Decoration Tips for Reusable Water Bottles

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Promo Expert

Published: December 3rd, 2018

Updated: April 22nd, 2019

Do you need water bottles for your next trade show? Maybe you want something to give out to the crowd at a fundraiser. Either way, you’re at the right place to learn everything you need to know about making those water bottles look good!

How are water bottles customized? What are some tips and tricks? Get ready to become well-versed in water bottle design!

How is the Design Printed on the Bottle?

Most water bottles receive their design via screen printing, however, some have the option for full color transfer, engraving, or wrap imprints. Each of these printing processes results in a different final look for your water bottle.

What is Laser Engraving?

Some water bottles have the option of getting laser engraved. This is typically done for aluminum or stainless steel options, resulting in a design that looks etched into the metal material rather than popping off as it would with other decoration methods.

Laser engraving works by mirrors focusing energy into a concentrated beam of light. This beam is controlled by machines and used to engrave a logo or message onto your water bottles. The end result is a super clean imprint that doesn’t fade or chip off over time.

How is the Design Printed on the Bottle?

Full Color vs. Screen Printing

When it comes to color, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a minimum number of logo colors included for screen-printed items. If you want to go outside of that amount, you will likely have to pay extra per color.

Full Color vs. Screen Printing

Screen printing is used to decorate a majority of promotional products. However, it should be noted that there could be issues with the colors lining up correctly. This is because each color is printed on a different screen. Once the first color dries, the next one is added, and so on. As a result, there could be a slight shift in alignment and your logo could look slightly off.

Full Color vs. Screen Printing

If your design has multiple colors, it might be more beneficial to switch to full color transfer. This ensures the logo looks as accurate as possible, while at the same time having every logo color included in the cost.

What is Wrap Printing?

If you want a design that goes around the entire bottle, a wrap imprint is a good option. This is strongly recommended for people with a wide or long logo or who have a lot of information to print on the bottle.

Take for instance the h2go aluminum bottle located on the right. The entire bottle is covered with text that is well outside the designated imprint area. Instead of printing directly on the bottle, a screen print or heat transfer is placed on a PET film and applied to the bottle.

What is Wrap Printing?

Wrap imprints may not go 100% around the bottle. There could be a small gap between where the wrap starts and where it ends. The design is also not guaranteed to print directly on the opposite side of the bottle on either side. However, when it comes to getting a lot of information on your water bottle, you can’t go wrong with a wrap imprint!

Plastic
Plastic

The choice is yours as to which decoration method you want for your water bottles. The table below will help guide your decision!

Which Decoration Method is Right For You?

Decoration Method
Pros
Cons
  • Screen Printing
    Pros:

    • Cost effective option
    • Widely available
    • Design will be directly opposite each other on two-sided imprint

    Cons:

    • Colors might not be accurate
    • Typically only includes one color
    • Some details may be lost

  • Full Color Transfer
    Pros:

    • Unlimited colors included in the price
    • Design is accurate
    • Good for detailed logos or designs

    Cons:

    • More expensive
    • Not as many water bottle options
    • Longer turnaround time

  • Wrap Printing
    Pros:

    • Good for wide/long logos
    • Typically includes multiple colors
    • Larger imprint

    Cons:

    • Small gap between the start and end of the wrapping
    • The design may not line up directly on the opposite side of the bottle
    • May scrape off over time

  • Engraving
    Pros:

    • Gives design depth and texture
    • Detailed
    • Long-lasting imprint

    Cons:

    • More expensive
    • Less color options
    • Slower turnaround time

Where is the Design Printed on the Bottle?

Of course, the decoration method is only part of the complete package. You also need to know your options when it comes to your imprint area.

What is an Imprint Area?

In the world of promotional products, the imprint area is the spot where your logo or design is printed on the product. This space is usually a pretty good size for drinkware, which means your company name, contact information, and a small logo should be able to fit without a problem.

What is an Imprint Area?

You have the option to print your design on either one or both sides of the water bottle.

One-Sided Imprint

One-Sided Imprint
Your design is only visible from one angle. A one-sided imprint is included in the price for logo setup.

Two-Sided Imprint

Two-Sided Imprint
Your design is printed on both sides of the bottle. There is typically an additional charge for two-sided imprints.

Either option is good, it just depends on your needs and budget. Speak with your sales rep and ask plenty of questions! They’ll help you find something that meets your needs.

More Decoration Tips

Curve Your Design

Curve Your Design
Each water bottle has a unique shape, and as a result, you might have to curve your imprint to fit the bottle. This is sometimes referred to as circle printing as your text might not read straight across, but rather ends up in a “U” shape on your water bottle. A curved imprint ensures that your text is legible no matter which water bottle you’re customizing.

Curve Your Design
Need an Extra Touch?

Need an Extra Touch?
Are you only printing your company name and contact information? Consider adding a fun extra to your imprint, like a small heart, star, or any other design. The Free Clipart Library from Quality Logo Products® is stocked with over 1,000 unique images, all hand-drawn by our talented design team.

Need an Extra Touch?

Choose a Color

After all is said and done, the next step is choosing the right colors for both your design and the water bottle. The colors should work in tandem with one another and fit together.

Here are some recommended tips:

Different Colors

Different Colors
You don’t want to print white text on a white water bottle. Make sure your colors don’t conflict with one another.

Different Colors
Contrast

Contrast
The logo or message should pop against your item. White is good for darker colors, while black is best for lighter colors.

Contrast
Tone on Tone

Tone on Tone
It’s possible to use colors in the same family. For instance, a light blue imprint looks great on a dark blue water bottle.

Tone on Tone
Complementary Colors

Complementary Colors
You probably learned complementary colors in art class. The complement is always on the opposite side of the color wheel. Here’s a quick refresher!

Any of these color combinations work well together and result in a sharp, crisp design on your water bottles.

Complementary Colors

Keep Your Design Looking Sharp

Now that you’re done customizing, it’s time to take care of your water bottle. Try to avoid dropping it as this could dent the exterior. You also want to do your best to keep your imprint out of direct sunlight. The last step is to always handwash your water bottle. This preserves the life of your imprint and keeps it from looking chipped.

Wash your bottle with a few household ingredients and a little bit of elbow grease!

Advertising with Reusable Water Bottles

Advertising with Reusable Water Bottles

All this effort is worth it in the long run. In fact, drinkware was the #2 promo product in 2018. People are turning to stylish water bottles because they’re trendy and help with daily water intake.

Charlotte Lipp, owner of Charlotte’s Cakes in Springfield, Illinois, loves advertising with her promotional water bottles. The business owner won $500 worth as part of the Give Your Brand a Hand giveaway from Quality Logo Products® and has since had an enormous boost in word-of-mouth to her bakery. The logo is well-designed and pops against the sleek white bottle, getting the attention of Springfield residents as it’s carried around town.

The Bottom Line

All it takes is a cool design on a water bottle to get people to notice your company. Whether you screen print a logo or add a bunch of text to a wrap imprint, people are going to hear your message loud and clear.

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world’s first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC’s logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.