The Perfect Print

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whether for promotional products or personal touches, printing is the way to emblazon your brand onto objects in a quick, cost-effective manner. Based on your project and its needs, you’ll no doubt be faced with a choice between screen-printing and pad printing.

Screen Printing

Also known as silk screening, this method of image transference uses a mesh stencil that ink is pushed through and onto a product by using a roller. Dating back to ancient China, it?s a process that has been around for a long time and has seen many rises and falls in popularity. That being said, it has always remained a consistent and reliable method of printing. Luckily, modern methods have further heightened the accuracy and machines have turned it into a much more streamlined process. Images are registered clear, sharp and visually appealing while being fast to create.

However, there are downsides to the screen printing process. Even though the images printed are sharp, they are by no means heavily detailed. In addition, each color must be applied separately, resulting in a chance that the image will shift and leave areas that are not colored in. However, screen printing does allow for paint over’s, something that fixes the blank areas by re-coloring them.

Pad Printing

Pad printing, on the other hand, involves no screens at all. Instead of pushing ink through a stencil, the design is carved into a metal plate that is then filled up with the correct colors of ink. A silicone pad picks up this ink and then transfers it to the object being printed on. Originally used to mass produce watch faces, it has since become a major player in promotional product creation as the pad allows any design to be transferred onto any surface while still maintaining the design’s integrity. Things like food, basketballs and coffee mugs are some of the more major choices for this type of printing.

Unlike screen printing, pad printing is a bit slower and ultimately more expensive. Color changes can happen, but this style remains unbeatable for oddly shaped projects and those that need a lot of detail without distortion.

No matter what you choose, both are excellent ways to brand your items no matter what they are. From the t-shirts so common to the screen printing world to the pens so popular in the pad printing arena, there is absolutely nothing that can’t be printed on nowadays. In the end, the choice is really up to the project more so than the price point. After all, even with screen printing being so cheap, it really can’t hug the contours of a glass cup the same way a silicone pad can. In addition, always make sure you run a few test prints before placing a big order to guarantee that all of the minute details are up to your standards.

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