Pad printing is a technique where silicone stamps are used to print the logo on the item. With this technique you achieve a sharper finish and a perfect colour matching (PMS) is achievable. Pad printing is the most used printing technique whereby a logo is engraved onto a metal plate and then transferred onto the item using a silicone pad, as ink does not adhere to silicone. Like Screen printing each colour must be printed separately.
Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh with a lot of small openings is used to transfer ink onto the item. A stencil will block certain parts to the shape of the logo. The ink is placed on the mesh and then pushed through the mesh onto the product. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens must be used to produce a multi- coloured image or logo. After printing the item is placed in a drying tunnel to cure the ink to the item.
Digital printing is done by placing the product under a full-colour digital printer. On a special UV digital printer, the imprint is printed directly onto the item. The image is created by firing many dots onto the printable surface, and combined they create a colour or image. Digital printing is most used for printing on flat and even surfaces as the distance from the printhead to the item is fixed. The printer can print CMYK colour mode but also white.
Laser engraving can be applied to items made of organic materials such as wood, glass and rubber or metals (coated and non-coated). With laser engraving the result of a text or logo is precise, clean, permanent and luxurious. A digital logo will be sent to the laser machine. With a Fibre laser (hard laser: mostly used for engraving/marking metals or rigid items) or a CO2 laser (soft laser: mostly used for engraving/marking organic materials) the top layer of the material will be ‘burned’ away. The logo then becomes visible.
Sublimation is a digital print technique where you can print full coloured images onto white, hard surfaces or polyester coated items. First an image or logo is printed on sublimation paper with full colour (CMYK) printing. The sheets of paper are then automatically cut. These printed sheets are applied onto a product using pressure, time and heat. During this process the ink changes from solid to gas particles which penetrate the surface of the item. Once the item is cooled, the ink is fixed within the surface or coating of the item.
Debossing is a popular technique for marking products made of leather, PU, or cardboard. The logo is first engraved into a metal stamp. The logo is then pressed into the material giving it a permanent imprint. The material must be thick enough to withstand the pressure of the machine and the surface must be even and flat.
Embroidery is a technique where multiple stitches are combined to create the image or logo. It is a very popular technique in products such as caps, textiles, or bags. A special embroidery file is created, which contains all details of the work and settings for the machine. The item is put under a large sewing machine which sewing heads can contain up to 12 needles (So 15 different threads (colours) can be embroidered in one run).