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Pad Printing - The Basic Branding System of the Promotional Products Industry


Using Pad Printing to Brand Promotional Products

Pad printing is the most common system of promotional branding used these days. While modern digital print technologies ar catching up pad printing is fast and cost effective and for the majority of smaller products it is a technology which is unlikely to be beaten in the near future. A pad printing machine can be purchased relatively cheaply compared to the most modern product branding technologies and for this reason it continues to be the preferred means by which most items are customised.


 How Does Pad Printing Work?

Using a soft silicone rubbed pad a pad printing machine or press first lifts the ink which has been applied to a screen holding the image top be printed. When the silicone pad is pressed down upon the ink it lifts it from the screen and it is carried by the pad to the product on which the branding is to be placed. A silicone pad has the advantage of being soft and pliable so if the surface on which the print is to be placed is not entirely smooth or the product itself does not have an entirely flat surface the silicone pad is able to distort and leaves the ink behind in a coherent manner even though the surface is irregular. Using a solid block as would be the case with offset printing would result in only partial application of the print image. This is one of the great strengths of pad printing, that the pad is able to flex so that the image is applied without undue distortion and the entire image area is applied without partial application as is the case with rigid printing systems.


 What Sort of Printing Is Possible Using Pad Print Technology?

A classic example of pad printing is the printing of promotional pens. All pen models and styles vary slightly and so it is difficult to use a single system for all pen print jobs. The flexible silicone pad which is a hallmark of the pad print system ensures that an even ink distribution occurs with every impression and small blemishes or curvature of the product surface is overcome by the flexible pad. Minor variations between products is overcome and the versatility of pad printing to deal with these minor issues is one of the primary reasons it is such a widely utilised an cost effective branding system.


 The Pad Printing Process

The first stage or promotional pad printing is producing a small screen which holds the image. This is produced in a similar way to the way an offset printing plate works. The texture of the image on the plate holds ink which is applied automatically with every pass of the machine and the pad moves across so that when it is applied to the printing plate the ink on the plate is picked up by the pad. Next the machine moves the pad to the product which is to be printed and applies the pad to the desired branding position. Usually this whole process take sonly a few seconds and then the ink either dries naturally with a setting agent added or it can pas through a UV curing process where a UV light hardens the ink so the product can quickly be packed without any risk of smudging or distortion of the branding.


Products Which are Traditionally Branded with Pad Printing

Most promotional products can be pa printed but a few of the items which are traditionally pad printed include pens, rulers, pencils, flash drives, coffee mugs and keyrings. To learn more about pad printing you can call anytime , however each product page on the Promo10 website specifies which branding system is recommended.

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