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Part III: Decoration Methods and Techniques

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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 prhow silkscreen worksinting 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.

Laser Engraving

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.

Product Customization

Branding and customization of a product is a complicated experience involving:


Part I: Why Printers Need Vector Art

Part II: A Rose is a Rose by Any Other Color Chart

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