Pad printing is the grandaddy of promotional decoration, a straightforward technique that allows for easy branding in bold colours on flat surfaces. While the rise of digital printing options means a lot of people aren't going for basic pad printing anymore, the sheer affordability of pad printing and its clear effectiveness mean it won't be disappearing any time soon!
What is Promotional Pad Printing?
Promotional pad printing is the most popular and cost-effective option for decorating any product with a flat, smooth surface. Pad printing gives a crisp and attractive finish when used on bulk products, which makes it ideal for most products in the Cubic Promote range including; branded notebooks, stress balls, reusable coffee cups, and much, much more!
The pad printing process involves transferring ink onto promotional items using a metal or plastic plate featuring your customised design. This means we can brand products in bulk with a high degree of accuracy. To learn more about how we pad print, please see below.
How Do We Brand Using Pad Printing?
We start the promotional pad printing process by securing a high-quality logo or slogan file from you in an AI, EPS, or vectorised PDF format. We then take this artwork (once approved) and create a positive film (which looks a lot like the traditional film in cameras, with the image reversed).
We then craft a cliche, which is a kind of printing plate. These plates are made from silicone or plastic, but in some circumstances, steel is also used. We then transfer your artwork film onto the plate surface and expose it to UV light before etching the design into the plate. We will need to repeat this process for each print colour in your logo, ensuring there is a unique plate for each.
Now that the design is on the plate, we can begin the process of printing your custom design directly onto the promotional products. We cover the plate in a thick, durable ink customised to meet your colour requirements. This ink is then directly stamped onto your product using the plate.
This process is completed individually by a trained print technician. If your promotional merchandise is coated with a film or has a glossy finish, we will need to complete a special pre-treatment before we begin printing (or in some cases, after). This additional treatment usually involves flaming or baking the product to ensure it takes to the slippery surface.
We utilise quality inks in our pad printing process, with different inks utilised depending on the product in question. We have inks with additives that ensure the best performance on plastics, inks with hardeners added for glassware and ceramics. These variables will impact the life and durability of the print, as will UV rays and everyday wear and tear.
What Are The Advantages of Pad Printing?
Versatile! Pad printing works on any surface that's flat and smooth.
Economical! Pad printing is a cheap way to achieve great results as the print setup is affordable and straightforward.
Fast! Ink dries quickly when you pad print, meaning we can get your promotional products packed and on the way ASAP.
Detailed! Unlike silk screen printing, pad printing can achieve fine detail which means it suits complex logos.
Colours! Although a touch more costly, multiple print colours are achievable with pad printing, unlike screen printing. 4 colour processing is available now on some machines. Ask our sales team for more information!
What Are The Disadvantages of Pad Printing?
We cannot print in full, photographic colour using pad print.
We cannot print colour gradients using pad print either. Only spot Pantone colours are possible.
Printing will chip or fade over time with everyday wear. There is no way to avoid this.
The branding area for pad printing is limited, owing to the size of the pad that absorbs the ink. We cannot brand a large design with pad printing.
We do not recommend pad printing for use on fabric materials.
While every effort is taken to close match you Pantone colour for, we cannot exactly match the colour you see on your computer monitor.
Example of a Pad Printed Cup
Here is an Australian Made Reusable Coffee Cup branded using a pad print process.
Items We Customise Using Pad Printing
Personalised USB Flashdrives
Customised Tape Measures
Branded Yo Yos
Business Card Box
Printed Golf balls
Personalized Thermal Mugs
Golf tees & Markers
Clocks & Watches
Coffee mugs & Cups
Acrylic Office Items
Thermo Flasks & mugs
Videos of Screen Printing in Action
Author Profile: Charles
Charles is the owner/operator of Cubic Promote. Charles has over 15 years of experience in the promotional product industry, making him an expert on not only the products in our range but also marketing strategy implementation and the industry as a whole. Visit him on LinkedIn.