Call Our Branded Merchandise Experts: 1.800.467.9528
Deboss / Emboss
Embossing uses a metal-engraved die along with a combination of time and temperature to create a design that will not fade or wash away. An embossed logo is made when the areas surrounding the logo are pressed, creating a puffed or raised 3-D look. This method works well on cotton, polyester, leather, pleather, fleece and polar fleece fabrics…and can be applied to almost any location. It is an extremely upscale “tone on tone” look and a fresh alternative to traditional decorating techniques.
Typically used on: notebooks, journals & writing pads.
Laser Engraving / Etching
By etching artwork onto a surface, laser brings detailed decoration to virtually any product. This is an inexpensive way to achieve a high-end look that brings your logo to life.
LASER TECH PATCHES
This technique produces an upscale branding option for jackets and other performance garments. Tech patches flex with the garment and can be designed in a variety of simple shapes. Logos will have a tonal mark on the patch.
Add dimension and shine to a one, multi or four color logo by placing it under a clear, high-gloss polyurethane dome, giving it an unique 3D effect. The dome also provides a protective barrier, ensuring a lasting imprint.
Embroidery is the process of decorating fabric or other materials with threads. It is one of the most popular methods for adding a high perceived value to a logo, while providing a professional appearance on a variety of products. With thread colors to match any logo, embroidery reproduces your logo in fine detail, while also having a great level of durability…it will wash and dry clean well while maintaining its appearance in color and outline.
Blue Dragonfly has specialized knowledge and experience on a wide variety of fabrics to assure that your logo will look its best. For example, the quality of digitizing, stitch count, and the number of thread colors influence the look and feel of the final piece.
Embroidery is ideal for: polo shirts, caps, bags, blankets & sweatshirts.
HXD is a unique decoration method that creates a subtle “pop” from the product surface to give your logo a whole new dimension.
HXD uses a patented manufacturing process to combine the best attributes of two methods: the surface interest and high perceived value of embroidery…and the unlimited color, incredible detail and location versatility of True Edge™ Transfer.
HXD is remarkably durable, allowing it to be used on everything from high-end automobiles to textiles, and the adhesives have been tested for both washing machines and dry cleaning
Logos are digitally imprinted onto a vinyl, pressure-sensitive substrate. With vinyl inserts, the only limit is your imagination. Using the four-color printing process, imprints can be made in millions of vibrant colors. The inserts are then custom die-cut to fit the item.
Typically used on: flat items ideal for pressure sensitive application.
Embroidery (3D / Puffy)
We use foam under regular embroidery to give your design added depth and pop.
Mix and match different decorating techniques to create dramatic visual effects that make logos and designs truly pop (for example: using a laser beneath an embroidery or transfer overlay).
Sparkling glitter, foil or metallic sheens; bright colors printed in a variety of versatile ways; and high-quality embroidery can all be combined for a unique presentation.
VINTAGE SOFT-HAND PRINTING
Retail-inspired designs are calling for softer…and even softer…printing. The current inks available make this easy on white or light garments with the use of fashion soft base additives, water-based inks and high mesh counts. Achieving soft prints on dark garments is not as straightforward, but Blue Dragonfly has the expertise to achieve that “barely there” feel that is all the rage.
Spot Color Printing
Spot color printing creates brighter, more vibrant results, but with a smaller color range.
4 Color Process Printing (Apparel)
4-Color Process is used to create a multi-color design (usually photographic images) using four inks: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (also known as CMYK). These colors can be used in combination, and in varying degrees of transparency, to create any color to make a bold impact.
This process works best on light-colored shirts because the transparent CMYK inks tend to pick up the hue of the shirt underneath them. However, our team is expert in printing on dark fabrics as well. We understand that good color separations are key in producing a good print. Finally, our screeners know the underbase is crucial for dark prints.
Simulated 4-Color Process
Simulated 4-Color Process uses spot color inks (solid, opaque colors) and halftones to achieve a photo-realistic look. Generally this requires the use of an underbase to achieve brighter and more vivid colors. This process is used most often to print complex images on to black and darker colored garments.
Go high end and add style to any garment with the chic look of an appliqué, for a truly memorable way to showcase any logo. Appliqué consists of a single layer or multiple layers of fabric sewn on top of each other, creating a raised, multi-dimensional design. It can be combined with additional decorating techniques to create a more unique look.
Often the preferred way to decorate collegiate garments, appliqués add texture to a logo and has become fashionable for both corporate wear and gifts, giving you a true vintage type look.
Belt or All-Over Print
Creativity has no limits…express yours with unique all-over prints that cover an entire shirt. All-over, sometimes called “belt” prints, give you 100% coverage…with artwork that prints over the seams, (sometimes the collar), the sleeves, the hem…or all of the above.
Water-based ink is used in this process for a soft-to-the-touch feel. This printing technique features one color only, but can be combined with other techniques. The finished result will give your apparel that custom retail look. Note: Every shirt has a unique finish due to the overall screen. Imperfections are part of the design.
Smaller than an all-over prints, jumbo screen prints still typically fill up the front of the shirt but do not extend out to the edges of the sleeves.
Jumbo printing is an economical way to get a large print and is best used when your design fills 85% of either the front or back of the apparel item. Maximum imprint size is 20” x 24” (West Coast facility) and 20” x 20” (East Coast facility), depending on both the style and size of the shirt. Designs can be multiple colors and combined with water based/plastisol techniques. Printing in different positions can mimic the look of an all-over print.
Wrap Prints involve a multicolored, multi-positioned design that gives the impression the artwork is wrapping around the garment when worn.
Normal print positions are front-left to back or front-right to back. Maximum imprint area is 18” to 20” wide, depending on the style and size of the shirt, and needs to be 1” to 2” away from the armpit seam.
Wrap prints may be combined with other printing options to give the impression of a full 360° print.
Over the Seam / Zipper / Unique Placement
Tired of seeing your logo in the same old places? Our apparel artists can help you choose where your imprint will tell the best story for your brand, helping you reinvent your branded apparel.
First, custom artwork is rendered to meet custom positions. (i.e. on the hood, over the shoulder area, over the zipper, inside the hood, etc). Artwork needs to be created to allow for space between the hood and back imprint. In order to achieve good image detail and ink penetration into the garment, the design must take into account the variable height of the print surface when printing over different layers of fabric, seams or zippers. Note: We recommend using line art rather than solid block areas to reduce unnecessary heavy ink coverage.
Discharge printing is a screen printing process where inks are used that actually remove the garment’s dye instead of putting a color on top of it. This is somewhat similar to bleaching, except it doesn’t damage the fibers like bleaching would. The result is an extremely soft print, which also shows the weave of the shirt. Discharge printing can be a great way to achieve unique coloring on dark garments.
Blind Deboss / Foil Stamping
Foil stamping is a printing method where a stamping die transfers a foil to a substrate, using a range of heat and pressure. A stamping die is simply a metal plate that is engraved with the artwork to be stamped. These stamping dies are created in-house from your vector artwork, and are then used on a foil stamping press or machine. While in the machine the die is heated and the foil is pressed onto the product, leaving behind a foil imprint (or blind deboss without foil).
Types of Foils
- Blind Deboss: This is a hot stamp without foil. It can be very subtle, so it’s great for designs with a lot of coverage. Recommended for oversized imprints, especially ones with smaller detail.
- Tint Foil: This foil type prints much like a blind deboss, but uses a clear foil with a slight tint, kind of like the tint on a pair of sunglasses. Recommended for subtle imprints that need a little extra contrast.
- Matte Foil: This foil type comes in a variety of colors and has a chalk-like release and a matte/flat finish. Recommended on textured cover materials.
- Gloss Foil: This foil type reflects light and has a glossy finish, and comes in a variety of colors. Recommended on smooth, paperboard cover materials.
- Satin Metallic Foil: This foil type has a soft metallic sheen and comes in many colors. These foils are super versatile and typically stamp well, so they’re a favorite among customers as well as our stamping crew.
- Shiny Metallic Foil: This foil type has a highly reflective metallic sheen and comes in a variety of colors. These foils also stamp well, so they’re recommended for artwork with more intricate details.
Foil Printing (Apparel)
Foil is great when looking to create a reflective surface on a garment to really make your designs POP.
A special thin layer of metallic foil is added after printing, which is then heat pressed. Foil works well as a design accent…or as a bold, iconic statement. This process has commonly been seen in high-end fashion brands such as Ed Hardy® and Affliction®.
Vintage / Distressed Prints
Vintage printing gives your garment a completely soft, worn-out look…as if it has gone through years of wear.
A distressed print actually appears cracked and broken. There are various types of distressed styles to choose from (cracked, stamped, etc.), as well as various degrees of distress that may be applied to an image.
This technique is great for recreating an aged, retro or antique look…while adding interest to your logo.
Imagine an UNTOUCHABLE decoration. No more heavy, bumpy logos. With inFusion™ your brand becomes one with the garment, creating a high-fashion look that is completely breathable, undetectable to the touch and double the resolution of regular screen prints.
The market for garments and other goods printed using dye sublimation is growing rapidly. Under the heat and pressure of a heat press, sublimation ink is converted to a gaseous form. The dyes then go directly on the garment, giving it a smooth, soft feel.
Sublimated garments are bright and colorful, and allow for shading and color gradients, as well as all-over printing. Because the dyes are infused into the substrate at the molecular level, rather than being applied at a topical level (such as with screen printing and direct to garment printing), the prints will not crack, fade or peel from the substrate under normal conditions.
Typically used on: microfiber items, lanyards.
Embellishing a garment with rhinestones adds a touch of dazzle to the finished product. Rhinestones are small stones (made from varying materials) that are created to resemble diamonds.
Available in many sizes and colors, including Clear Crystal, Light Yellow, Topaz, Light Green, Green, Emerald, Teal, Aquamarine, Turquoise, Light Sapphire, Cobalt Blue and Orange. Rhinestones are perfect for cheerleaders, sports teams, women’s groups and sororities.
A decorative ornamentation that imitates the look of a nail’s head. They are created with a special type of iron-on that accentuates the design. Available in various sizes and colors, including Gold, Silver, White, Orange, Green, Blue, Pink, Violet, Yellow, Turquoise, and Black.
Glitter / Metallic Inks
Glitter and metallic inks are the best way to bring sparkle into any design and add some “bling” to your company’s printed apparel. Glitter pieces are combined with any color ink to add a fun and attractive sparkle. The finished product is still very durable since it is a screen-printed ink, making glitter both an exciting, and versatile, choice for your brand.
Metallic inks are another option for you to achieve some “shine” in your design. More durable than glitter, it’s the best choice for athletic or school items that need to be robust for constant wear. When light is reflected off of the ink it causes it to shine. Comes in a variety of colors (although silver and gold are standard). Metallic inks work best when there are no small details to fill, as the ink is a bit thicker than normal.
A popular choice for fashion wear, snow printing consists of a shimmer powder that gets applied after the garment has been printed (but before it dries). This allows the design to catch and reflect light from its surroundings, resembling the effect of glistening snow.
Reflective ink reflects bright light (like headlights) and is perfect for high-visibility apparel, providing enhanced visibility for joggers, cyclists, construction workers and kids. Can also be used as a fashion statement for nightclubs and events.
Works best for larger areas of print and on simple designs with few thin lines.
Note: reflective ink requires a white under-base if it’s not going on white apparel.
Clothing that used to be only for yoga classes, cycling and other sports is now highly fashionable. Printing on these performance fabrics (100% polyester, polyester/Lycra brands, moisture wicking and other advanced synthetic materials) does require expertise and that’s where Blue Dragonfly comes in.
Screen printing is the direct imprinting of a design onto the surface of a product. Ink is applied through a fine screen, leaving a color imprint. Each color requires it’s own screen and quite often printing a light ink on a dark product requires a double hit of ink. Advancements to screen printing include: soft hand printing as well as specialty inks such as liquid silver, neon, and crystalina.
An inked image is transferred from a photo-etched plate to a thick, soft silicone pad. The pad is then pressed against the plastic part. The pad can wrap itself as much as 180° around a small object, and ink coverage is excellent. One color is done at a time and registration between colors is adequate for four-color process printing.
Digital or Direct-to-Garment Printing
Screen printing may be the standard decorating process for promotional apparel, but it’s not without its downsides. For one it can result in “feel” problems similar to those found in embroidered apparel—especially when dealing with larger or more intricate logos that require lots of ink.
Direct-to-Garment (DTG) is the art of printing a graphic directly onto a piece of apparel using digital ink jet technology. A DTG Printer is similar to a large ink jet printer in that it uses specialized inks and garment pre-treatments that allow the ink to adhere and stay vibrant. This method is ideal for art that is designed in full color with fades, shadows, gradients, high detail and photo realistic elements. DTG is primarily used on cotton fabrics, however recent advancements in technology have made printing on cotton/poly blends and 100% polyester possible.
Our full color custom printed hang tags are an ideal way to bring an extra layer of life to your products. Perfect for clothing, accessories and more…hang tags allow customers to add essential information to their promotional merchandise.
A tag attached to a garment or other promo product may include info about the manufacturer or designer, the fabric or material used, care instructions and sometimes the price. We can also customize the tag to include QR codes, company or event information, or even interactive data such as raffle tickets, discount coupons, etc.
Four Color Process
Four color process imprinting is a method in which images are reproduced using 4 colors of ink. The four colors are known as CMYK, which stands for cyan, magenta and yellow. The K stands for the key plate or keyline color, which is usually black. The colors are printed in layers and in a series of dots. When the colors are combined a full color image is created. Our four color process products give you the opportunity to print your logo in an unlimited number of colors.
A 3-D mold of your logo is created. Most frequently used for our custom chocolate products.
Full Color Heat Transfer
There are several methods of producing heat transfers. They can be printed and cut to shape on a digital inkjet printer, which allows for extreme detail. One disadvantage of this method is that the transfer can look like a label when heat pressed onto the product. Other methods are screen print, offset or full color digital printing onto a release media. These methods give a finished print which is very similar to direct printing, but the image is often much sharper, reproducing finer details. Heat transfer is perfect for logos with many colors, however only approximate PMS color matches are possible with digital printing.
Typically used on: bags, lanyards, and other fabric Items.
Perfect for notebooks, our full-color graphic wraps have a more “retail quality” and feel more like a gift than just a giveaway.
VARIABLE DATA PRINTING / PERSONALIZATION
Variable data printing is an easy way to add a personal touch when your customer’s rich, colorful designs cannot be compromised. Any text elements (like names or locations) or individual photo elements (such as employee photos) may be changed from one printed piece to the next.
Great for: anything full-color (including add-ons like graphic wraps and inserts), conference giveaways, or coupons.
ADD SOME BLING: This decoration technique uses sequins to create attractive logo designs. Once a layout is complete it is digitized into a sequin dot format. The design is then created by embroidering the sequins directly onto the garment. Great for creating an eye-catching look.
THAT SPECIAL TOUCH: Private labeling is a great way to create an identity for your brand. When you have a private label you have something that is exclusively yours.
Blue Dragonfly has a select group of apparel styles that allow you to feature your logo or special message on a panel inside the neck or waistline. It’s your brand, your message…all the way down to the label.
You can simply add your logo to create a custom collection, or you can use these branding locations for recognizing special occasions and commemorating milestones such as work anniversaries.
Brand Customization Services Include:
- Tag-less printed labels
- Woven labels
- Woven loop labels
- Hang tags
- Embroidered patches
- Folding & customized poly bags
Tech Base Appliqué
This creative decoration option combines tech applique material as an under layer, combined with a twill fabric top layer, to add dimension to your laser applique design
Die-Mold Transfers (Apparel)
An upscale option for adding texture and dimension to your logos. Great on performance garments or for larger logos with lots of detail. Die-mold transfers may also be applied to the same garments as heat transfers.
Customize basic fleece by adding a contrasting draw-cord, giving your brand an added pop of color. With 17 custom cords available you’re sure to create a complete presentation that will really make your logo stand out from the crowd.
Go for a special edition design by adding a varsity stripe to the sleeve…for an upscale, modern prep look.
CUSTOM ZIPPER PULLS
Unzip your brand’s potential with a custom zipper pull on a backpack, hoodie, jacket or golf bag. If you can dream it…we can do it!
This is an innovative print process that allows you to view your art from the inside out. The reflective imprint shows through a clear item, giving it a mirror effect.