Promotional Printed Items

The Screen printing method is still one of the most widely used and cost-effective print production to a wide variety of printed promotional products.

With the flexibility to print from sizes 35mm to A2 large textile areas such as table cloths or flags.

In the 1960s printing evolved to use rotary screen printing machines. This was a pivotal point for printers to supply a service much needed to companies looking to source affordable printed merchandise to advertise their brand and services.

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Screen printing

Marketers were able to take advantage of the new print methods due to the ease of printing products in volumes and reducing the cost of printing unique designs to promotional items.

A mesh is stretched over a frame and the mesh is used to move the required ink across a squeegee moves the ink across the custom items.

The open areas of the mesh fill with the ink creating the design, upon the point of contact. The ink sticks to the product area once the mesh is removed.

Different blends of screen ink are used in accordance to the product that the design needs to be laid down onto, for example, printed balloons will be printed with a different ink blend that a textile promotional item, such as a screen printed hoodie.

Due to the nature of the production method, only one colour is screen printed at each time, most printed products are suitable for screen printing up to 4 spot colours if a promotional product has a smaller print area than 35mm pad printing may be used as an alternative method.

Suitable for: 

Printed products such as cheap printed pens, printed promotional mugs, printed bags, printed t-shirts, printed baseball caps, printed lanyards.


Small minimum print runs using the screen print method can work out to be expensive due to the costs of setting up new screens and minimum machine set up costs for setting your custom design.

Screen printing is suitable for solid spot colour inks only up to 5 spot colours, no shades or gradients can be achieved. Drying time between each colour is required so express print routes on multiple colours may not be possible.

Due to the mesh used in this method of printing,  screen printed promotional materials such as stress balls or conical or silicon wristbands will need to be printed in a pad print method so that the ink substrate is correctly laid onto the item, with an uneven surface area.

Tight registration and fine text or characters can sometimes be lost on the screen printing method where there is a risk of the finer text infilling from the mesh if the characters are too small.

Pad printing

Pad printing is an effective method for marketers looking to print onto promotional products with curves and conical shapes not suitable for the screen print method, with the added benefits of achieving tight registration, fine text and lines to the finished print.

The method involves transferring ink from a substrate area to a silicon pad and then directly laying the ink down on the promotional product surface.

Suitable for:

Printed golf balls, promotional stress balls, custom printed lanyards, printed name badges, cheap printed pens, printed silicon wristbands, branded pencil cases, promotional stationery.


Not the fastest method of printing promotional items as there is a manual element involved with feeding the product onto the pad printing machine for contact with the printing pad.

What is Pantone?

The PMS system is commonly used as a referencing tool, to ensure a correct colour match when printing your brand message and logo to any advertising product.

The brand Pantone is a colour management tool for printers to best match inks colours used for printing their clients brand colours.

Pantone was started in 1950’s New York, by M & J Levine Advertising within their commercial printing division. The chart was created for a gap in the market to simplify a referencing tool for the correct colour match and pigment use in print inks.

A swatch book was created to show specific colours paired with colour codes and opens up to view as a fan deck pack for easy colour matching.

Coloured paint, plastics and some textiles are often created to best match a PMS reference.

Printed promotional items are best matched to the company’s own PMS colours to ensure the best chance of brand replication once printed to the item, keeping the companies marketing messages and tag lines true to the design and brand guidelines.

What is a good selection of printed items to use at my event

Marketers looking to invest in printed promotional items to advertise their brand and services should first address their choice of products by understanding their target audience.

Printed promotional materials work best when considerations have been made to the most effective promo products to draw your audience in to engage with your brand and your key marketing messages.

Choosing a selection of printed items that sit within your current marketing campaign, will directly reflect your company’s image, professionalism and brand once gifted to your prospect or customers.

Give thought to the printed promotional item and if it is useful to the consumer, or will it bring entertainment or engagement once received.

Taking into account the practical application of your printed products will add considerable weight to your marketing messages and benefit your business and sales by creating reciprocal feelings from your prospects once they receive your printed promo.

Your best-printed items for a trade event

Envisage your prospects walking into the venue, and your competitors stand displayed all round alongside yours, how do you best make your brand and services outshine the competitors, how can you make your business more approachable and engaging, to entice more prospects to come over and speak to your team.

Addressing a key selection of considered and planned printed promotional materials will propel your brand into the limelight.

Your marketing team should explore the below options to add volume to your marketing messages.

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Printed tablecloths for trade shows


Investing in a printed table cloth during an event will reflect how seriously your business invests in image and branding. Generating a professional image with a tablecloth encompassing your printed logo and tag lines leaves a lasting impression.

A large table cloth will also your customer and prospects to easily identify your brand from across the room.


Printed tablecloths can be both printed with spot colour designs and logos to 1 position only, such as the hanging front panel. Printing to the front panel of the cloth enables your delegates to easily view your logo and tag line whilst approaching your team, and for your brand messages to be readable even from a distance.

For businesses with more complex brand designs requiring replication as a full-colour print, printed tablecloths can be sources with a dye sublimation print in full colour across the entire surface.

You may want to also consider hanging weights to each of the corners, as this allows the fabric to drop and hand in a straight line to the base of the table, creating a clean professional hang to the cloth.

Custom printed t-shirts or polos for your sales representatives


You have invested time and money into having your business represented at the trade event, you will need to consider their appearance at the show whilst representing your business, custom printed clothing in the form of printed t-shirts, printed name badges or custom printed hoodies will elevate your team’s visibility to prospects and event delegates.

With your team dressed in custom printed clothing, the attendees to the show will easily recognise a representative to discuss your product range or services face to face.


Collaborate with your events team and discuss if both the male and female representatives are happy wearing a unisex fit to your choice of printed t-shirts, or if they would prefer male and female fits.

To relay a more corporate image to the event audience you should consider custom printed polo shirts, printed team wear with collars and buttons does provoke a more professional image.

If your event is outside, to keep your team warm and dry for the duration of the show consider ensuring they have a printed jacket or printed fleece to protect them from the elements.

Printed lanyards/custom printed lanyards


Your events team are now kitted out in your choice of custom printed clothing, you now need to consider how printed lanyards will tie your printed clothing into and event passes together.

Custom printed lanyards can be both worn around the neck by your sales representatives and also given out to your audience as part of your printed promotional product offering.

Most industry show and events require a security or zone pass for your team to move freely around the venue, utilizing a printed lanyard for a further brand message will be key to your event clothing and overall brand impact.


When exploring your choice of custom printed lanyards, you need to consider the safety break feature.  The additional breakaway clip once tugged with pressure comes away from the neck and protects the wearer from any harm.

Printed lanyards are available with a few different varieties of breakaway clips, the most common coming away from the back of the neck once pressure is applied.

Printed bags,  printed canvas bags and printed tote bags


Handing out a printed custom bag benefits your customer as they will be able to take away your printed promotional items, along with new product brochures, catalogues or contact information.

Providing your customers and prospects with a gift of a printed bag, be it in polythene or canvas will enable them to carry your logo around the event, further spreading your marketing message and tag lines around the venue.

Handing out printed canvas bags will provide not only a vessel for your prospects to take away your goodies, spread your brand around the internal hall, but it may also be used in the domestic setting to bring home shopping or gym clothing, creating volumes of brand impressions whilst in use.

Printed Tote bags such as custom cotton shoppers can be both a cost-effective marketing tool and a practical aid to the consumer for carrying information back to their car.


Will your logo replicate well as a solid spot colour print to the side of a printed tote bag or printed cotton shopper, if your brand requires your design to be produced in full colour only, the cost can be expensive on smaller runs.

Consider if you wish to print your logo or marketing messages to 1 or both sides of your choice of the printed canvas bag, you could utilise each side for a unique design and maximise your large advertising area to include marketing taglines and calls to action.

Cheap printed pens


For a volume giveaway, cheap printed pens are unrivalled for spreading your contact details and advertising messages into the venue’s audience.

For a cost-effective printed promotional product that can be easily carried to the event, and given out to the attendees on volume, explore a cheap printed pen that sits well within your brand messages. With a varied variety of barrel colour and trims to allow your marketing team to choose a pen that reflects your brand colours.

A cheap printed pen also benefits from good sized print areas to the barrel and the clip, allowing space for websites, marketing tag lines and contact details.


When exploring your choice of cheap printed pens, ensure that the build quality is suitable for your marketing messages, as an affordable option for mass marketing messages, opt to see a sample of the pens before committing to bulk order, to ensure you are happy with the quality of the pen.

How can the use of printed products benefit charities and fundraising?

Charity fundraising teams rely on the additional layer of marketing and advertising support provided by printed products.

Should a charity look to hold an evening event or fundraising ball, gifting to supporting patrons of the charities message and fundraising concerns promotional printed items, both benefits the charity by allowing the charity ambassadors and patrons to take their fundraising message away from the venue with the gifted products, but also provides a great giveaway to thank the charity patrons for their time and fundraising commitments.

Products gifted to the event attendees once presented in printed gift bags branded with the charity logo, provide attentional impact to the gift.

Printed tote bags and custom printed bags can also provide an excellent solution to fundraising managers marketing challenges by allowing a large space to both sides of the bag for the charity’s logo and messages to create multiple messages once used by the consumer.

For charity shops looking to raise additional funds for the charity cause by investing in printed products that can be retailed back out to the shoppers from counters and event tables to aid in raising additional funds for the charity causes.

Effective printed products for charities to invest funds for retailing are cheap printed pens, printed silicone wristbands / printed wristbands, printed t-shirts, printed promotional mugs and printed jute Bags.


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