- Your Number One Source for Corporate Gifts and Promotional Ideas
Search More Search Options

Top Selections:

Great Ideas:

Latest News:

Buying Resources:

Decorating Options and Imprinting Methods Explained

Is there an additional fee for imprinting my items?

At Graffiti Promo standard 1 color/1 location laser engrave, silk screen and deboss decorating on your item is included in the unit price. There are Set up Charges to make a plate of your logo that the factory uses for imprinting purposes. Set up Charges are per color/location. The factory usually keeps plates on file for 2-3 years, and can be re-used for exact repeat orders. There will also be a run charge per additional colors/locations.

Is there a choice of decoration method for my items?

The decoration method for each item is determined by the material of the item and is specified in the item description. There may be different imprint options available, please inquire.

How many lines and characters can I imprint?

There is a maximum of 3 lines per location; however, since space varies by item and messaging, each item indicates the size of the imprinting area. A maximum of 25 characters per line (including spaces) is usually recommended.

What font style and size can I use for my imprint?

Our artists will match your logo fonts and special characters provided in your camera-ready artwork. For text imprinting there are 4 available fonts available: New Script, Block, Times Roman, and Times Roman Italic. Font size is dependent on the longest message line and all text is condensed to fit imprint area.

Do you charge for exact color matches?

Our PMS match charge is $45 per color.

Can I personalize an item in addition to engraving my logo?

Yes, if space permits, you can personalize a maximum of 2 additional lines with a recommended 25 characters per line (including spaces). There are 4 available fonts for personalizing: New Script, Block, Times Roman, and Times Roman Italic. A fee of $1.00 per piece will be charged. This option is for Laser Engraved items only.

What is Laser Engraving?

Laser Engraving is the cutting or etching of designs or letters usually on metal materials.


Laser Engraving

What is Silkscreen printing?

Silkscreen printing is a method in which an 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.



What is Oxidation?

Oxidation is a chemical process that turns the engraved area to a dark charcoal gray. Oxidation is required on certain merchandise items to ensure your imprinted message can be seen on backgrounds such as satin silver.



What is Debossing?

Debossing is the stamping of an image on a material so that the image itself sits below the surface of the object on which it is stamped. We create a die and then heat-press it into the material. What's left behind is a clean, crisp logo you can see and feel. It's ideal on leather, durahyde and vinyl products.

What is Color Stamp?

Add the high-end look of foil to your logo with color stamping. Simple one-color designs are enhanced when a die is used to apply colored foil to a material’s surface. A wide variety of stock colors are available, including metallic gold and silver.

What is Color Fill?

Color Fill combines color stamping and debossing. We create a die and first color stamp your logo onto the surface, and then use that same die to deboss your logo into the material. This method is available only on vinyl patches.


Color Fill

What is Etching?

Imprinting method in which the product to be imaged is coated with a protective coating that resists acid. The image is then exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface.


Etching Example

What is Etching and Color Filled?

Imprinting method in which the product to be imaged is coated with a protective coating that resists acid. The image is then exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface. Color fill is then added to logo that’s been etched.


Etching and Color Filled

What is PVC 3-D image?

Logo 3D is another great choice for adding dimension to your logo. These molded rubber patches come in a variety of shapes and colors and are best suited for multi-color logos.



What is Full Color Transfer?

Imprinting method in which an image is screened onto a transfer substrate, which is then laid directly on the material to be imprinted. The image is transferred from the substrate to the material through heat and pressure.


Full Color

What is a Full Color Dome?

A very cost effective way to add dimension to your logo. Your artwork is placed under a clear, high-gloss polyurethane dome. Great for full color logos with detail.


Full Color Dome

What is Embroidery?

Stitching a design into fabric through the use of high-speed, computer-controlled sewing machines. Artwork must first be "digitized", which is the specialized process of converting two-dimensional artwork into stitches or thread. A particular format of art such as a jpeg, tif, eps, or bmp, cannot be converted into an embroidery tape. The digitizer must actually recreate the artwork using stitches. Then it programs the sewing machine to sew a specific design, in a specific color, with a specific type of stitch. This is the process known as digitizing.



Imprinting Methods Explained

Blind embossing:

Design stamped without metallic leaf or ink, giving a bas-relief effect.

Blind Stamping:

Hot-stamping without fail. The approach, used often with leather, gives a more subtle imprint than hot-stamping and a shallower imprint than debossing.

Emboss and color-fill:

Combining hot-stamping with embossing (opposite of debossing). A raised image is stamped with foil. True embossing cannot be performed on vinyl.


Raising of an image on a product, accomplished by pressing the material between concave and convex dies.

Fired decals:

Decal that actually becomes part of the piece to which it is applied.

Foil stamping:

Process in which a metal plate or die is heated and then pressed against foil into a surface, causing the pigments of the foil to transfer to the surface. Also called hot-stamping

Heat-transfer printing (direct-transfer process):

Imprinting method in which an image is screened onto a transfer substrate, which is then laid directly on the material to be imprinted. The image is transferred from the substrate to the material through heat and pressure.

Heat-transfer printing (sublimation):

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 permanent imprint. Also called a plastocal transfer.

Pad printing:

Method of imprinting in which a recessed surface is covered with ink. When the plate is wiped clean, ink remains in the recessed area. A silicone pad then presses against the plate, pulls the ink out of the recesses and is pressed directly against the product.


Method in which molten metal is forced into a mold of rubber or plaster, then cooled into the desired shape.


Mold into which molten metal, plastic or other material is forced to make a specific shape. Also, a tool of very hard material used to press a particular shape into or onto a softer material.

Die charge:

Charge by the supplier for creating a die from artwork supplied by the supplier.


Process where molten metal is injected into the cavity of a carved die.


Steel plate engraved with the desired image, generally used to apply a gold or silver imprint.


Rubber or metal image carrier that transfers ink to the printing surface.

Screen charge:

Charge by suppliers for creating a silkscreen of the artwork used for imprinting products.


Same image printed continuously in a pattern on the same sheet of paper.


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, primarily mouse pads, mugs, T-shirts, caps and trophy medals.

Screen Printing / Silk-Screening:

An image is transferred to the printed surface by ink, which is pressed through a stenciled screen and treated with a light-sensitive emulsion. Film positives are put in contact with the screens and exposed to light, hardening the emulsion not covered by film and leaving a soft area on the screen for the squeegee to press ink through. Also, you must create a different screen for every color you are going to print, and then screen each color separately allowing drying time in-between.


Achieved by depressing an image into a materials surface so that the image sits below the product surface.

Hot Stamp:

Setting a design on a metal relief die or plate, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface to achieve a deboss.


Injecting molten metal into the cavity of a carved die (or a mold)


Producing emblems and other flat promotional products by striking a blank metal sheet with a hammer that holds the die.


Screen printing an image and then debossing it onto the vinyl's surface.

Pad Printing:

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.

4-color Process:

A system where a color image is separated into 4 different color values by the use of filters and screens (usually done digitally). The result is a color separation of 4 images, that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the colored inks cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black, reproduces the original color image. These four colors can be combined to create thousands of colors just as your computer printer does.

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.


Artwork is produced on a transparent decal, then applied to product.

Offset Printing:

A process of transferring ink from a metal printing plate to a rubber-covered cylinder. Used on more complex artwork and for higher quantity runs.


© 2008-2015 All rights reserved.
UPIC - Universal Promotional Identification Code - GPromosSAGE Distributor Member 22687

Pricing and availability subject to change without notice. All logos shown in product images are for demonstration only, and are not intended to represent that the products are either endorsed by, or produced for the owners of the artwork, design or trademark. Your products will have your own custom imprint. Most pricing includes a one color imprint.