Do you want to go back to school and learn some new vocabulary? Well, then you’re in luck! This is your ultimate guide to all the jargon, words, and phrases you’ll find in the promotional products industry.
Does the word “aglet” ring a bell? Can you tell an “imprint” from a hole in the ground? Get ready to kiss your confusion goodbye with this helpful guide!
What is That Thing Called?
You may have never heard these words before, but they are part of the things you use every day, from the supplies at your desk to the clothes on your back. The funniest names for common things include:
The aglet is the small plastic or metal part of a shoelace or hoodie string. It’s designed to help guide the strings through the holes.
Who knew the hole in your t-shirt sleeve had a name? This is the space where your arm squeezes through.
Most barrels are made of wood, so it only makes sense that “barrel” would define the wooden part of the pencil.
These metal links are commonly found in mountain climbing, but they also make it easy to attach water bottles or keys to a bag or backpack.
Your stapler wouldn’t work without a crimper, which is the random metal piece at the bottom that helps push the staple through the paper.
This is a less common way to refer to the shaped piece on the sides of the fingers in gloves.
A gusset is a diamond or triangular piece of metal or fabric that adds durability and eliminates stress from certain areas in a variety of products.
The metal rings at the top of your pencil under the eraser are called ferrules. This comes from the Latin viriola, which means “little bracelet.”
The holes in your shoes for the laces, or the small metal piece at the bottom of a drawstring bag, are also known as grommets.
Your pants are kept from falling down thanks to the keeper! This is the loop on a belt under the buckle.
No party is complete without a koozie, which is a fabric or metal sleeve that keeps a can or bottle nice and chilly!
Also known as the “clicker,” this is the top part of the pen that you push down when you’re ready to write.
The nib is the tip of the pen. Without it, you’d have an inky mess every time you try to write!
This is the dimple or indentation on the bottom of a bottle that provides structure and stability on a surface.
Commonly referred to as a sleeve, this is the piece that wraps around a coffee cup to keep it from burning your hands.
Are you feeling like a word wizard? It’s time to put your knowledge to the test!
Blank products are exactly as they sound, the item’s missing any kind of identifying design or text.
Products that are made without bisphenol A, a plastic that’s rumored to have harmful effects, are known as BPA-free.
Double Sided Imprint
This is when a custom design is printed on the front and back of a product. It works best for items like coolers, tote bags, and keychains.
The space or area where your message or design is printed is called an imprint area. This will vary in shape, size, and location from product to product.
These are the colors used in your design and printed on the product. Don’t confuse them with the “item color,” which is the color of the product itself.
Think of this as proof that your design looks good. It’s a virtual mockup of your design on your item of choice, usually sent virtually via email.
An item in rush production will spend less time being customized at the factory. Note that this typically requires an additional fee.
If you’re in a pinch, rush shipping is a good option as it reduces the number of days an item is in transit. It’s also referred to as expedited shipping.
This varies from product to product, but the setup fee is the cost for the ink, machines, and labor that goes into customizing your items.
A wrap imprint is a customizing option, usually for drinkware, where the design and text is printed on a PET film that’s applied directly to the bottle.
An image, usually in full color, is printed directly onto your product via an Inkjet printer.
Also known as:
- Full color transfer
- CMYK printing
- Four color process printing
Customized metal plates are heated to temperatures as high as 212°F and are used like stamps on the products, creating an indented or raised look.
A machine stitches your design or message onto fabric products like hats or t-shirts.
A giant industrial iron at about 300°F transfers your design onto an item.
As the name suggests, this is when your item is engraved using a laser. The process results in a design that won’t chip or fade over time.
Sometimes referred to as an “ink imprint,” this process involves a giant industrial stamp being used to decorate your products.
Green goo called emulsion is spread over a mesh screen and covered with UV-shielded ink to create a negative image. Colored ink is then spread over the screen to create the final design.
Also known as:
- Full color transfer
- CMYK printing
- Four color process printing
This is the style of the text printed on your promotional products.
Bitmap, or raster, images are lower in resolution and made from a collection of pixels. A good example would be the image you save from a Google search.
Pantone is an organization that developed their own distinct color system. Each color is assigned a special formula and number to distinguish it from a similar shade.
These are mathematical algorithms that allow graphics to be scaled and modified without them becoming blurry and jagged. It requires the use of programs like Illustrator or CorelDRAW.
What Are the Different Materials Used in Promotional Products?
A variety of materials you use every day are used to create promotional products. These include:
- Different types of plastic
- Various metals
If you’re looking for a giveaway with a natural touch, consider a bamboo product. This material is so strong, it’s been used to construct basketball courts, bridges, and even minesweepers!
Canvas is nice and stretchy, meaning it can withstand a lot of wear and tear without falling apart. It’s a great material for t-shirts, hats, and many other branded items.
Not only is cotton great at resisting heat, but it also doesn’t break easily. This is useful when it comes to storing heavy books or groceries in your tote bags.
Coffee mugs are made from many different materials, but ceramics are the most common. It’s a popular choice because it retains heat and is less expensive than other materials.
Denim exudes an all-American look that’s hard to beat. The material is so durable, it was originally worn by miners during the Gold Rush.
Different Types of Plastic
There are many different types of plastic, such as polyester, vinyl. silicone, and PVC. Many of these polymers are used to make affordable giveaways like pens, water bottles, and keychains.
Get nice and cozy with promotional items made from fleece. This material is warm and soft, which makes it perfect for cold weather staples like blankets and beanie hats.
Evidence of glass making can be traced back to the 16th Century BC. Nowadays, this material is used for popular giveaway items like awards and wine glasses.
Promotional giveaways can be made from leather, a material that’s as tough and rugged as it looks. It’s resistant to tearing, can’t get punctured easily, and won’t stretch out.
Neoprene is a material that’s extremely waterproof. In fact, it’s used in the same wetsuit you’d wear for a scuba diving or jet skiing adventure!
Paper products are a must at any office. Sticky notes and journals are extremely useful for staying on task, while any leftovers can be used make nifty airplanes and origami cranes!
Rubber is stretchy, resilient, and waterproof. It’s great for not only pen grips and mouse pads, but also for those cute little ducks that float around during bath time!
Aluminum, stainless steel, nickel, and many other metals are used in many promotional giveaways. These products can be a bit more expensive, but result in a sleek finished look.
Wood has a natural charm that’s perfect for promotional giveaways. It’s a great material for toys, coasters, keychains, and many other items.
The Bottom Line
From aglets and zarfs to imprints and vectors, there are a lot of crazy words in the world of promotional products. Add this new vocab to your personal dictionary!
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