4 Promotional Product Printing Terms for Beginners
A while back I wrote a post that defined the word “gusset” and a few others that related to promotional products. And as I promised then, I’m back to define some more.
This time I’ll be defining multiple terms that related to printing your logo on promotional products. So without further ado, let’s get going!
Nope, not that PMS. When it comes to promotional items, we’re talking about the Pantone Matching System. The Pantone Matching System assigns every single color a different number to uniquely distinguish it from every other color.
Why? Because if you want your logo to be printed in blue, there are many shades of blue, and that shade of blue can vary from printer to printer. But if you pick PMS 2728, you can ensure that your logo will be printed in PMS 2728 on your stress balls, t-shirts, and promotional pens.
From tumblers to hoodies, PMS colors ensure color consistency on all your promo items.
Each year, Pantone picks a PMS color of the year. The hot color this year is Tangerine Tango! For more about PMS, check out our PMS color chart here.
2. Vectored Art
Vectored art is not your standard .jpg or .png! Vectored art is created in programs like Adobe Illustrator and is defined by mathematical algorithms. This means that instead of thinking “line,” your art program thinks “line with a slope of 2.”
A vectored image maintains its sharpness and quality no matter how much it is resized. Standard images will get blurry as you make them bigger.
The Bubba on the left is vectored, so he stays nice and sharp. The Bubba on the right is a regular image, so he gets blurry when resized.
If you’d like to learn more about vector art, check out our YouTube series here or our comprehensive beginner’s guide here.
3. Set-up Charge
As great as it would be, logos don’t appear on products by magic. So before printers can transfer logos, they need to do some prep work; or, in this case, a set-up.
For spot color, printers will need to create a screen. For heat transfer, completely logos need to be printed on transfer papers. And for laser engravings, your logo will need to be programmed into the machine.
It takes a lot of time to make a reverse image of your logo on a screen!
For the definitions of other imprint processes, as well as the best items for them, check out our article here.
When you choose a multi-colored pad or spot imprint for your promotional products, printers have to create a different screen for every single color. While they are very precise and careful, sometimes a registration occurs.
Registration is when the imprint is off by a little bit and can vary from item to item. But before you discount multi-colored imprints, the registration is only a maximum of 1/32”. This is hardly noticeable.
The koozie on the right has a slight registration. Can you tell?
Note: Registration is not a concern with digitally printed items. Those are done by physical printers and not screens.
If there are still promotional product printing terms that you find confusing, pop on over to our promotional items glossary and take a look. If it’s not listed, leave a comment on this blog post, or send us at email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Did any of these promotional product printing terms trip you up before? Any words that you still find confusing?