In this three part blog series, we'll recap how to make sure your imprint makes an impression.  First we'll cover the various types in imprints technologies (read below) and in future installments, discuss appropriate file types for artwork and the latest research on the importance of color in brand recall.

The following imprint techniques are most commonly used in the industry:

Screen Print – the process of forcing specialized ink through a stenciled, fine mesh screen.

Pad Print – the process of a pad dipping into ink and then pressed onto the product to transfer the image.

Heat Transfer – a multi-layer imprint is screened onto transfer paper, cut to size and then applied to the product using a combination of heat and pressure.

Offset Printing – the process of transferring ink from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface such as a paper cube pad

4-Color Process – the process of using a high quality digital printer to combine Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K) to create a full color image usually on a flat or paper product

Digital 4-Color Process on Vinyl Panel – combines 4-color digital process with laminating to result in a semi-permanent sticker

Enhanced 4-Color Process – combines the printing of a full color image onto a heat-transfer paper and then applying it to the product with the combination of heat and pressure

Dye Sublimation – typically used on cloth products, this process is multi-layered and involves an imprint offset printed onto transfer paper with special bonding dye.  The imprint is then transferred to the product surface with the combination of heat and pressure.

Embroidery – using a variety of stitch patterns to sew a customer's design onto the fabric of a product.

Laser Engraving – to cut or etch into the surface of an item such as wood or metal with a laser

Deep Etch – sandblasting an imprint to create a deep etched appearance that can appear frosted

Die-Cast Medallion – a process that casts an imprint into a brass (gold) or zinc (silver) metal medallion.  The medallion can be surface mounted or milled into the surface of the product.

Foil Stamping – the process which involves the use of a metal die, colored foil and heat/pressure machine.  When die is pressed into product surface, only the design on the metal die will remain adhered to the product.

Debossing – a combination of pressure and heat leaves imprint permanently depressed into the product surface

More to come!  Stay tuned…

~Margit Fawbush






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