Part III: Decoration Methods and Techniques
Once you choose the colors, image design and promotional objects for your matchbook, matchbox or other promotional items, the decoration methods are the next big decision. How is the design going to be put on the item? There are several printing techniques that can be used to create a truly unique, customized advertising product.
Also referred to as four-color, a full-color print job uses the CMYK color model. There are two types of full-color imprints that will look professional on your matches.
This full-color, CMYK digital imprint method applies 360-degree wrap-around artwork to items such as plastic pen barrels, toothpicks, lighters, matchbooks or matchboxes offering an imprint area that is basically the size of the object. The SimpliColor® decoration can be printed along the entire visible area, so the design is not limited to a small designated area on the promotional item but can extend to the edges and fully cover the product.
The ColorJet™ finish implements a full-color, CMYK inkjet imprint method that produces a vibrant, high-quality product. It can be printed on a variety of media, including metal lighters, drum cigar matchboxes, and other products with a soft-touch, rubberized finish. The final product has a smooth texture with a clean, professional look.
The screen printing or silkscreen is a technique that involves using a mesh screen, ink and blocking stencil to transfer ink onto a variety of surfaces, especially hard surfaces like plastic pens, water bottles, or fabrics found on tote bags. Since each ink color is set up individually, silkscreen is more commonly used for one- or two-color imprints. In this case, the product is usually colored giving the artist a more colorful pallet than just black or white.
A laser beam etches away the desired area from a product’s surface to expose the layer underneath. The etched design is the imprint and can typically appear as silver, white or gold. It can also serve to expose an LED light located on a lighter, for instance, so that the imprint lights up when activated.
Some printers offer mirror laser engraving and colored mirror laser engraving on certain products, like ashtrays. This special handling produces laser engraved imprints twice the height of standard laser engraving areas.
Branding and customization of a product is a complicated experience involving:
- Type of promotional product (i.e. calendar vs. lighter vs. matchbook vs. cap containers)
- Type of trim options (i.e. chrome vs. mirrored vs. matte accents vs. foil)
- Choice of accent colors (i.e. neon vs. blacks/grays vs. bright colors)
- Choice of product finish (i.e. plastic vs. metal vs. rubber vs. paper)
Part I: Why Printers Need Vector Art