Personalisation terms Explained

Below are a list of the many Personalisation or Branding Terms we use when discussing how to Brand a variety of items with your Logo, Design and Contact Information.

For some of the items we supply there are a variety of Personalisation options, which depend on the colours in your Brand Identity and the material the product is made from.

If you need more information on Branding, Personalisation or any of the Technical Terms we use throughout the site, please do not hesitate to contact us directly on:

3D Laser Crystal Engraving
  • A 3D image is created in a piece of glass or crystal by using lasers to create tiny fractures in the material. Bleed – printers cannot print right to the edge of a sheet. To create that effect, the printer must use a sheet, which is larger than the document size. Then the printer prints beyond the edge of the document size (usually 3mm per side), then cuts the sheet down to the document size. Paper or plastic).
Blind Embossing
  • This is where a logo or design is stamped into the surface of a product such as a conference folder and not colour-filled.
Ceramic Transfer
  • A screen printed transfer, first applied to the ceramic material and then baked in an oven at a temperature higher than 700°C. During the baking process the ink is mixed with the ceramic itself creating a permanent print on mugs, tiles and other products. The process can also be applied in a similar way to glass and crystal.
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) 
  • The standard colour model used in the printing process. See Full Colour/4-colour Process.
Colour Separations
  • The process of separating CMYK into film layers, each layer is then printed separately one on top of the other to give the impression of full colour.
Die Casting
  • Injecting molten metal into the cavity of a carved mould or die.
Die Cut
  • The cutting of special shapes from printed or un-printed material.
Die Stamp
  • Using a steel plate engraved with desired artwork used to stamp metal foil leaf to a  product.
Die Striking
  • Producing designs and cut outs by striking a blank metal sheet with a hammer that holds the die.
Digital Printing (Full Colour) 
  • An inkjet printing technique, for flat and 3D shaped items, on nearly all materials. A logo can be digitally printed directly onto items in high quality.
  • This is the process of converting artwork into a stitch file that can be read by an embroidery machine and interpreted as different stitch types.
Direct to Garment Printing (DTG)
  • This process uses specialised or inkjet technology. The two key requirements of a DTG Print are a transport mechanism for the garment and speciality inks (inkjet textile inks) that are applied to the textile directly and are absorbed by the fibres.
  • A combination of a printed logo or design as a sticker with epoxy resin applied to the print, which creates a transparent dome.
  • Materials such as a product replica or logo or design printed onto a clear sheet are suspended in a clear substrate, usually poured acrylic. (Cold Cast Acrylic Products).
Embossing and Debossing
  • Often confused. Embossing impresses an image into the surface in relief creating a raised image. Debossing is just the opposite and creates an image pressed into the surface of an object. In blind embossing, the image is not coloured or filled with ink or foil.
  • A design stitched onto a material through the use of high speed, computer controlled sewing machines. The design is reproduced with tightly stitched thread. Embroidery is most commonly used on logo patches and directly on some wearables. Fine detail is difficult to achieve.
  • Cutting an image into metal, wood or glass.
  • Using a process in which the image is first covered with a protective coating that resists acid. This is then exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image permanently etched onto the surface.
Flash Curing
  • A technique that makes it possible to cure plastisol ink while the garment is still on the press, flash-cure technology has played a key role in the advancement of nylon, dark garment, multicolour, and many other types of textile screen printing.
  • A flexible rubber plate is wrapped around a cylinder for speed and control. As the substrate moves under the printing plate, it is pressed against the printing plate by another roller, and the ink is transferred onto the substrate. A separate plate is needed for each individual colour. Often used for printing carrier bags and paper products, though not so much these days.
Flock Printing
  • A printing technique where the design is cut from a coloured foil and then pressed onto the shirt under high heat.
Full Colour or 4-colour Process
  • A system where a colour image is separated into the 4 different colour values by the use of filters and screens (usually done digitally). The result is a colour  separation of 4 images, that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the coloured inks cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black, reproduces the original colour image. These four colours can be combined to create millions of colours and is ideal for photographic images, tints and shades.
  • A fold in the side or bottom of a bag.
Half Tones / Tints / Tones / Shades
  • Half tones are a pattern of tiny dots that simulate different shades of colour using varying percentages of a single ink. Visually, halftones create the illusion of a continuous tone image by using spots of varying size and density to represent darker or lighter colour values. Generally applicable to screen printing half tones can be used to create a tint or lighter shade of a colour or to create a gradient or the appearance of a continuous tone of colour.
Hot Stamp
  • Setting a design on a relief die, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface.
Kiss Cut
  • Light cuts within the border of stickers. The stickers can be peeled out of the backing material and the backing material remains.
Laminated Print
  • The mounting or fixing together of substrates on a permanent basis using glue, heat or pressure to create a product or print with added strength or thickness.
Laser or Foil Stamp
  • Applying metallic or coloured foil imprints to vinyl, leather or paper surfaces.
Lenticular Printing
  • A process of creating multi-dimensional, animated or bi-view effects by photographing with an extremely fine screen and placing plastic made up of tiny lenses over the top.
Pad Printing / Tampo 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. Pad printing is used for printing on otherwise impossible products in many industries, although new digital print techniques have recently come into play.
Personalisation / Branding
  • Printing an item with a logo, image or name using one of the many possible print techniques, many of which are described here.
Print Area
  • The area on a product, with specific dimensions, in which the print of the desired logo or design is placed and can be printed effectively.
Puff Printing
  • A screening process, using special inks. After screen printing, the product is exposed to heat. A chemical additive in the ink causes the ink to rise as it dries.
  • A mask is applied to crystal/glass and sandblasted to create a permanent design on the item by removing a layer of glass through the mask. The process can be reversed to protect the design.
Screen Printing / Silk Screening
  • Screen printing uses a fabric stretched tightly over a frame. Images (stencils) are created by blocking parts of the screen using various techniques. Ink is forced through the open areas of the screen onto the surface of the object. A separate screen must be created for each colour to be printed and colours must be applied in passes allowing drying time between each.
Step and Repeat
  • The same image is printed continuously in a pattern on the same sheet of paper.
Sublimation Printing
  • A printing technique in which a digitally printed image is gassified into the material by means of a heat press or direct application of heat by other means. The special sublimation dyes have a special quality that turns them from a solid state to a gas at a certain temperature without going through a liquid state. The dye can be absorbed into the material or product coating. When cooling down the material seals the dye making the print extremely wash-proof. The image is not on the surface, but rather part of the surface.
Thermal Transfer
  • A technology that uses heat to deposit dye or resin onto a finished product. It works by using heat and pressure to transfer the ink off the ribbon and onto the substrate that it is in contact with.
  • A slight overlapping area where two colours meet. Traps ensure that slight errors with print registration do not show up as white gaps on the printed product.