PRINTING is a process where an inked image is transferred from a photo-etched plate to a thin, soft silicone pad. The pad is then pressed against the plastic part. The pad can wrap itself as much as 180° around a small object, and ink coverage is excellent. One color is printed at a time, and registration between colors is adequate for four-color process printing.
PERSONALIZATION is an option depending on the product material. Individual names or initials can be engraved, embroidered, direct printed or debossed on many products.
SILK SCREEN is the direct imprinting of a one-color design or text onto the surface of a product. The image is pressed through tensioned nylon mesh, leaving a paint-like appearance. This generally results in a better imprint than a Pad Printing, though it requires a relatively flat surface without obstructions.
SUBLIMATION PRINTING is a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto materials such as a plastic, card, paper, or fabric.
A note about PMS Colors…
Our factories offer a wide range of standard ink colors. These standard colors may include your corporate/logo colors. If they are not offered as standard colors, a factory may charge a nominal fee to mix ink for an exact match of your PMS Colors.
Apparel is one of the most popular promotional products in the marketplace. The methods used most frequently to decorate apparel are embroidery and screen-printing. World Class Promotions’ experience and following of industry best practices ensures a quality representation of every logo. For example, with embroidery, stitch count, fabrics, colors and artwork detail all play a role. With screen-printing, if you’re imprinting a dark shirt with white ink, it’s best to double-print the ink to ensure the shirt color doesn’t bleed through the ink color.
To learn more about apparel decorating or to discuss your apparel decorating needs, please call us at 847.821.7800 or email us.