Screen printing, also known as silk screening, is a printing process that uses a stencil (also known as a "screen") to apply ink to a substrate, such as fabric, paper, or metal. The stencil is created by blocking off areas of a mesh screen, leaving only the areas to be printed open. Ink is then forced through the open spaces of the screen onto the substrate, such as promotional T-shirts, custom notebooks, company-branded mugs or promotional pens and boxes, creating the printed image and replicating your design or logo.
The screen is coated with a light-sensitive emulsion, which is then exposed to UV light with a film positive of the image to be replicated. This then hardens the emulsion, creating a stencil of the image on the screen.
The ink is mixed and heated to the proper consistency for printing.
Printing: The substrate is placed on the press bed, and the screen is placed on top of the substrate. Ink is then forced through the stencil on the screen and onto the substrate, creating the printed image.
The printed substrate is then dried to cure the ink.
Cleaning the screen: The screen is cleaned of any remaining ink and emulsion so that it can be reused for the next print run. When you next re-order a re-print of your promotional items.
Screen printing is a versatile process used to print on many substrates, including fabric, paper, metal, plastic, and more. It's commonly used for promotional bags, posters, printed desk pads, and many other popular promotional items. It is also suitable for printing volume quantities of merchandise and allows for using various inks, including plastisol, water-based, and discharge inks.
One of the advantages of screen printing is that it allows for the use of a wide range of colours and colour combinations, including spot colours and process colours. The process is also relatively low-cost and can produce high-quality, long-lasting prints. However, it is less suitable for small quantities or fine-detail printing, and it can be time-consuming to set up, and clean screens between print runs. Overall, screen printing is a popular and reliable method for printing on many promotional products. Allowing for high-quality, long-lasting prints and cost-efficient printing of large quantities of printed items.
Pad printing is a printing process that uses a silicone rubber pad to transfer ink from a plate to a substrate. It is a versatile method used to print on various materials, including plastic, metal, glass, and more. It is often used to print merchandise items such as custom eco friendly pens, printed stress items, and custom electronic devices.
A plate, often made of metal or plastic, is etched or engraved with the image to be printed. The etched or engraved areas will hold the ink, while the non-etched areas will not.
The ink is mixed and heated to the proper consistency for printing.
Loading the ink: The ink is loaded into the etched areas of the plate, typically using a doctor blade.
The substrate is placed on the print bed, and the pad is secured on top. The pad is then pressed against the plate, which transfers the ink from the plate to the pad. The pad is then pressed against the substrate, transferring the ink from the pad to the substrate, creating the printed image.
The printed substrate is then dried to cure the ink.
The plate and pad are cleaned of any remaining ink so that they can be reused for the next print run.
Pad printing is a cost-efficient process that can print on various promotional materials, including irregular or concave shapes—using a wide range of inks, including water-based, UV-curable, and solvent-based inks. It can also print on various substrates, including metal, plastic, glass, and more.
One of the biggest advantages of pad printing is that it can print on uneven or irregular surfaces and fine details and small lettering. It also allows for multi-colour printing and overprinting. However, it is less suitable for printing large areas of solid colour, and it can be time-consuming to set up and clean the plate and pad between print runs.
Overall, pad printing is a cost-efficient and reliable method for printing on a wide range of promotional giveaways, and it's suitable for printing fine details to small print areas, achieving small lettering, and multi-colour printing to promotional keyrings, custom technology gifts such as printed headphones and the always popular company logo pen.
Embossing is a process that creates a raised or recessed design on a surface by pressing an engraved plate or die into a substrate such as leather Pu, Canvas or card. The design can be either positive (raised) or negative (recessed), depending on the die used. Embossing is typically used on promotional paper and cardstock products, such as invitations, business cards, promotional memo pads, custom soft feel notebook covers, and leather-branded keyrings and premium leather or PU promotional bags and cases.
A die, often made of metal or plastic, is engraved with the design to be embossed. The engraved areas will create the raised or recessed areas on the substrate.
The substrate is placed on the press bed, and the die is laid on top of the substrate.
The die is pressed into the substrate, using heat, pressure or a combination of both. The engraved areas of the die transfer the design onto the substrate, creating a raised or recessed image.
Finishing: The embossed substrate may can be further finished by applying ink, foil, or other treatments to enhance the custom design, or logo.
Embossing is an adaptable process to create a wide range of bespoke designs, from simple text to intricate patterns. It is a cost-efficient process that can create high-quality, long-lasting designs. It can be used on various materials, including paper, cardstock, leather, PU and more.
One of the advantages of embossing is that it can create a tactile, three-dimensional effect on the surface of the substrate, which can make the product stand out, and it can also be combined with other branding techniques, such as foil stamping or debossing to create more complex designs. However, it requires a specific die for each design and colour, and it can be time-consuming to set up the press and die between print runs.
Overall, embossing is a cost-efficient, reliable method for creating raised or recessed designs on a collection of company merchandise, and it can be combined with other customising techniques to enhance the overall design and create a truly bespoke promo gift.
Foil blocking is a printing process that applies a thin layer of metallic or pigmented foil to a substrate by using heat, pressure, and metal die. The process is commonly used to add a metallic or coloured accent to printed materials, such as business cards, invitations, and book covers.
A die, often made of metal or plastic, is engraved with the custom design to be foiled. The etched areas will transfer the foil onto the substrate.
Setting up the press: The substrate is set on the press bed, and the die is placed on top of the substrate.
A sheet of foil, usually available in various colours and finishes, is placed on top of the substrate. The die is then pressed against the substrate by applying both heat and pressure, which transfers the foil onto the promotional product following the bespoke design of the die.
The foiled promo item can be further finished by applying ink or other treatments to enhance the design.
Foil blocking is a mult-iuse process that creates a wide range of promotional designs, from simple advertising text to intricate logos. It is a cost-efficient process that can create high-quality, long-lasting designs. Custom blocking is widespread on merchandise products, including company paper giveaways, company desk diaries, branded promotional leather books and folders, and more.
One of the advantages of foil blocking is that it can create a metallic or coloured accent on the surface of the substrate, which can make your logo pop. It is suitable for complex designs and small lettering and it can be combined with other techniques, such as embossing or debossing, to create more complicated designs. However, it requires a specific die for each design and colour which can make the set up costs expensive on smaller runs..
Digital printing is a process that involves printing digital-based images directly onto a variety of media and promo items. It is a relatively new method of printing that has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its many advantages over traditional printing methods such as offset printing. For 2023 the 360 digital print is now available on custom metal water bottles.
The process begins with creating a digital file, which can be a scanned image, a photograph, or a computer-generated graphic. This file is then sent to a digital printer, with options for a wide-format printer, a digital press, or an inkjet printer. The printer uses a series of print heads to lay down the ink or toner onto the media, creating a high-quality, accurate reproduction of the original image.
One of the key advantages of digital printing is that it allows for a high degree of customisation. Rather than creating a separate plate for each colour in a print job, digital printing allows for the adjustment of the colours, images, and text on a piece-by-piece basis, which is helpful for small print runs and on-demand printing. Many of our express merchandise products are printed digitally for a quick turnaround.
Another advantage of digital printing is that it is much faster and more efficient than traditional printing methods. It eliminates the need for film and plates, saving time and money. Additionally, digital printing can be done directly from a computer, allowing greater flexibility and faster turnaround times.
Promotional digital printing is also known for its accuracy and colour consistency. With digital printing, you can be sure that each print will be identical in colour, as software manages colour reproduction.
Overall, digital printing is a modern, efficient, and exacting method of promotional printing that is well-suited for a wide range of applications, from short-run express merchandise and business company event giveaways to outdoor banners and trade show graphics.
Garment embroidery is a process that involves decorating clothing or other fabric items, such as promotional bags or custom accessories, with designs created using a specialised embroidery machine. This can include logos, monograms, or other decorative elements or advertising messages.
The process begins with creating a digital jacquard design, typically created using specialised embroidery software. This design is then loaded into the embroidery machine, which uses a series of needles and thread to create the design on the fabric.
Embroidery machines can come in different forms: some are single-head machines that can only embroider one item at a time. In contrast, others are multi-head machines that can embroider multiple items simultaneously. The number of heads on a device will determine the number of garments that can be embroidered at the same time.
Before the embroidery process begins, the garment is carefully positioned on the machine and secured to prevent movement. The machine then uses a series of needles to sew the design onto the fabric. The needles are controlled by a computerised system that guides them through the fabric, creating the desired layout and bespoke logo or crest.
Embroidery machines can use various threads, including rayon, polyester, and nylon, to create the promotional designs. The choice of thread will depend on the type of fabric being embroidered and the desired final result.
One of the key advantages of garment embroidery is that it is very durable and long-lasting. We recommend custom workwear items such as promotional jackets or catering logo aprons may be best branded with the embroidery method.
Want to discuss your next branded product project?, here at Positive Media Promotions as industry leading promotional product suppliers our team will provide expert advice on the right customisation process for your budget and needs.