Q: I’m new to this – what information should I provide when placing an order?
We promise, you won’t get time-out if you’re missing or waiting on a piece of information. We deal with lots of pressured circumstances. For the smoothest workflow on any timeline, it’s always best to start the process by providing:
- Target Audience Let’s dig a little deeper. Sure, it’s a trade show audience, but have they had previous exposure to your brand? Do you feel many hold previous loyalties to another product? If you’re talking about employees, let’s discuss current morale. Is the program an extra incentive, or a critical activity combating a competitor’s recruitment?
- Quantities Are you looking to blanket or convey exclusivity? Know what your price breaks are and if the ability to garner additional products under a similar budget is worthwhile or wasteful. Don’t rule out items simply because you do not meet their minimum order quantities (MOQs). Many sources allow smaller quantities for a fee that still keeps you within budget.
- Colors Think not only about the color product you find personally appealing but what will work with your logo or organization’s colors. Sure, opaque black glassware looks chic, but if your logo is bright aqua geometric elements, it could look like a remnant from an 80’s TV show. Do you have a specific PMS color for your company’s brand or a family of colors available?
- Continuity Is this a one-time run or something you see as an on-going project or theme? It’s always better to decide in advance so you can weigh future options and expansion.
Q: I have no idea what my art department is talking about (or Yikes! I AM the art department now!). What do I need concerning logos and brand artwork? And while we’re at it, what’s a vector file and why do people keep mentioning PMS?
- Vendors almost always prefer and require .eps or .ai file formats. These are working files, which allow for slight adjustments such as sizing or additional color options.
- Convert all outline and text to curves. If you don’t spend your days in design, this means each word becomes an image, eliminating the need for sharing specific font files to retain artwork integrity.
- Send a .pdf of all artwork along with the working files. This serves as a guide so a vendor immediately recognizes if part of an image did not translate, avoiding unnecessary delays and multiple proofs.
- Vectored actually means a mathematical equation so it is important in resizing of graphic objects. Vector files are typically produced in graphics software such as Illustrator, Freehand or CorelDraw. Don’t worry; as long you send file types described on this page, Rocca will buffer you from too many technical discussions.
- PMS regarding printing refers to the Pantone Matching System (PMS). This color chart serves as the standard for much of the industry with its lists of thousands of colors and identifying codes. Your logo designer or company graphics standards guide will normally provide a PMS color, which is derived from more base colors than a standard CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) formula.
Q: What are the differences in imprint methods available?
- Emboss/Deboss — These techniques used on materials such as paper, leather, vinyl and non-woven items actually mirror each other. Embossing presses an image into the material so it rises from the surface. Debossing presses an image so that it is lower than the highest surface. Both these processes may occur with added color, without color (referred to as blind) or foil stamping.
- Screen Print/Pad Print — These methods reproduce a design onto item surfaces by transferring pigment using a design stencil. Screen printing or silk screening is utilized for flat surfaces such as clothing, while pad printing is a technique utilized on three-dimensional objects. A golfball is a good example of a pad printed item.
- Laser Engrave — Laser engraving marks objects such as glass, stone, metal, plastics and other objects without using the traditionally cost-prohibitive etching tools, which touched and often wore away surface areas.
- Embroidery — Embroidery utilizes stiches of thread or yarn to duplicate a design on a fabric surface.
- Hot Stamp — This dry-stamping method uses a die, heat, pressure and foil instead of liquids to print. As no inks or solvents are utilized in this method, it is often seen as a more environmentally friendly method of imprinting.
Q: What is a QR Code?
Remember the thrill you once had from cereal box decoding toys and invisible ink? That experience has gone high tech! You may have recently noticed the appearance of black squares that look like a cross between a bar code and abstract art everywhere from store windows to products and packaging. These are QR or quick response codes, which link viewers to a specific web URL encrypted in the code. Codes are read by free smart phone software and lead customers to additional product information, rotating coupons, featured items or any other messaging not practical for product inclusion.