Imprint Methods

Term Definition CMYK SPOT PMS
Blind Embossing Achieved by raising an image into a materialís surface so that the image sits above the product surface. Blind means no color, the image is seems when raised.   X  
Branding A hot die imprint usually burned into leather or wood.   X  
Color fill Screen printing an image and then debossing it onto the vinylís surface. X X X
Debossing Achieved by depressing an image into a materialís surface so that the image sits below the product surface. A machine presses a die into the surface of the material, resulting in a depressed imprint.   X X
Debossing with Color fill Combination of the debossing and color fill method.   X X
Decal Artwork is produced on a transparent decal, then applied to product. X X X
Die-casting Injecting molten metal into the cavity of a carved die (or a mold).   X X
Die-striking Producing emblems and other flat promotional products by striking a blank metal sheet with a hammer that holds the die.   X X
Die-struck A reverse die is made of the imprint, then a machine struck onto the metal surface. Die struck pieces are predominantly metal (lapel pins, etc.) and may be color filled.   X X
Digital Printing Digital printing is the process of transferring a computer generated design directly to the product using an special, high end printer connected to the computer. This process is achieved by using professional graphic design software, high end rip stations, high end digital printer and special printer's software. Digital printers are available for offset printing, signs, t-shirts, magnetic material, etc. X X X
Embossing A machine presses a die into the surface of the material, resulting in a raised area around the imprint desired. Imprint appears to be raised.   X X
Embroidery Stitching a design into fabric through the use of high-speed, computer-controlled sewing machines. Artwork must first be digitized, which is the process of converting two-dimensional artwork into stitches. The digitizer must actually recreate the artwork using stitches. After digitizing the artwork, it is loaded to the sewing machine computer, and it drives the heads and threads colors to sew the design in the promotional product. Machine reads tape to stitch logo onto surface of product.   X  
Etch and Engraving Using a process in which an image is first covered with a protective coating that resists acid, then exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface.   X  
Four Color Process Photo-quality full color process achieved in offset printing to reproduce high quality images. It is created by laying 4 colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) on top of each other. X    
Hot Stamping Setting a design on a metal relief die or plate, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface. Heat is used to leave a foil imprint of the design on the surface.   X  
Laser Engraving Imprinting method by which art or lettering is cut into a material by a laser beam that vaporizes the portion exposed through openings in a template.   X X
Offset Printing Offset printing is the process of transferring ink from a metal or polyester printing plate to a rubber-covered cylinder, and from the rubber-covered cylinder to the paper. Offset printing uses digital or conventional presses. On digital presses the image is burned directly in a plate mounted in the press, directly from the computer. On conventional presses, the image is burned in a plate and then it is mounted in the machine. Offset printing is the most economical process to print papers. X X X
Pad Printing Used on oddly shaped products and surfaces. A recessed surface is covered with ink. The plate is wiped clean, leaving ink in the recessed areas. A silicone pad is then pressed against the plate, pulling the ink out of the recesses, and pressing it directly onto the product. X X X
Silk Screen / Screen Printing Positive films are generated from the artwork thru the imagesseter. The mesh in screen frames is covered by photosensitive emulsion. Films are put in contact with the screen's mesh, and exposed to UV light, in a vacuum frame. The high intensity light hardens the emulsion not covered by film, and keep the part covered in water soluble condition, capable to be removed leaving an open thru the mesh where the ink will pass thru. The image is transferred to the printed surface by ink, which is pressed with an squeegee through the screen. Ink is pressed thru a fine screen leaving a flat, painted imprint on the surface of the material. X X X*
Sublimation Dye transfer process where the image consists of a colored dye permanently embedded into the material surface of pores. Used to imprint messages, graphics and photographs on a variety of items. X X X*
X*- Only when Spot Colors technique is used.