you better understand how your logo or message will be printed on your corporate
promotional items and gifts, we've put together a handy list of the most common
types of printing below. Usually an item can only be printed using one
particular method. You will see the method in the 'Options' area of an item's
Screen Printing / Silk-Screening
An image is
transferred to the printed surface by ink, which is pressed through a stenciled
screen and treated with a light-sensitive emulsion. Film positives are put in
contact with the screens and exposed to light, hardening the emulsion not
covered by film and leaving a soft area on the screen for the squeegee to press
ink through. You must create a different screen for every color you are going to
print and screen each color separately allowing drying time in between.
A design is
stitched into fabric through the use of high-speed, computer-controlled sewing
machines. Artwork must first be "digitized;? the specialized process of
converting two-dimensional artwork into stitches or thread. Certain formats of
art, such as a jpeg, tif, eps or bmp cannot be converted into an embroidery
tape. The digitizer must actually recreate the artwork using stitches. It then
programs the sewing machine to sew a specific design in a specific color with a
specific type of stitch. This is the process known as digitizing.
of an image into a material?s surface so causing the image to sit below the
product surface is a deboss.
We Impress an
image in relief to achieve a raised surface.
Setting a design
on a metal relief die or plate, which is then heated and pressed onto the
printing surface to achieve a deboss.
A process in
which an item is covered with a protective coating that resists acid to create
the artwork. This leaves a bare surface and a protected surface. It is then
exposed to acid. The acid attacks only the exposed surface leaving the image
etched onto the surface.
Laser or Foil Stamp
metallic or colored foil imprints to vinyl, leather or paper surfaces. Usually
used on a deboss.
metal into the cavity of a carved die (or a mold).
emblems and other flat promotional products by striking a blank metal sheet with
a hammer that holds the die.
an image and debossing it onto a surface.
surface is covered with ink. The plate is wiped clean, leaving ink in the
recessed areas. A silicone pad is then pressed against the plate, pulling the
ink out of the recesses and pressing it directly onto the product.
A color image is
separated into 4 different color values using filters and screens (usually
digital). The result is a color separation of 4 images. When transferred to
printing plates and printed on a printing press with the colored inks, cyan
(blue), magenta (red), yellow and black, reproduces the original color image.
These four colors can be combined to create thousands of colors just as your
computer printer does.
Art or lettering
is cut into a material by a laser beam that vaporizes the portion exposed
through openings in a template.
process where the image consists of a colored dye permanently embedded into the
pores of the material surface. Used to imprint messages, graphics and
photographs on a variety of items, primarily mouse pads, mugs, T-shirts, caps
and trophy medals.
produced on a transparent decal and applied to the product.
The transfer of
ink from a metal printing plate to a rubber-covered cylinder is used on more
complex artwork and for higher quantity runs.