If you don’t have experience purchasing custom imprinted products, this guide will help you understand imprinting options and how they relate to your product selection. While you don’t need to be a graphic designer or understand how a pad printing machine works to create a great promo, understanding the fundamentals of imprinting can help you choose and customize products that are a more successful part of your marketing or advertising campaign.
Imprint Areas and Locations
All our promotional products have one or more imprint areas, and you can find out how many are available on any item by looking at the item details section of the page. While a single imprint area is sufficient for many situations, items with multiple imprint areas can be used to craft a more sophisticated promotion. Some typical examples include printing on both sides of an item like a mug or stress ball, imprinting the barrel and clip of a pen, imprinting an item and its gift box, or embroidering the chest and sleeve of a polo shirt. Even if you are imprinting in only one location, you may have a choice of imprint locations, and some may be more suited to your promotion than others. For example, if you are imprinting a calculator that flips open, do you want your message to appear when it is folded, when its opened for use, or use both imprint areas to convey a two-part message.
Imprint Sizes and Shapes
The size of imprint areas varies widely from item to item. Obviously, a pen or keychain will have a small imprint area, while an umbrella or tote bag will have a large imprint area. When selecting products, it’s best to consider what you want to imprint before picking an item. If you know you want your logo, tagline and full contact information on your product, start searching for items with an imprint area large enough to accommodate this. The shape of the imprint area(s) varies widely, as well. Some items, like many promotional mouse pads and disposable cameras, may have imprint areas that cover the entire product, while others may have imprint areas significantly smaller than the product itself. If your logo is tall and narrow, or short and wide, you may also want to keep this in mind when picking a product to make sure you’ll be able to use the imprint area effectively.
There are a wide variety of imprint methods. Screen printing and pad printing are the most common methods for printing one or more colors on a solid item. Embroidery and screen printing are the most common methods for decorating apparel and bags. For corporate gifts, laser engraving, embossing and debossing are frequently used. Four-color offset printing is available on promotional mouse mats, magnets and other items as well. When multiple imprint methods are available, consider which would best serve your needs. For example, a product used as a business gift might be more successful if laser engraved, but an advertising promotion might be most effective if it used eye-catching colors.
Imprint colors, when applicable, are an important consideration. Most items may be imprinted in a range of stock colors or a custom color match, which is typically referred to as a PMS match. If the colors of your logo are not typical stock colors, PMS matching will insure your imprints match your logo colors. There is a fee for PMS matching because at the factory paint is mixed specifically for your order. On many occasions, there may be an available stock color that is very close in color to your logo, in which case PMS matching may not be necessary.
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