Decoration Methods, Simplified: Part I

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How do you help your customers decide which type of decorating method to use when so many possibilities are available for their customized apparel and products? Each decorating choice has various advantages. In this blog, we’ll break down the most common decoration methods so you can help inform your customers to make the best possible choice. 

First things first, what is decorating?

Decorating is the act of customizing or personalizing a promotional product to display a logo or marketing message on an item.

What are the types of decoration methods?

There are many different types of decoration methods for all types of promotional products!

  • Embroidery
  • Screen Printing
  • Heat Transfer
  • Debossing
  • Laser Engraving
  • Custom Patches
  • And more!

Break Down of Decoration Methods

Ever wonder how each decorating method is performed? Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular techniques!

What is Embroidery?

Embroidery is a decoration method that uses a needle and thread on fabric or other fibrous materials to incorporate a design. First, the logo has to be “digitized”; essentially, this is a process that converts a logo image into a stitch file for an embroidery machine using the specifics of the design’s colors and details. After that, the correct thread colors are selected, a trial stitch out is performed, and embroidery machines are used to stitch your logo precisely to the requirements in the final digitized file.

  • Perfect for custom polo shirts, hats, jackets, backpacks, and towels.


polo
Omni Mens Polo Shirt
Item # OMHARPOLO-FD
Gold Bond Incorporated | SAGE # 57040
Sherpa Blanket
Item # 7950-57
PCNA | SAGE # 52344

Marketplace Jute Tote Bag
Item # 3625
Hit Promotional Products | SAGE # 56780

What is Screen Printing?

An easy way to think about this is as a photographic stencil process. The most common method of screen printing is to create a stencil on a mesh screen and then apply layers of ink directly onto a product by stamping or scraping the ink on top of the stencil, and transferring the logo or design to the print surface underneath. The result is the screen’s image transferred to the print surface, except in areas impermeable to the ink. The versatility of this decoration method allows it to be used on a wide variety of items.

  • Perfect for custom t-shirts, activewear, drinkware, pens, and notebooks.
umbrella
The Rebel Umbrella
Item # 800IN
Peerless Umbrella Company | SAGE # 53091
shirt

Unisex Cotton T-Shirt
Item # A11730
BEL Promo | SAGE # 67337
towel

Cooling Towel
Item # H710
High Caliber Line | SAGE # 64740

What is Heat Transfer Printing?

Heat transfer, recognized as digital transfer and thermal printing, stands as an excellent selection for affordable design alternatives, boasting limitless color possibilities for decoration. This type of printing uses heat or pressure to transfer an image to a product or apparel. The two most commonly used methods use vinyl or ink.

  • Perfect for custom t-shirts, activewear, sweatshirts, backpacks, team wear, and uniforms.
table cloth

Polycotton Table Throw
Item # HT722
Fairdeal Import & Export Ltd | SAGE # 62894
tote bag

Canvas Tote Bag
Item # 8407
Evans Manufacturing | SAGE # 50018
tennis ball

Pet Fetch Tennis Ball
Item # PET102
Tekweld | SAGE # 67569

What is Debossing/ Embossing?

Debossing/embossing gives your logo a 3D element. Dies are constructed from metal in the shape of a logo. Debossing incorporates heat and pressure pushed into the product to form the material into the logo impression. Embossing is where the pressure will be applied from the back to create a raised impression of the image on the front. This decoration method produces stunning and sophisticated results and is perfect for leather decorating.

  • Ideal for notebooks, home goods, leather items, and waterproof apparel (cannot be used across seams or zippers).
bracelets
Debossed Silicone Wristband
Item # ZZWB004
Giftarget Inc | SAGE # 69533
notepad

Journal with Magnetic Closure
Item # WOF-CJ21
Ariel Premium Supply Inc. | SAGE # 60462
leather patches

Genuine Leather Patches
Item #PLE2
EMT | SAGE # 50054

What is Laser Engraving?

A unique application where the laser removes a thin layer of fiber or pigment to create a design dye. By adjusting the intensity and speed of the laser, it sculpts dimensions into the design, resulting in stunning clarity and precision.

  • Perfect for custom pens, drinkware, and tools.
cutting board
Bamboo Cutting Board
Item # 1398
Evans Manufacturing | SAGE # 50018
tumbler
30 Oz. RTIC® Tumbler
Item # RTIC-30
HIRSCH | SAGE # 66296
keychain
Leatherette Keychain
Item # Q49958
ADG Promotional Products | SAGE # 50324

What are Custom Patches?

Custom patches are a great way to add some texture and depth to a logo! A logo is debossed on a leather patch, and then the patch is embroidered to the product OR an embroidered patch is created and attached to an item via sewing, adhesive backing, or heat transfer.

  • This is a great option for hats, bags, jackets, and more!
straw hat
Straw Hat With Custom Patch
Item # R1168-1H
Active Life Promo | SAGE # 69207
backpack
Eco-Friendly Backpack
Item # 81012
Acehigh Tech Corp. | SAGE # 60392
hoodies
Full Zip Hoodie
Item # TM18224
PCNA | SAGE # 52344

Decoration methods are vital to a successful branded promotional product campaign. Want to see the pros and cons of these methods or check out even more ways to personalize promo? Check out our Guide to Decoration Methods and stay tuned for Part II coming soon!

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(Content Marketing Coordinator)

Ashley is the Content Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. She has a true passion for writing and blogging. In her free time, you can find her dancing ballet, cooking up one of her favorite recipes, or spending time with her husband Joe and puppy, named Pickles.

One Comment

  1. Great content and ideas!

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