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When choosing products to place your logo/artwork on, there are many different ways of applying your brand based on the method of application used.

Printing terms

Pad Printing/Tampo


Pad Printing/Tampo: is used on items which are too small or when the object is too odd shaped for screen printing to be practical. It is probably the most versatile of all printing processes due to its unique ability to print on three-dimensional objects and compound angles. Products include items such as pens, coffee mugs, wine glasses, metal or plastic key rings, and desk clocks.

Definition: A recessed surface is covered with ink. The plate is wiped clean, yet the ink remains in the recessed area of the plate. A silicone pad presses against the plate and pulls the ink out of the recesses. The pad then moves and presses directly against the product.


Silkscreen/Screen printing

screen-printSilkscreen/Screen printing: is perhaps one of the most popular decorating techniques in the industry. A cost-effective method of decorating large print areas, ideal for logos with limited colours and patterns. Most common uses of screen printing are on wearables, totes, textiles, mugs, keychains and awards.

Definition: Screen printing is a method in which an image is transferred to the surface to be printed by means of ink squeezed by a squeegee through a stenciled screen stretched over a frame.



Decal Transfer


Decal Transfer: is most often used on porcelain, ceramic and glass products. Decals withstand washing very well. This decoration method is labor intensive, since each decal must be aligned and applied by hand.

Definition: Decal transfer is when a water soluble decal, printed on an offset or letterset press, is submerged in water and slid onto the product to be imprinted. The decal is rubbed with a cloth or squegee to remove any excess water and air from between the product and the decal. The product is then kiln-fired. Once fired, the decal becomes fused with the glaze. Hairline registration and superior reproduction of detail make it an excellent choice.





Embroidery: A superior method of decorating fabrics that gives an added perception of quality. Logos are stitched onto apparel, bags and caps to create that professional look. The Cost of embroidery is calculated by the number of stitches required to complete the logo.

Definition: Embroidery is a design stitched on a material through the use of high-speed, computer controlled sewing machines.



Foil Stamping


Foil Stamping: Also called hot foil printing, a metallic foil is applied using a hot stamp to the final surface to achieve a shiny finish. Most often used on leather, fabric, paper, wood, hard rubber, coated metal and all types of plastic.

Definition: is a method in which type or designs in the form of a relief die are impressed with heat and pressure through metallic or pigmented foil onto the product surface.





Embossing: This method indents characters and designs in relief on the final surface. This process is often applied to leather and vinyl items.

Definition: Embossing is the stamping of an image on a material so that the image itself rises above the surface of the object on which it is stamped.




engravingEngraving: A great alternative to achieve a long-lasting decoration. Only available on items with a suitable surface, e.g. metal keys rings and pens, corporate desk accessories, travel mugs and stainless steel thermos flasks. Some painted surfaces will leave a contrast colour if laser engraved.

Definition: A laser beam is used to permanently mark your logo into the surface.



Plastisol Transfer


Plastisol Transfer: Plastisol Transfers are basically screen printed designs that are printed on a special heat transfer (release) paper instead of screen printing the design directly to a garment. It allows you to print more complex logos or those with multiple colours and gradations. The transfer is applied to the material’s surface via heat and pressure. Used mostly on caps and bags.

Definition: Once printed the paper is then passed through a conveyer dryer where the ink is heated until it has gelled just enough to be dry to the touch. It is then placed on the product and pressed with a heat press at temperatures exceeding 200 degrees. Once heated, the heat is released, the paper removed and the end product is an image of plastisol ink on your item.




badgingBadging: A relatively new way of decorating items such as bags and caps with a unique riveting system. Badging is a fantastic alternative method which creates a premium promotional product.



Digital Printing

digital_printingDigital Printing: Is any printing technology (laserjet printer, for instance) that is capable of producing printed materials directly from a computer file. Digital printing eliminates the mechanical steps used in conventional printing and does not require an intermediary medium such as film, or an intermediary machine, such as a plate maker.

Digital printing is growing in popularity at the expense of offset printing because last-minute revisions and corrections can be made at minimal cost without requiring much setup.As it can be used used to print professional quality brochures, personalized direct mail, stationery, labels, plastic cards and graphic overlays on an as-needed basis, digital printing is sometimes referred to as “on-demand printing.”


Offset Printing

offset_printingOffset Printing: Also called offset lithography, is a method of mass-production printing in which the images on metal plates are transferred (offset) to rubber blankets or rollers and then to the print media. The print media, usually paper, does not come into direct contact with the metal plates. This prolongs the life of the plates. In addition, the flexible rubber conforms readily to the print media surface, allowing the process to be used effectively on rough-surfaced media such as canvas, cloth or wood.

Offset printing is used mainly for full colour printing on paper and cardboard to create business cards, letterhead stationery, presentation folders, flyers, brochures, postcards and notebooks.