Whether termed “advertising specialties” or simply “giveaways,” promotional products deserve your consideration and for two very good reasons. With them, you can:
- Bolster business relationships: With promotional products, it’s often a great idea to thank a loyal customer, give a nod to an extra-large order or cement a newly established relationship. When acknowledging leading clients and promising prospects, consider items that can be easily shared, like food baskets.
- Reward hard-working staff: Boost morale – and ongoing productivity – with advertising specialties. Pen/pencil sets and other desk accessories are perennial favorites among staff as recognition for accomplishments and service. Food and beverages as well as logoed apparel including shirts, caps and jackets are welcome recognition items, too.
Talk the Talk: A Glossary of Printing Terms
Printers have a language all their own. The good news is you don’t have to know it to get great results. If you want to learn a bit of the lingo, we’re happy to share. Here are a few terms you may hear when ordering your promotional products or other print and marketing communications materials:
- Bleed: Describes when an image is printed to the edges of a page rather than one left with a border. A full-bleed is achieved by printing on a sheet larger than the planned finished size and trimming the excess, right to the edge of the image.
- Debossing: A process that depresses an image into and below a material’s surface.
- Die-casting: Molten metal is injected into the cavity of a carved mold.
- Die-striking: Emblems and other flat promotional products are created by striking a blank metal sheet with a hammer that holds a die, or shaped image.
- Embossing: To add texture to a flat surface, this creates a raised pattern once an image is impressed.
- Embroidery: High-speed, computer-controlled sewing machines are used to stitch a design into fabric. Artwork must first be “digitized,” which is a specialized process of converting two-dimensional artwork into stitches or thread.
- Engraving: This technique cuts an image into glass, metal or wood by any one of three methods – computerized engraving, hand engraving or hand tracing.
- Etching: A portion of an image is covered with a protective coating that resists acid – leaving both bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the bare metal surface.
- Four-color process printing: A color image is separated into four different color values by the use of filters and screens resulting in a color separation. When transferred to plates and placed on a printing press, the cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black inks combine to reproduce the original color. These four separations can be combined to create thousands of colors.
- Hot stamping: Setting a design on a relief die, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface.
- Imprint area: The area on a product or promotional item, with specific dimensions, in which the imprint is placed.
- Laser or foil stamping: Applying metallic or colored foil imprints to leather, paper or vinyl surfaces.
- Pad printing: Here, a recessed surface is covered with ink so that when the plate is wiped clean, ink is left 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.
- Pantone matching system, or PMS: This book of standardized colors employs a code to identify, match and communicate colors in order to produce accurate color matches in printing. Each PMS color has a coded number indicating instructions for mixing inks to achieve that specific color.
- Paper proof: The impression of type or artwork on paper so the correctness and quality of the material to be printed can be checked.
- Pre-production proof: An actual physical sample of the product that is submitted for final approval before an order goes into production.
- Screen printing: Also called silk screening, with this technique 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.
Let’s talk more about the ways we can use these and other production techniques to add impact to your promotional products and print communications.