Laser engraving is an important decoration technique that involves etching your design directly into the surface of promotional products. But sometimes it can be tough to decide between printing and laser engraving -- when should you choose the latter and when should you opt for the former? Today we're looking into it on the Cubic Promote blog!

silver pen logo decorated etch

What is Laser Engraving?

Laser engraving is a popular branding technique where a high-powered last light is used to remove the top layer of an item's surface in the desired logo or other details. Laser engraving differs from printing in that print involves adding a colourful layer of ink to a product, while laser engraving etches away part of the surface instead. Laser engraving by default doesn't involve adding any colour and when a design is laser engraved it will be in the colour of the material that has been exposed by the process.

What are the Benefits of Laser Etching?

Laser etching or engraving is a permanent way of branding your design onto an object for its useful life. While print can be scuffed off over years of use because a laser engraved design is "carved" into the surface of an item it cannot be removed by everyday means. Another benefit of laser engraving is the way it looks "high-end" and sophisticated even on simple products like custom metal pens. Laser engraving can also be used to etch very small, intricate designs that pad printing cannot replicate (such as adding someone's title after their name, or adding a phone number to a drink bottle or pen).

laser etched pen colour surface

What are the Drawbacks of Branding with Lasers?

The primary drawback of using laser engraving as a branding technique is that it is not available on all products or surface. In saying that however, most hard surfaces can be accommodated by laser engraving including wood, stone, hard acrylic, and metal (+metal-coated) items.

The other main negative regarding laser etching is that it can't impart colour so you are limited to the existing colour of the object underneath (once etched). If your drink bottle has a blue outer coating but the metal underneath is silver, then your logo etch will be silver. The finish when you etch a silver-coloured item that is silver-coloured all the way through, for example, may be subtle rather than eye-catching.

When to Select Laser Engraving?

So when should you select laser engraving to brand your promotional product? When you have a hard-surfaced item that you want to boast a permanent logo or message design that may be intricate. Laser etching gives you a stylish branding solution that won't rub off with use and offers a premium look that others will admire. We recommend that you speak to your Cubic Promote sales manager today about whether your preferred promotional gift can be laser engraved.