FAQ and Tips

Decorating Terms

Branding: A hot die imprint usually burned into leather or wood. 

Deboss: Machine presses a die into the surface of the material, resulting in a depressed imprint. 

Deboss with Colorfill: Combination of the Deboss and color, deboss then filled. 

Decal: Artwork is produced on a transparent decal, then applied to product. 

Die Struck: A reverse die is made of the imprint, then machine struck onto the metal surface. Die struck pieces are predominantly metal (lapel pins, etc.) and may be color filled.

Emboss: Machine presses a die into the surface of the material, resulting in a depressed area around the imprint desired. Imprint appears to be raised.  

Embroidery: Logo is digitized into a "tape". Machine reads tape to stitch logo onto surface of product. Usually includes up to 5 colors of threads in one logo. Pricing is based on stitch count. Embroidery cannot be PMS Matched.  

Etch and Engraving: Methods for transferring a design to hard, smooth material such as glass.  

Foil Stamp: (see Hotstamp) 

Four Color Process: Photo-quality full color image is created by laying 4 colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) on top of each other. 

Hotstamp with Foil: Heat is used to leave a foil imprint of the design on the surface. Available in a variety of colors but can only be implemented in a single color for the entire design.  

Laser Engraving: Logo is digitized then lasered into hard surfaces such as wood, metal or glass.  

Offset Printing: Is a process of transferring ink from a metal printing plate to a rubber-covered cylinder. Used on more complex artwork and for higher quantity runs. 

Pad Print: Used on oddly shaped products and surfaces. Only one color can be imprinted. 

Silkscreen: Ink is pressed thru a fine screen leaving a flat, painted imprint on the surface of the material. 

Sublimation: Is a heat transfer method of imprint using heat-activated dyes that "sublimate" into the fabric; becoming part of the fabric, not an imprint sitting on top of the fabric.

Industry Terms

Ad Copy: Lettering imprinted on any item. Usually an advertiser's name, sales message, trademark or slogan. 

Artwork: Any non-typeset drawing, photo, illustration or lettering in an ad. 

Bleed: When an illustration runs all the way to the edges of the page or sheet after it's trimmed. 

Boldface: A heavy typeface used for titles or emphasis. 

Camera-ready Art: Any drawing, photo, illustration or lettering suitable for photographic reproduction. 

Color Separations: The separation of multi-colored original art by camera or laser-scan techniques to produce individual separated colors. There are four common separations: yellow, magenta, cyan and black. 

Continuous Tone Art: Photograph, painting or other piece of art in which black & white tones gradually merge into one another. 

Crop: To eliminate a portion of a picture, illustration or photograph that contains unnecessary material or to highlight a certain area of the image. 

DPI: Dots per inch. Sometimes expressed as pixels per inch. For bitmap images, the number of individual elements of color information per inch. 

EPS File: EPS stands for "Encapsulated Postscript", which is a sophisticated file format for capturing precise image and text information. Because of the mathematical basis for building the format, EPS files are the most reliable method for communicating artwork. 

Font: Used to describe a complete typeset from a particular typeface. Examples include Helvetica, Times New Roman, Arial, etc. 

Four-color Process: A printing process that creates color productions by overprinting screens that individually prints reds, yellows, blues and black. All colors can be represented as a combination of these four. 

GIF File: A type of bitmap image. Files of this type have a .gif suffix. 

Halftone: An image produced by breaking the subject into small dots of varying intensities of gray ranging from white to black. 

Illustrator by Adobe: Adobe¨ Illustrator¨ is industry standard illustration software that creates graphically rich artwork for print or the Web. It provides powerful and flexible tools for PostScript¨. 

Italic: In type, letter forms that slope to the right. 

Kern: To add or delete space between pairs of adjacent characters. Also known as letterspacing. 

Line Art: Black and white illustration of reproduction quality. 

Overrun: The number of products in excess of the number originally ordered. 

Pantone Matching System (PMS): A color scale used to precisely match colors for printing. Each color has a coded number indicating instructions for mixing inks to achieve it. 

Sans-serif Type: A type style without cross strokes at the end of the main strokes. 

Serif Type: Any typeface with letters having a cross stroke at the end of the main stroke. 

Spot Color: A single consistent color used throughout an area. 

Supplier: A company that offers for sale, usually through distributors, Promotional Products it manufacturers or imprints according to buyer specifications. Also known as a manufacturer. (Note: In Canada, a supplier of Promotional Products is known as a distributor). 

TIFF File: Stands for Tagged Image File Format. This is another bitmap file format that is supported for Artwork Upload. 

Typeface: A general term used to describe the styles of lettering available in typesetting. See also FONTS. 

Under Run: The number of products less than what was originally ordered.