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About Printing

About Printing

General information

Printing: The “Branding Options” tab lists details of how the product can be printed, for example, pad, screen and full colour printing. There may also be a link to a template to show where the product can be printed. Pad and screen print are ideal if you only want to print in a few colours, for example, white, blue and black. The artwork needs to be prepared properly for this to work: JPEG and PNG files will not be suitable unless they are only one colour.

Pricing: The price in the cart, per product, may change depending on how many products you buy. The Description text may mention “Price breaks” which is the quantity at which the product gets cheaper. Anything less than the smallest quantity will attract a minimum quantity fee (normally around $20.00).

GST: The prices shown do not include GST. The GST amount will be shown in the Cart.

Setup fees: Printing costs on promotional products like pens and drinkware depend on how many colours and positions you print. For example, printing in white and blue (2 colours) on the front and back of the barrel of the pen (2 positions) will attract 4 setup fees and 4 printing costs. Full colour printing only attracts a full colour printing cost and one setup per position. The setup fees, if any, will be shown in the Cart.

Artwork: If you have existing artwork you can email this to us when we send you payment details. Ideally, artwork should be in a vector format (everything is defined in terms of lines and curves) rather than a bitmap format like JPEG or PNG. Common vector file formats are PDF, EPS or AI (Adobe Illustrator). JPEG and TIFF files are fine for full colour printing—assuming they have enough detail (resolution). We will advise you if we think the format you supply is unsuitable for the print, and can also advise on options and alternatives. 

Pre-production samples: If requested, we can supply a pre-production sample. However, there will be a cost for this (normally around $60 plus the product cost plus GST).

Bag printing: see the Bag Printing section below for specific information related to branding and printing bags.

Colour matching

We cannot guarantee that the colour you see on your computer screen will be the colour you get when you print. Our print processes are calibrated so we can get colour consistency, but what you see on your computer screen is as individual as you are.

CMYK: Printing normally uses 4 inks to create the other colours: (C)yan (M)agenta (Y)ellow and Blac(K). Any artwork you have in RGB (Red Green Blue) colour will be converted to CMYK before printing and there will be colour variation due to this.

PMS colours: Pantone Matching System. Pantone colours are used to specify the exact component mixing of inks and are useful when a logo has to be a certain colour(s), for example, “Kiwibank Green” or “Cadbury Purple”. Pantone colours can be approximated using CMYK but their accuracy will vary from colour to colour.

Product colours: The product colours illustrated are matched closely but will still vary from the actual product colour. Product colours can also vary from shipment to shipment and this is beyond our control. If unsure, ask to see a sample to verify the product and product colour is suitable for your requirements as we do not accept returns due to minor colour variations.

Printing methods

Digital print: Digitally printing is used for shorter print runs and has several advantages over traditional offset printing: shorter setup times, far cheaper for small runs, turn-around time (prints are ready to use straight away), and every print can be different (great for variable data jobs). We use digitally printing for all our business cards, rack cards, etc.

Pad printing

Pad printing: Pad printing uses a silicone pad to transfer an image to a product from a laser etched printing plate. Pad printing is one of the most practical and popular ways of branding promotional products due to its ability to reproduce images on uneven or curved surfaces and print multiple colours in a single pass. Close PMS matches can be achieved on white surfaces but as the colour of the product gets darker the ability to match PMS colours diminishes.

Screen printing: Screen printing involves forcing ink through a mesh screen with a squeegee onto the product or substrate and is excellent for large print areas on flat or cylindrical objects. Close PMS matches can be achieved on white surfaces but as the colour of the product gets darker the ability to match PMS colours diminishes. Screen printing is best suited for spot colour reproduction and is not recommended for logos with half tones in them, e.g., full colour logos.

Laser engravingLaser engraving: Laser engraving gives a permanent finish and creates a higher perceived value than direct printing. It is ideal for metal and glass items, and because it is a digital process, can be used for personalising products with individual names. Different materials produce different effects when engraved and if you are uncertain about the engraved finish you can expect to receive please ask for a pre-production sample (there will be a small cost for this).

Resin coatingResin coating: Resin coating an image produces a stunning 3 dimensional effect and elevates the perceived value of any product. Vinyl labels are resin coated which produces a very durable weather proof label that is almost indestructible. Resin labels can be printed in full colour and used very effectively to brand a large variety of products. As they are digitally printed, only approximate PMS colour matches are possible.

Full colour heat transfer: There are several methods of producing heat transfers. They can be printed and cut to shape on a digital ink jet printer. The disadvantage of this method is that the transfer can look like a label when heat pressed onto the product. Other methods are screen print, offset or full colour digital printing onto a release media. These methods give a finished print very similar to direct printing but the image is often much sharper and can reproduce finer detail. Heat transfers are commonly used to brand textile surfaces and bags. They are heat pressed onto the product and produce a permanent bond. Only approximate PMS colour matches are possible with digital printing.

Sublimation: Sublimation is achieved by heat transferring a digitally printed full colour image from a paper transfer to the product. This process can reproduce stunning, vivid, full colour graphics but there is limited control over the colour outcomes which makes reproducing PMS colours very difficult and in some cases impossible. Only certain surfaces and materials can be branded with sublimation printing.

Direct digital: Direct to product digital printing involves the transfer of ink directly from the print head of a special ink jet machine to the product and can be used to produce full colour printing on flat or slightly curved surfaces. It is difficult to reproduce PMS colour matches and some colours including metallic gold and silver are not possible to achieve. One big advantage of direct digital is that these machines can print a layer of white ink under the copy making them ideal for branding dark coloured products.

Kiln fired decalKiln fired decals: are transfers printed with a ceramic ink that are applied to coffee mugs and glassware which is then fired at high temperatures in a kiln. The advantage of kiln fired decals is that the print becomes part of the surface and is permanent. They are also good for decorating mug handles and the inside lip as well as producing larger print areas on irregular shaped mugs or glasses. It is possible to obtain approximate PMS colour matches.

 

 

Embroidery 

Embroidery is an excellent way of branding bags, apparel and other textile products. It offers higher perceived value and a depth of branding quality which other processes can’t match and the finished image has a slightly raised effect. Embroidery uses rayon thread which is stitched into the product.

Advantages

Only one setup charge applies per position for up to 12 thread colours.

Limitations

Only approximate PMS colour matches are possible—the threads to be used are chosen from those available to give the closest possible match. See our thread colour chart for the colours available.

It is best to avoid both fine detail and font sizes which are less than 4mm high in the artwork.

Individual naming not available.

Artwork Requirements

Vector artwork is preferred.

Bag Printing 

Screen Print

Bag screen printingScreen printing is the most common method of branding bags and there is a set up charge for each colour to be printed. Screen printing inks are flexible and opaque and will not crack or fade under normal conditions.

This process is best for spot colour artwork and will deliver sharp, opaque prints on smooth and fine weave materials. Textured materials and fine detail in the artwork will affect screen printing quality and in cases like this a transfer will give superior results.

 

 

Bag Screen Print TransferScreen Print Transfer

A screen printed transfer is produced by screen printing spot colour artwork on transfer paper and then transferring the image to the bag with a heat press. There is a setup charge for each colour to be printed and the transfer will not crack or fade under normal circumstances. While this process is more expensive than screen printing it produces a much sharper image, even on textured materials. It is also a superior process for reproducing fine detail and small lettering.

 

 

Bag Digital TransferDigital Transfer

Digital transfers are produced by printing the image on transfer paper with a digital press and there is only one setup charge irrespective of the number of print colours. A clear adhesive is applied to the back of the transfer and once dry, the finished image is heat pressed onto the product. Digital transfers have a matt finish so are not as bright as glossy offset transfers and a thin, clear line of glue can sometimes be seen around the edges of the image. The transfer is very durable and will not crack or fade under normal circumstances.

Bag Offset TransferOffset Transfer

Offset transfers are the ultimate branding method for bags. Offset printing offers crisp, clear artwork reproduction even on textured materials with the added advantage of stunning full colour printing. A special flexible ink is used so the transfer is very durable and won’t crack or fade. There is only one setup charge irrespective of the number of print colours and offset transfers are a very cost effective way of producing stunning graphics on bags. They are produced with full colour process printing (CMYK) and then transferred to the bag with a heat press. The individual PMS colours in a logo can be reproduced with CMYK but colour reproduction may only be approximate for some colours and offset printing cannot reproduce metallic colours. Offset transfers offer incredible quality with real cost savings but it is important to remember that there is a 15 working day production lead time from final artwork approval.

Bag SublimationSublimation Print

A sublimation transfer is produced by digitally printing a special ink on transfer paper and there is only one set up charge irrespective of the number of print colours. The image is then transferred to the bag with a heat press but only bags made from special materials suitable for sublimation can be printed with this process.

Sublimation ink is actually a dye so the finished print does not look or feel like a transfer and there is no ink build up. With a vibrant full colour edge to edge finish, the artwork looks like it is part of the bag. Sublimation can also reproduce spot colour artwork with approximate PMS matches but metallic colours cannot be reproduced.

Resin Coated Finish

Resin coating an image produces a stunning three dimensional effect and because it is a digital process there is only one set up charge irrespective of the number of print colours. The artwork is printed on vinyl and then a thick resin coating is applied and allowed to dry. The finished dome is applied to a plastic recess that is incorporated into the bag design. The bag must have this plastic recess to be suitable for this process. Digital printing can reproduce both full colour and spot colour artwork with approximate PMS matches but metallic colours cannot be reproduced.

Bag FabricsPrinting on Bag Fabrics

The bag on the left shows screen printing on 80gsm non-woven fabric and as a comparison the one on the right has been printed with a transfer. Transfers will always give better print quality on textured fabric. Non-woven fabric is made from extruded polypropylene and is heavily textured to make it look like a woven fabric.

Most bag fabrics are made from woven fibres. The thickness of the fibre is measured in denier (D) and the higher the denier rating the thicker the fibre will be (as an example a human hair is 20D). 210D material is soft and silky and prints nicely because of the fine weave. 600D material is much thicker and stronger and because of this has more texture. Microfibre is very strong but as the name suggests, is manufactured from the finest of all fibres which must be under 1D. This gives it an incredibly soft feel and it is excellent for printing.