So you want to order some cost-effective and innovative Promotional Merchandise? Where do you start?
You could simply call me on 07932 164663 or 07932 164663 and we could start the conversation that way. You could email me personally at email@example.com or fill out the contact form But what is the journey to getting a stock of some wonderfully printed pens or highly desirable drinkware? Well here are some pointers, which may help.
As I have already mentioned, there are many options available, these days, with new products coming on line all the time. But who are you or who are your target markets? You may be in one of the professions, and a company like a solicitors, accountants or insurance company etc. Or they be the ones receiving the product. In my opinion, in many cases, the type of Promotional Product selected is more likely to be something or more traditional design, such as a quality pen, perhaps a china mug, a useful paper pad, or a nice umbrella (although that isn’t always the case).
As a mass give-away product, a low-cost pen is always a great option. But go too low in price and you may end up with a pen that is a bit scratchy, easily breaks, and looks just like everyone else’s! It may pay to spend a little more and get something which looks classy while still being at the lower end.
You may be aiming at children or teenagers, or at particular sectors of society such as car drivers or horse riders or the general consumer. There are products that would fit with any such group, and I will be delighted to point you in the right direction.
Single use plastic is a huge no no these days, and quite rightly. Many of my suppliers are now moving away from products which cannot be considered environmentally friendly. Products which can be recycled or are made of recycled products are more and more available and I can offer a great range.
How the product in question can be decorated with your logo and advert is a key question when it comes to choosing the right product. Some logos demand to be printed in full colour, and the result will be a really special Promotional Product, as it is emblazoned in ‘technicolour’! Some logos are only seen in one, or perhaps two distinct colours, and this makes it slightly easier to print. And some logos (and the products that have been chosen for them) look fabulous when they are engraved. A sleek metal pen will look really great with a deliberately discreet and understated engraving.
More and more of the products I can supply, may be printed in full colour, however some can only be printed in what is often termed ‘spot colour’. This is where there is one colour or more, but each colour is solid (ie it doesn’t fade away at the edges etc) and doesn’t blend into the adjacent colour or colours. Logos which are more complicated would generally need to be printed in ‘full colour’.
This doesn’t mean that a spot colour printed pen or umbrella will look unexciting – far from it. If that is your careful honed logo in perhaps one colour on the side of a bag, or mug, it can look extremely smart. And by using other design aspects, for example the trim colour of a pen clip being used to complement the logo colour, or accents on a bag, or panel colours on an umbrella, a truly great looking piece of Promotional Merchandise may be created.
I always ask if a full colour logo comes with the equivalent of a logo version in one colour. This isn’t always necessary, but on occasion, may make life a life a little easier, or can offer more choice.
When it comes to clothing, there is usually the choice of printing or embroidery, and this is mostly down to the client, but also is often determined by the style of garment – ie some are not suitable for printing and some or more designed for print.
Once a quote is accepted, and the order is settled on by the client, the next part of the process is for me to receive the artwork in the correct format. This is always required by my printer, in an ‘editable’ format, and this would mean me being sent the logo as a PDF or EPS file. This is necessary to create the best finish on the chosen item.
Often, I will be sent a JPEG file, which I cannot use. A JPEG file is great for use on a web page, but isn’t the right quality to print from. Other formats which aren’t good enough would be a Word file or Bitmap file. If other printing (such as stationery or signage) has been previously ordered by the client, it is usually possible to find the correct format of the logo.
Where it is impossible to find, all is not lost, because at a low, nominal cost, I can have the wrong file, made into the right one!
I also often need Pantone colours. The Pantone system is one used by printers Worldwide, where every colour in the system (nearly every colour in the rainbow) is given a simple recipe so that whether the client is in Britain, Belgium or Brazil, the resulting print will always be the same.
I can sometimes match colours from previously printed material that a client may send to me, if they can’t find the Pantone references, but I cannot match these colours from a computer screen, and I also cannot use CMYK, RGB or Hex values (all of which relate to different types of printing or colour usage)
Once the instructions are sent to my printer, on the client’s behalf, the next stage is proofing. In most cases, this involves a visual of the selected product, showing the logo as if it has been printed on the item. This is a great way of proofing in that it is accurate and also free! With the exception of mug printing, where a printed proof is often sent to the client for approval (because colours can change when the mug is ‘fired’ after printing) it is not the norm to have a printed proof made. It can be done, but is usually a rather expensive additional step.
Once everything is agreed and signed-off, the products go for printing, and I sit back and wait…
Lead times are generally 2-3 weeks. They can be quicker than that, maybe in about a week, where possible. Sometimes, if they are being made overseas, the schedule may be a few months, but of course, the client would have been made aware of this timescale.
Sometimes I wish I had a huge Willy Wonka-style factory, producing endless orders of pens, mugs, notepads, bags, water bottles, keyrings, glassware, power banks and umbrellas (and they are just a few that come to mind!) – what a production line that would be!
I work with factories and suppliers across the UK and also across the World. This means that an order of printed Promotional Merchandise will usually come to the client direct from the factory. This also means that there will usually be a carriage charge for this process. This charge would be passed on to the client at cost, and this would be made clear at the time of ordering.