We see them everywhere with company logos and advertising messages, but how are promotional pens actually printed? Here we give you a brief overview of the various stages required in printing the average plastic promotional pen.
It begins with the artwork. Ideally this should be provided in vector format. Typically Adobe Illustrator (.ai) is the most universally accepted in the promotions industry. All fonts should be converted to outlines. All colours should be on separate layers.
Once the artwork is received it is normal that some additional work will need to be carried out on it to make it suitable for the relevant printing process used. Usually this means that fine lines will be thickened up and any butt-registered colours will need to be overlapped.
The artwork is now ready to be converted into a film positive so that the screen or pad printing plate can be produced.
Screens or plates are covered with a light-sensitive emulsion and then exposed to UV light whilst in contact with the film positive. The screen or plate is then developed and dried and is now ready for the next stage.
The plate or screen is mounted on the printing machine and numerous adjustments have to be made to ensure the print will be placed in the correct position on the promotional pen. In the case of screen printing it is very important that the linear speed of the screen matches the rotary speed of the pen as it is printed. If this is not carried out properly the print will be smudged. If the promotional pen is pad printed, then we should remember that the print height is limited to about 7mm on a typical round pen and the machine has to be adjusted accordingly.
Ink of the required colour is added to either the screen-printing machine or the pad printing machine and transferred to the promotional pens from either the screen or pad plate. The pens then pass through a hot air dryer to remove the solvents from the printed ink and they are then ready for the next stage.
If there is more than one colour print required, the whole process begins again for subsequent colours. Once all the colours are printed, the promotional pens are then packed to customer’s requirements. This may be simple bulk packing or it may be individual boxing.
The promotional pens are then ready for dispatch.
It can be as little as 24 hours from receipt of artwork to the dispatch of the printed promotional pens because promotional items in general are often an afterthought for tradeshow giveaways.
Written by neilcleere
tags: Important, Items, most, Pens, Plastic, Print, Promotional