Alternatives to printing promotional bags

Alternatives to printing promotional bags Posted on March 22, 2016 at 12:30 PM Following on from our last blog (which was a long one!) where we focused on the different printing methods, I promised I would follow up with information on alternative branding methods. Printing may not always be right thing to do – be it personal preference or product limitations. This blog will look at two further options , when to use them, and what their limitations are. Engraving Certainly not really something that you’d think was appropriate for bags. It’s more often used on metal pens, or glassware and awards but the opportunities might surprise you. The Method Similar to direct-to-garment, laser engraving is computerised. The artwork is set up one the computer, the product placed in the jig, and the machine does the rest. It’s a fairly straightforward method, and depending on the complexity and size of the logo, it can be very quick. And because, the process is computerized the standard of work and quality control is excellent. The video below gives you an idea of the process and while features a pen – not a bag – the principal is very similar. Why Engraving It’s simply a great alternative to printing if you are looking for something a little different. And even with promotional bags there are opportunities to engrave products you may not have known about. Engraving’s one big advantage of course is i great advantage to engraving is that it lasts – there is no ink involved, no transfer – it is simply a mark made on the product that cannot be scratched off, or fade. No other method offers such longevity. While printing a large logo can sometimes look a little over the top, engraving often provides a more subtle, understated finish. For example, a top of the range laptop bag used by your sales team on a daily basis; an engraving on a metal tag or plate will give a more professional look when meeting clients than a full colour transfer. And engraving also is not limited to metal . Laser engraving means you can decorate fabrics such as fleece, cotton, felt, leather and jute to give a unique effect. Essentially the laser “burns” the fabric in a precise way to create a darkened patch which forms the design or logo – see the picture and video below for reference. Unlike printing, laser engraving allows for very detailed designs to be created in the smallest of spaces. One small discrete metal emblem could stylishly show off your logo, without the risk of ink filling. This also means you can subtlety place your logo on additional areas, such as a zip, or a button, where it’s impossible to print the simplest design. Engraving also doesn’t have to be colourless; we can colour fill etchings with Pantone to your specification – giving the best of both worlds. Have a look at the image below to get an understanding: Smaller quantities and pre-production samples (PPS) can be done much more quickly and cost effectively since setup costs are not generally charged for engraving and the process is not as time consuming as a screen print. One possible drawback to engraving on metal is not knowing what is underneath the surface For example, you might have a silver tag which, when engraved, reveals a possibly unattractive brassy tone below. In some cases this might be undesirable, so you should be aware. Always get a PPS prior to bulk production. There are also variations in the finish from machine to machine; some lasers react differently with the surface of the metals, which can create different coloured engravings, from subtle grey, to black. So again, always get a sample so you can see the result before you commit to bulk production. r a halogen light. The heat of the halogen hardens the emulsion, and burns the logo. The screen is then washed to reveal the logo – this part of the film has become thin enough to allow the ink to pass through. Now you are good to go – the screens are placed in the machine, colours mixed, and the printing can begin. The logo is printed by using a squeegee; this runs along the screen, pushing the ink through then onto the bag underneath. Finally, you are of course limited by the bag itself: some designs come with metal plates ready for engraving, but paper gift bags and plastic bags are not an option at all. Some fabrics may also be too light to laser engrave, including the eco friendly 5oz cotton totes, as the material may burn through. Embroidery Embroidery is a great option for promotional bag branding, and can really add a touch of class and professionalism to your campaign. The Method Embroidery, similar to engraving and DTG requires digital setup, and quite a complicated one too. The process – called digitization – turns your logo into a format that the embroidery machine can understand, and the design is created stitch by stitch. The images below show how a digitized logo compares to the original logo, and the finished result: Once the digitisation is done, the product is loaded into the jig as the image below shows. Many embroiderers have large machines with many heads, like this six-headed beast below. And this one has 42! Why Embroider Having a bag embroidered is not normally out of necessity – more aesthetical preference. Certain types of bag that look better with embroidery too depending on the material. Embroidery offers a more upmarket style of branding than printing. On more expensive items, it often increases the perceived value, so as a corporate gift, or as a sales tool, embroidered promotional bags add an extra touch of class. And it’s quite a durable branding option too. Because the colour is in the thread, there is no ink involved, which means that fading over time due to washing and sun exposure never becomes an issue. Another real benefit is

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