A useful or interesting item of
merchandise usually carrying an imprinted advertising or
promotional message and given with no obligation. Another,
though older, term for promotional products.
A design which is stamped in a promotional
product without metallic leaf or ink giving a bas-relief effect.
Merchandise given by a business in goodwill,
without obligation to its customers, employees, friends and the
like. Unlike promotional products, the business gift often is
not imprinted with the advertiser's identification.
Metal emblems that are stamped from a die. A colored
paste made from ground glass is applied into the recessed areas
of the emblem. The emblem is then fired at 1400 degrees and
polished by stone and pumice to achieve brilliant color. Gullies
and ridges separate each individual color, so fine lines between
colors are difficult to achieve. This is considered a very
high-quality product, and is slightly more costly than other
alternatives. Used in emblematic jewelry and pins.
The cost of reaching one thousand units
of a media vehicle's circulation or audience with a particular
advertising unit. Thus, the cost of an advertising unit divided
by the circulation or audience (however it is defined) of the
media vehicle in which it appears. Since promotional products
are advertising media, one can calculate their CPM just as one
would in traditional advertising.
Premium or other reward given by manufacturer
to retailers or distributors in return for a specified bulk
The image is depressed into a material such as paper,
leather or suede, so the image sits below the product surface.
Ink may or may not accompany the stamp (color stamping).
A water-soluble decal, printed on an offset or
letterset press, is submerged in water and slid onto the product
to be imprinted. The decal is rubbed with a cloth or squeegee to
remove any excess water and air from between the product and the
decal. The product is then kiln-fired. Once fired, the decal
becomes fused with the glaze. Hairline registration and superior
reproduction of detail make it an excellent choice. This imprint
withstands washing very well. This method is labor intensive,
since each decal must be aligned and applied by hand. Used in
when many colors and tight registration are desired on less than
perfect porcelain, ceramic and glass products.
A mold into which molten metal, plastic or other material
is forced to make a special shape, such as pen barrels or rings.
Also a tool made of very hard material used to press a special
shape into or onto a softer material such as coins and emblems.
Molten metal is injected into the cavity of a
carved die (a mold).
The use of sharp steel blades to cut special shapes
from printed sheets.
Steel plate engraved with desired image used to
“stamp” (apply) gold or silver leaf.
A method of producing emblems and other flat
promotional products. A blank, cut from a metal sheet, is struck
with a hammer that holds the die.
A die is used to press an image into a
softer metal such as brass or gold. The die is put into a press,
and the press is released and actually squeezes the metal into
the recess of the die making the imprint on the metal. The
height of detail is not as deep as casting; the letters and
images are shorter. Fine detail and deep images cannot be
achieved because the lines and gullies in the die may break
during the striking process. Used in metals such as medals,
coins and belt buckles.
An item given free with a purchase at the time
of the purchase. Includes on-packs, in-packs and container
premiums as well as those given separately.
Advertising that seeks an immediate
response from consumers by mail or telephone usually outside
established channels of distribution. Direct response
advertising may be carried by mail, by the broadcast media or by
the printed media.
Materials such as a product replica, for example,
are suspended in a clear substrate, usually poured acrylic or Lucite(r).
Stamping an image on a material, such as paper,
leather or suede, so the image rises above the surface of the
object. As in debossing, ink may or may not accompany the stamp.
A design stitched onto a material through the use of
high speed, computer controlled sewing machines. The design is
reproduced with tightly-stitched thread. Embroidery is most
commonly used on logo patches and directly on some wearables.
Fine detail is difficult to achieve.
The cutting or etching of designs or letters on
metal, wood, glass or other materials. There are three engraving
techniques. hand-engraving, hand-tracing, and computerized laser
engraving. Engraving is performed with a diamond point or rotary
blade that cuts into the surface of the product. Engraving
offers a permanent imprint that will not wear off because it is
cut into the metal base. Used in metals such as trophies, pens
The product to be imaged is coated with a resist (a
protective coating that resists the acid). An image is exposed
on the resist, usually photographically, leaving bare metal and
protected metal. The acid attacks the exposed metal thus leaving
the image etched into the surface of the metal. Very fine lines
can be reproduced by this process and the only tooling is a
piece of film, so spec samples are easily-made.
A flexible rubber plate is wrapped around a
cylinder for speed and control. As the paper moves under the
printing plate, it is pressed against the printing plate by
another roller, and the ink is transferred onto the paper. A
separate plate is needed for each individual color. Typically
done on less expensive materials than screen printing. The inks
are very thin and not as durable as those used in screen
The collection of a typeface including the lower case,
caps, numbers and special characters having unified design. This
can be an important consideration when copy includes foreign
terms or names with special characters. The different kinds and
quantity of characters in a font will vary according to the
manufacturer of the typesetting system.
The reproduction of full-color artwork
through the combination of four process ink colors - magenta
(red), cyan (blue), yellow and black - in specified intensities.
Colors are separated into individual color plates so that when
printed in register, they produce a full-color illustration.
Four-color separations refer specifically to the process colors:
magenta, cyan, yellow and black.
The process of packaging and shipping an order for
a distributor. Fulfillment may be performed by a supplier, a
distributor or an independent fulfillment house.
A process in which a piece of glass is covered
with a template that has a design cut out of it. The glass is
then sandblasted while the portion of the item not covered by
the template is protected. The template image is thus etched
into the glass.
The reproduction of a continuous tone artwork (such as
a photograph) done by filtering light through a screen that
converts the image into a pattern of dots of varying size.
screened on a transfer substrate which is then laid directly on
the material to be imprinted. The image is then “transferred”
from the substrate to the material through the use of heat and
pressure. Works best on cotton and cotton blends.
A process in which a
design is transferred to a synthetic fabric by heat and
pressure. The heat causes the inks to turn into a gas so that
they penetrate the fabric and combine with it to form a
Method is which type or designs in the form of a
relief die are impressed with heat and pressure through metallic
or pigmented foil onto the printed surface. It is used to
decorate fabric, leather, paper, wood, hard rubber, coated metal
and all types of plastic. Hot stamping is a “dry” imprinting
process meaning the object can be handled immediately after the
stamping without fear of smearing the imprint.
Advertising designed to make its recipients
feel more favorable toward the advertiser by portraying the
advertiser in a favorable light.
Reward for a purchase or performance; as it applies
to promotional products, it could be, depending on the response
required, an ad specialty, premium or prize.
A printer that reproduces by projecting ink onto paper
without the mechanical impact of plates.
Coated with a clear plastic or two separate sheets of
paper joined together as a single sheet to provide a special
thickness or varying colors from side to side.
A process in which an optically-read or
stenciled art/copy is engraved (burned) into a material by a
laser beam. Wood is the most common lasered material, but
acrylic, some plastics, marble, leather and paper are also used.
Metal requires specialized lasers.
A process of creating multi-dimensional,
animated or bi-view effects by photographing with an extremely
fine screen and placing plastic made up of tiny lenses over the
top. Sometimes called xography.
The original method of mechanical
printing, still used though to a lesser extent, based on relief
printing. In other words, the ink is transferred from raised
metal or rubber to the receiving surface. Also called
A generic term for printed material. Most
typically used to refer to offset printed paper that is intended
to be mounted to a display.
A firm's registered symbol, outline, drawing,
picture, brand, abbreviation or unusual type style of letter,
word or brand name. Used in identifying and advertising and
becomes recognized as synonymous with that particular company,
brand or service.
A printing method in which
an inked image on a flat plate is transferred to a rubber
surface before being pressed on the printing surface. The plate
surface is treated to accept greasy ink in image areas that
resist water and to accept water in non-image areas while
resisting ink. In this method of printing, the ink is less
likely to rub off after an object is handled as often happens
with letterpress printing.
An additional number of products in excess of what was
originally ordered. Five to ten percent is generally considered
customary and acceptable.
A recessed surface is covered with ink. The plate
is wiped clean, yet the ink remains in the recessed area of the
plate. A silicone pad presses against the plate and pulls the
ink out of the recesses. The pad then moves and presses directly
against the product. Pad printing is excellent for imprinting
small, unusually-shaped objects for which screenprinting is not
practical. Small watch dials and cylinder shapes are some
examples. This is not the most highly-recommended process for
imprinting large areas; screen printing is better for large
areas of ink coverage. Used in plastics, paper, ceramics,
glassware, wearables, leather and vinyl.
Process in which an illustration and/or
copy is imprinted into metal, usually aluminum, by acid and then
sealed by an anodizing process. This is popular for awards and
An image carrier, rubber or metal which transfers the ink
to the printing surface.
Advertising materials -
displays, cards, etc. - which are placed within retail stores at
the place where purchases are actually made.
A product imprinted with the specified
design and copy of an issued purchase order. Its purpose is to
clarify the appearance of the product and the imprint prior to
A product or service offered free or at a reduced price
if the recipient performs some task, such as purchasing an item,
meeting a sales quota, etc. Usually consumer-related.
Useful items that can be imprinted with
the name of a company or individual and given free to the end
user without obligation.
A screening process, using “puff inks.” After
screening, the product is exposed to heat. A chemical additive
in the ink will cause the ink to rise as it is heated to dry.
This process must be used on a cotton weave material where the
ink has something to latch on to. Therefore, it cannot be used
on nylon. Used on wearables, such as caps and hats, T-shirts.
Positioning of elements in printing so
their images will be located precisely as desired on the printed
sheet especially with reference to applying additional colors.
A method in which image is transferred
to the surface to be printed by means of ink squeezed by a
squeegee through a stenciled screen stretched over a frame.
Screens are treated with a light-sensitive emulsion, and then
the film positives are put in contact with the screens and
exposed to a strong light. The light hardens the emulsion not
covered by the film leaving a soft area on the screen for the
squeegee to force ink through. Screen printing is capable of
printing on irregular shaped objects. Glass, plastic, fabric and
wood are popular materials on which to screenprint. Also called
Special charges added to certain
products that are priced in the catalog without printing
included in the price. The set-up charge covers the cost of
preparing type for the copy on the press; the running charge
covers the actual printing.
Another, older name for promotional
The same image is printed continuously in a
pattern on the same sheet of paper.
A process for imitating copperplate engraving,
such as on calling cards, by dusting the freshly printed ink
surface with resin powder which, when heated, fuses with the ink
to form a slightly raised surface. The finished product is very
similar to embossed printing in feel and appearance but is much
A number of products less than what was originally
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