Understanding the printing processes and options available when branding promotional products is essential when it comes to delivering a better, longer lasting product for your clients.
Our Core in-house print factory is fully equipped using the latest technologies and is staffed with experienced printers who understand the importance of producing a quality product every time.
All products featured in the Core catalogue include print specifications and an indication of which print processes are recommended. The following descriptions of the various print options are included to enable you to make a confident decision when advising clients.
Logos featured on our website are pictured as samples and do not represent endorsement by individual companies. Their use is strictly for demonstrative purposes or imprint methods.
As the name suggests, direct digital printing is just that; the source files are processed directly onto the product by an inkjet printer without the need for image setting or plate making. Because the process involves printing a layer of white under the final image, it’s ideal when branding darker coloured products. Direct digital can be used on both flat and slightly curved surfaces but does have the same issues with exact PMS colours as other digital processes.
One of the newer print processes, sublimation printing uses heat-activated inks which actually penetrate the fabric rather than merely sitting on the surface. Heat and pressure change or sublimate the inks into gas which bonds to the fibres in the fabric before reverting to a dye and leaving a permanent image which is protected within the surface. Use of sublimation printing is limited to certain surfaces and materials and PMS colours may be difficult to reproduce.
This centuries-old technique is the go-to process for large flat or cylindrical print areas. It’s a process that’s ideal for spot colour but is not something we recommend for half-tones. With screen printing, ink is transferred onto the product through a mesh screen, or stencil, by way of a blade or squeegee. Again PMS matches are more easily achieved on white and lighter substrates.
Kiln Fired Decals
We also know them as transfers – images printed with a ceramic ink and kiln-fired at high temperatures. Widely used for glassware and ceramic mugs and similar containers, the plus is a print that’s there to stay! As the Core product print specifications indicate, there are a number of different positions kiln-fired decals can be used to enhance or reinforce a client’s message. PMS colours are approximate.
Heat Transfers - Full Colour
Full colour images and text produced by heat transfer are usually bolder and more detailed than a direct print. The brand / message is printed and cut to shape on a digital inkjet printer and heat pressed to permanently fuse it onto the product’s surface. Heat transfers are particularly successful on textiles and bags. As with other digital prints, only approximate PMS colours are possible.
Essentially pad printing involves transferring a 2D image onto a 3D object. This involves a silicone pad which transfers an image from a laser etched printing plate or cliché onto the product being printed. It’s a print process that’s ideal for curved or irregular surfaces and enables the printing of multiple colours. As with many processes, PMS colours on white surfaces reproduce most successfully but close matches are still possible even on darker substrates.
Labels - Full Colour
A popular branding solution for products that are difficult to print is the use of full colour labels. There are two options; vinyl labels with a digital inkjet print and printed paper labels off a digital printing press. PMS colours may not always be 100% accurate.