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Knowledge Center

Next Level Imprints with Mixed Media Printing

Kyrsten Ledger

Updated: March 31st, 2022

You've probably ordered embroidered polos or screen printed t-shirts for your employees before, but it's time to try something different! Something BIGGER. We're very excited to talk about the next big thing: mixed media printing. If you really want people to stop and take a look at your logo, or get excited to own one of your promotional items, mixed media printing is for you!

You may be thinking, "Okay, that sounds great and all, but what is mixed media printing?" We're here to provide you with everything there is to know about this exciting new decoration method!

mixed media

The Basics

Mixed media printing means you have the opportunity to combine two different imprint methods in one location. For example, you could combine a laser decoration with a screen transfer of your logo. Or you could mix a laser decoration of your logo and have your website URL embroidered on top.

Laser focus

Laser Focused with Layers

The bottom layer of your mixed media printed items will always be laser decorated, which is a light, controlled surface burn of your design onto your garment. You can add embroidery, screen transfer, or a full color imprint on top of your laser design in the same location!

amp up

Amp Up Your Brand with Mixed Media

Mixed media printing is a retail-focused imprint method. In other words, these items look more like something you would buy at the store rather than something you would pick up at a corporate trade show.

If you want a show-stopping piece (and we know you do!), mixed media printing is a good choice! An eye-catching mixed media design would be a great way to appeal to all of your customers such as the employees at your startup or the customers who frequent your trade show booth. There's no wrong way to use mixed media printing, and the benefits are endless!

Premium surcharge

Premium Equals Surcharge

Mixed media printing is a great option, but it comes at an additional cost. For screen transfers with fewer than 5 colors and embroidery with fewer than 25,000 stitches, the additional charge for a second decoration will be about $3.50 per item. If you use more than 5 colors or 25,000 stitches, the charge will range from $3.84 per item to upwards of $5.00 per item.

Bubba popcorn

What is a Mixed Media Imprint?

A mixed media imprint is a technique that combines two different promotional product decoration methods in one location. For example, you could have a simple splatter design laser engraved first before your logo is heat pressed onto a t-shirt or hoodie. Not only is this printing process simple, but it also doesn't come with a costly price tag, meaning your logo will look great at an affordable price!

Place order

Step 1 Place and Approve Order

First things first, after you've worked with your sales rep and all of your art proofs have been signed and approved, your artwork is sent to the factory to be decorated.

laser decoration

Step 2 Apply Laser Decoration

After you're ready to go with printing, the factory will calibrate their laser engraving machine to create a light surface burn over the imprint area.

decor type

Step 3 Second Decoration Type

Once the items receive their laser decoration, they are moved to the next machine for further decorating, whether that be a screen transfer or embroidery. We chose a screen transfer overlay, so our items were moved over to the heat transfer presses to be stamped with our logo. For screen transfer, your CMYK artwork is turned into a sticker-like print on a piece of paper. The piece of paper is placed on your garment imprint-side down, and then a hot transfer press puts the design onto your garment.


Step 4 The Finishing Touches

Finally, our items were sent over to the embroidery machines to have our URL embroidered on the back of our hoodies. (Again, this was for fun and was not part of our mixed media printing). For more about embroidery, check out this Knowledge Center page. Once our embroidery was completed, the items were detailed, packaged, and shipped!

Random items

Which Items Can be Printed with Mixed Media?

We currently offer both apparel items and non-apparel items that can be printed with mixed media. Unfortunately, not all of our items are capable of being printed with mixed media, but we're sure you'll find something you love among the list of available items! Just as not all items are capable of being printed with mixed media, not all items that can be printed with mixed media have the same mixed media options. Let's take a look at the options available!

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Things to Keep In Mind When Ordering

As great as everything looks with mixed media printing, there are a few details to keep in mind when choosing this printing process. When deciding on the right customization method for your promotional products, it's important to consider the following:

When you are ordering your items, keep in mind that a dark colored garment may not be the best option for a laser decoration. Laser decoration is literally a burn of your design onto the garment rather than a colored ink imprint. That means when your design is laser engraved onto the garment it will appear as a darker version of the color of your item.

Make sure you are clear on the imprint area sizes available for mixed media printing on your items before designing your artwork! You may want to combine a 10" x 10" laser decoration with a 4" x 4" screen transfer, or maybe you want to opt for a 5" x 7" laser decoration with a 4" x 4" transfer. Those differences in size could greatly impact your design options, so make sure you have that sorted out before your design team gets to work!

You want to make sure that whatever size your laser decoration is, the imprint or embroidery going on top is bright and eye-catching enough to not get swallowed up or overshadowed by the laser decoration. Think of it as a full picture and work with your sales rep to get the layers just right.

Bubba breaks it down

Now that you know how mixed media is done from start to finish and you have all the insider secrets, are you ready to get your hands on some mixed media printed items of your own? It's an exciting and new printing method and our knowledgeable staff will help guide your brand to mixed media success!

Quality Logo Products are experts on all things printed and promotional. Let our team of awesome, incredibly good looking, and fun promo nerds help you select awesome promotional swag today!

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Kyrsten Ledger

Kyrsten Ledger

Kyrsten's vast knowledge of promotional giveaways and marketing has led to several hit articles. She has also published work for PPB Magazine, a publication from the Promotional Products Association International.