Decorating Options for Promotional Products

Due to the diverse categories of promotional products and the wide array of materials used to manufacture them, a variety of decoration methods have evolved to best suit particular surfaces and compositions. From debossing to screenprinting, embroidery to laser engraving, each distinctive imprint method relies on unique processes and equipment to create your desired end result.

While some products you may have the option of several decoration methods, others may only give you one option. And even if an item comes with multiple options available, it's possible that one method is particularly compatible. For example, tote bags may be offered with screenprinting or embroidery as imprint methods, but may better showcase the colors and design of your logo when screenprinted. Your account manager will always know what imprint will look best when you're ordering promotional products online.

Here is a brief introduction to the different imprint methods available to you.

Debossing involves depressing images and/or copy into the surface of the items. Debossing is useful for sophisticated products like leather gifts or paper. Debossing can sometimes be combined with a color-fill imprint method that fills the crevices produced during the debossing process with colored ink.

With the screenprinting decoration technique, a mesh sponge presses ink onto the surfaces of the products to leave an imprint through a stencil. Screenprinting is a less expensive option, but the imprint may also wear off after multiple washings. The best products on which to use screenprint are clothing/wearables, balloons and electronics.

Embroidered products, as you may have guessed, feature stitched designs. Your custom graphic(s) and copy are sewn into the fabric of the products using high-speed computer-controlled sewing machines to ensure accuracy. Embroidery is most frequently offered on apparel and fabric items like tote bags and luggage. Although embroidery involves one of our more expensive set-up costs, there is typically no additional charge for extra colors.

Laser engraving is a common decorating option for products like writing instruments, awards, and metal items. This highly technical imprint method relies on the use of lasers to engrave a design into the surface of the products. This technique ordinarily costs more than other imprint methods, but engraved imprints stay true to their original quality longer than many other methods, which could fade over time.

A comprehensive list of imprint methods available can be found on our FAQs page. Set-up and run charges vary according to the type of product and complexity of the specified decoration method, so make sure to factor additional fees into your budget. Since pricing can be confusing to even veteran buyers, never hesitate to reach out to your account manager for help determining the best imprint method for your custom items.