Frequently Asked Questions
What is a bleed on a printed product?
What are crop marks?
What is debossing?
Also called “dye sub”, this is a printing technique that is most commonly used on t-shirts, apparel, and fabric-based products. It embeds a design on fabric using a combination of heat-sensitive ink (called disperse dyes) and heat. This process works best with 100% polyester, or high polyester content blend, fabrics. It is best suited to projects that require a colorful design, printing “all over” (edge-to-edge) the fabric, or where it is preferred to have the imprint embedded in the fabric, as opposed to printed on top of it. Compared to screen printing, it also has the advantage of needing no drying time.
What is embossing?
What is embroidery?
Embroidery is a technique to embellish fabric (for instance t-shirts, fleece jackets, caps, etc.) with decorative stitching that creates a raised, ornamental design using thread (often in various colors). Embroidery is popular because of its upscale look and feel, and its durability.
What is foil stamping?
- finished products need to be stored (warehoused), and shipped as directed at a later date
- several different items need to be collated together and shipped as directed (an employee on-boarding gift set, presentation folders with selected brochures and flyers inserted, etc.)
- a large quantity of items need to be separated and drop-shipped to various locations
What are gradients?
Gradients, also known as color transitions, are a gradual blending from one color to another (but not limited to just 2 shades!). Gradients can be accomplished in many printing and embellishment techniques; but not all. So if your logo or imprint image includes gradients, it is best to confirm if they can be printed properly with your chosen, or preferred, method.
What is heat transfer?
Heat transfer is when an image is printed onto a special transfer paper (that has heat-activated adhesive on the reverse side), and then thermally transferred to a fabric (t-shirt, jacket, tote bag, etc.) using heat and pressure. Heat transfer is sometimes used instead of screen printing when small quantities are required, especially when multiple imprint colors are desired (as the initial setup is less costly). Heat transfer typically offers a higher image resolution than screen printing, but is more costly at higher quantities.
- a promotional product needs to be matched with a piece of print collateral before being shipped or delivered
- several products need to be grouped together into a single package (like a new employee on-boarding kit, or an influencer marketing introduction)
- creating custom-designed packaging (i.e. display boxes, shipping cartons, custom wraps, etc.) and/or gift wrapping, adding ribbons or bow, etc.
What are pantone colors?
What is pilling?
Pilling is a surface defect of textiles that cause a tangled ball of fibers to appear on the surface. These “pills” occur as a result of wear or continued friction/rubbing on the surface of the fabric. Many modern manufacturing processes exist to help prevent this from happening, and some fabrics are specifically designed to avoid it.
What is raster art?
What is the safe area for printing?
When designing a printed product, it’s important to remember that part of the manufacturing process involves cutting. As such, it’s important to plan your design in such a way that important elements are not in danger of being cut off in this process.
With this in mind, we suggest that all designs have 1/8″ margin (as well as 1/16″ bleeds where applicable) between the planned edge of the printed product and the important aspects of the design. This ensures that things like your logo or important dates, for example, are safely in the printed area and won’t be cut off during production.
What is screen printing?
Widely considered the most popular method for imprinting fabric, screen printing has been around for ages and is fairly versatile. The image to be printed is separated into a series of single-color designs. A mesh screen is placed over the fabric, and one of the ink colors is pulled down across the screen, allowing the ink to seep into the material in the locations dictated by the design. Each color (if applicable) gets a new screen and the process is repeated.
What is a setup charge?
When buying (or being quoted on) promotional products, you may have noticed a line item called “setup charge.” This is not just a random fee to get you to pay more. Rather, it’s a one-time charge for the cost of setting up the equipment to manufacture your order. For example, certain products require a special plate with your design in order to create your customized items. The setup fee is what you pay for that plate and the labor required to use it or create it.
Each individual promotional product has a different required process to create it, so unfortunately we can’t just include a one-fits-all fee for all products. Thus, the setup charge will vary from product to product, and some will not have a fee at all. However, regardless of the product we do our best to ensure the fee is fair for all parties involved.
What is a sublimation?
What is vector art?