Speaking with questions, promotional products glossary

Promotional Products Industry- Glossary

The promotional products industry is full of jargon and it’s easy to get lost amongst all the different terms. We’ve put together a glossary of key words and phrases that you may hear when you place an order with us…

Order process

Quote: The price and description of products sent to you for your approval.

Sales confirmation/acknowledgement: Once you’ve confirmed and are happy with the quote, we send you a confirmation of all the details including delivery address  and delivery date.

Delivery date: The date by which you should receive the product.

Proof of delivery (POD): Method to establish if products have been received.

Invoice: A list of products sent to you with a statement of the sum due.

Industry terms

Brand awareness/exposure: The extent to which a customer is able to recall a brand from a product.

Brand identity: The message a customer receives from a product about a brand.

Brand image: The general impression of a brand’s personality.

Camera-ready artwork: Black and white artwork that has clear lines. This makes it easy to scan and is suitable for photographic reproduction.

Company (or corporate) webstores: Allows companies to provide their own corporate merchandise to their employees and customers. Employees and customers are able to directly order branded apparel and other promotional goods from a personalised e-commerce website. A promotional products distributor (like us!) generally processes the orders and manages the inventory, costing and delivery. Find more information here.

Corporate gift: Items given by a business in goodwill, without obligation to its customers and employees. Unlike promotional products, corporate gifts are often not personalised with the company’s logo.

Electronic art: Any artwork supplied in a digital graphics file format.

Minimum order quantity: The smallest amount of a product that a company will supply.

Origination/screen charge: Cost for labour and materials needed in order to transfer your logo to the printing method.

Pantone matching system: The industry standard for communicating colours to achieve accurate colour matches in printing. Each colour has a coded number.

Paper proof: Supplied to show you how the product will look before production begins.

Personalisation: Imprinting an item with a company’s logo or message.

Production proof: A physical sample of the product sent for approval before an order goes into production.

Production/lead time: The amount of time needed to produce and ship the products once an order and final approval have been received.

Promotional product: Items that tend to be personalised with a company’s logo and/or message. They are used to promote a product, service or company programme including customer incentives, awards, prizes, commemoratives and marketing collateral.

Quantity break pricing: Most items offer discounts for orders at higher volumes.

Imprinting methods aka. how we actually get your image onto the product:

Digital printing/ 4 colour process printing/ full colour printing/ CMYK: Enables photo realistic images from a digital file to be printed onto a product’s surface. This method tends to be used on mouse pads, magnets and paper. For more information, see our  infographic.

Digital transfer: Design is printed on vinyl and then heat sealed onto the product. Method tends to be used on tote bags, caps and t-shirts.

Direct digital: The process of printing on textiles.

Doming: A clear resin is sprayed onto a print, creating a 3D effect. Method tends to be used on badges, key chains, pens and cufflinks.

Embossing/Debossing: Embossing impresses an images into the surface and creates a raised image. Debossing is the opposite as it creates an image pressed into the surface of a product. Methods tend to be used on leather, vinyl pouches and chocolate.

Embroidery: Design is stitched onto a material through the use of high-speed, computer controlled sewing machines. Method tends to be used on t-shirts, hats and backpacks.

Engraving/laser engraving: Incises lines directly onto a metal plate or a block of hard wood. Laser engraving uses a laser to vaporise a pattern into the surface of a product. Method tends to be used on metal and wood items.

Pad printing: Recessed surface is covered with ink. The plate is then 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 printing it directly onto the product. Popular method which tends to be used on drinkware, desk accessories, torches, balls, pens, keyrings and bags.

Screen printing/silk screening: A fabric is stretched over a frame. Images are created by blocking parts of the screen. 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. Method tends to be used on tote bags, water bottles, plastic pens and stress balls.

Sublimation: Colour is thermally converted to a gas that hardens on the substrate used by the printer. Output appears in the form of soft-edged dye spots that produces smooth, continuous tones. Method tends to be used on mugs, golf products and garments.

Artwork aka. the image you provide to us:

Bitmap/raster graphics files: Image content made up of pixels where the pixels contain the information for position, size, angular position and colour and can be addressed individually. Bitmap is a graphic file format. Bitmap files come in one of these formats:

  • PDS: Adobe Photoshop
  • EPS: Encapsulated Postscript File
  • TIFF: Tagged Information File Format
  • BMP: Windows Bitmap

Bleeds: Printers cannot print to the edge of a sheet. In order to have colours printed to the edge of a page, the printer uses a sheet which is larger than the document size. The paper is then cut down to the correct size.

Halftone: An image produced by breaking the subject into small dots of varying intensities of grey.

Page layout documents: Your font files and document preferences.

Resolution: The degree of sharpness of an image. Images are made up of tiny dots (or pixels) of colour and how many dots the image has determines its resolution.

Vector graphics files: Digital graphic format with which images are not saved in the form of individual pixels but rather in the form of line elements.

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