Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. Is there a minimum order quantity? A. Yes, we require your order to be a minimum of $200.00 or more.

Q. What types of payment do you accept? A. We accept Cash, Company Checks, Money Orders.

Q. How long before my order arrives? A. Although lead-times vary, most orders ship within two to three weeks from the customer’s proof approval. Rush ordering within three days or less may also be available. Direct import orders usually require 60-90 days lead-time and delivery depends on method of shipment selected – air freight or ocean freight.

Q. What requirements are there for my logo? A. We prefer an EPS in vector Illustrator format with fonts converted to outlines. All images should be embedded. Embedded images should be TIF or JPEG and at actual final size printed or larger. Certain items will not hold a half tone screen such as a black and white photo with shades of gray, especially when very small. Very small images should not have thin lines, small open spaces or screens as they will fill in and won't be recognizable. For more details, see 'Artwork & Graphics'.

Q. What if I don't have an electronic version of my logo? A. We would be happy to create one for you at an additional charge. Art charges are billed at $50.00 per hour in half hour increments. Minimum $25.00.

Q. Shipping Information: A. We ship using ground service unless an expedited method is requested. If you have a Fed-Ex or UPS account number that you would like to use, please provide us with that information at the time of your order. All freight is FOB manufacturer warehouse. We do not ship to P.O. Boxes.

Q. If our company wants an exclusive online catalog of promotional merchandise can you do this for us? A. YES! It is just one of our many services we offer and we’d love to have the opportunity to do this for you.

Q. What are promotional products? A. Promotional products (usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo, or message) include useful or decorative items used to enhance marketing and communication programs. Imprinted products that are distributed free are called Advertising Specialties. Imprinted items given as an incentive or as a result of a specific action are known as Premiums. Business gifts, awards, and commemorates are also considered promotional products.

Q. Why use promotional products? A. Research shows that 39% of your customers are more likely to remember your name as long as six months after receiving a promotional product when the item has your company name, logo, or message imprinted on it. Customers re-order faster and more often when promotional products are used instead of coupons. In a Southern Methodist University study, results showed that customers receiving promotional products reordered up to 18% sooner than those who received coupons and up to 13% sooner than those who received no promotion. Promotional products are ideal for creating awareness among a selective audience. For example, a Southern Methodist University study found selective distribution of promotional products outperformed school newspaper advertising two-to-one. Baylor University found promotional products inserted into direct mail solicitations boosted response rates by up to 75%. Promotional products effectively reinforce employee sales contests. Results from a Baylor University study found that contests offering incentives outperformed ones without incentives by up to 50%. This information was provided by PPAI (Promotional Products Association International).

Q. What are some of the pros and cons of using imprinted promotional products? A. Pros: Promotional products marketing fits into any advertising budget, complements other media, can be directed to selected audiences and remains to repeat the advertising message each time the product is used, without extra cost per exposure. People like to receive them. And since the items are useful and appealing they are effective as incentives and motivators. Because there are so many products available, there is a lot of flexibility in planning a successful promotion. Cons: On many products the imprint area is limited. Production time could range from days to as much as eight weeks depending on the product and the complexity of the imprint. And, unlike broadcast or other media where there is automatic distribution, with promotional products advertising, you must plan a distribution method.

Q. I can't find the item I want, can you help? A. Yes, most likely! Contact us at 505-899-4400, we specialize in taking care of our customers, that means if it can be found, we will do our best to find it for you. We want to earn your business, and have the tools to do whatever it takes.

Q. How do I order? Can I order online? A. We have the online catalog for you to be able to view more products than you could possibly view in printed catalogs. When you decide what you would like, or have used the web site to gather some ideas, give us a call or place your items in a shopping cart to request a quote. We will make sure you are well taken care of by our highly trained Account Representatives.

Q. What are Set-Up Fees and why do I need them? A. Set-Up fees are charged by the manufacturer for labor and materials needed in order to produce your order. Silk-screen printing requires a ‘screen’ for every color. A deboss or hot stamp requires that they make a metal plate (also known as a die) from which the machine makes your imprint. For embroidery, we need to make a digitized tape so the stitching machine can recreate your logo on fabric.

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Terms of Embellishment
A general guide to the processes and terms used when imprinting your promotional products.

There are many techniques for transferring images and words onto our products. Follow the guide below to learn about the various ways to create promotional items custom-decorated with your logo.  If you have a question, don't hesitate to contact us.

Keep in mind that each technique works best for certain kinds of products — for example, screen printing works for textiles, but not for ceramic or metal items.  If you have any questions, we would be happy to help you match technique and product to achieve the look you want.

Screen Printing/Silk-Screening:  Used to produce an ink imprint on paper or textiles:  First your image is turned into a film positive.  The film positive is "developed" onto light-sensitive emulsion - spread on a screen.  When exposed to light, the emulsion covered by the dark parts of the image stays soft, and is easily washed away creating a negative of the image.  Ink is pressed through the emulsion negative, transferring your image to a paper or cloth surface. This is the classic way to create promotional T-Shirts.  Multi-colored images require multiple screens, and the colors are printed one at a time.

Embroidery:  Used for stitching on textiles:  Your artwork is digitized using a special program that converts the image into patterns of stitches.  The program directs a specialized embroidery sewing machine to stitch the pattern using stitch sizes, shapes, and thread colors that will recreate your image, custom applied to the textile of your choice.  Promotional hats may be silk-screened or embroidered, depending on the effect you want.

Deboss:  Used to depressed an image in paper, leather, or plastic:  A custom metal is created from your image.  The die is pressed into the material's surface, creating a lowered imprint.  It is a imprinted stamp of your image usually without ink.

Emboss:  Used to created a raised image in paper, plastic, or leather sheets:  A custom die is made for your image, and pressed into a material's surface from below, creating a raised image.  An embossed image may be inked or not, for various effects.

Die-casting and molds:  Molten metal is injected into a carved die, creating the finished product.

Die-striking:  An image is pressed into metal:  A craftsman renders your design in a soft piece of metal that is then hardened, producing a custom die.  The die is used to strike your design into a softer metal, usually brass.  This process creates a classic, high quality finish, perfect for very special custom items.

Color fill:  Method of highlighting an engraved or etched area:  Once your image is printed, engraved, or etched, a color fill can be used to highlight areas of the image.

Pad Printing:  The most common process for printing onto plastic:  Your image is photo-etched onto a plate.  The image is inked, and then lifted onto a silicone pad that transfers the ink onto the desired product.  The pad can wrap itself around small objects, into any nooks and crannies, and gives excellent ink coverage.  Four-color printing is possible.  This is an excellent technique for customizing plastic items; a simple way to mass-produce your promotional products.

Laser Engraving:  Used to cut away images or text:  A custom template is made from your image or lettering.  Lasers directed through openings in the template make clean cuts through a sheet of paper, metal, or plastic, actually evaporating it.  The result is a stylish, custom cutout of your message or logo.

Sublimation:  Produces permanent images on porous products:  Your message, graphic, or photograph is imprinted using heat-activated dyes.  The dye is permanently embedded into the material, absorbed into the pores of the fabric or other material, rather than sitting on top. Used for mouse pads, mugs, T-shirts, caps, and trophies.  Four-color printing is possible.

Offset Printing:  Produces high quality ink printing:  From a custom-made printing plate, the ink is transferred to a "blanket" or rubber-covered cylinder before being pressed to paper.  This is a technique for high quality printings of more complex images.  Four-color printing is common.  

Decal or Custom Stickers:  A custom label on special, transparent paper is created from your image, then applied to the product.