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Imprint Dictionary

We use several different imprinting and decorating methods for promotional items and promotional products found online. Most promotional items require a set-up charge of some sort. The amount of the charge can depend on the size, number of colors, or complexity of the logo or artwork.

The following are defintions which might help you with making a final selection:

4-Color Proccess: (Digital Printing) This is a printing process where a multi-color image such as a photo or other piece of artwork with several colors is printed with 4-colors (blue, red, yellow, and black) to create thousands of colors like your computer screen. Process popular for promotional products like buttons, fans, and other multi-color items.

Colorfill: Screen printing an image and then debossing it onto the vinyl’s surface.

Debossing: Debossing is a method that leaves a "depression" of the logo onto a materials surface. A die is first made and then it is used to heat-pressed on the material. What is left behind is a clean, crisp logo. It is perfect for leather, vinyl, and durahide promotional products.

Decal: Artwork is produced on a transparent or opaque decal, then applied to product.

Die-casting: Injecting molten metal into the cavity of a carved die (or a mold)

Die-striking: Producing emblems and other flat promotional products by striking a blank metal sheet with a hammer that holds the die.

Embossing: Embossing is a method that leaves an "impression" of a raised logo onto a materials surface. This process is used on hundreds of promotional products like bags and padfolios.

Embroidery: Embroidery uses needlework to stitch a logo, lettering, or other designs on items such as apparel, bags, hats, and hundreds of other items. Before the embroidery begins the artwork has to be "digitized", an electronic process to convert the graphics into a file that is used by the embroidery machine. The more detailed and larger the logo or artwork is, the more expensive embroidery and set-up charges may be.

Etching: Using a process in which an image is first covered with a protective coating that resists acid, then exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface.

Foil Stamping: Applying metallic or colored foil imprints to vinyl, leather or paper surfaces. Usually with a deboss.

Hot Stamping: Setting a design on a metal relief die or plate, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface to achieve a deboss.

Logo 3-D: Logo 3-D is a process that involves turning your logo into a 3-dimensional molded rubber patch. These are best suited for multi-color logos.

Laser Engraving: Laser engraving is a method by which a small laser imprints a logo into hard surfaces. This method is perfect for promotional pens and other hard surface and metal items.

Offset Printing: A process of transferring ink from a metal printing plate to a rubber-covered cylinder. Used on more complex artwork and for higher quantity runs.

Pad Printing: A recessed 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.

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. Also, you must create a different screen for every color you are going to print, and then screen each color separately allowing drying time in-between.

Sublimation: Sublimation is a dye transfer process where the artwork or image consists of a colored dye permanently embedded into the material surface. A tougher and more durable printing.