Helpful Decorating Information...

The following information is provided to help you to understand the decorating, art and printing terms used on this website.
1. DEBOSSING Depressing an image into a material's surface so that the image sits below the product surface.
2. EMBOSSING Impressing an image in relief to achieve a raised surface.
3. HOT STAMPING Setting a design on a relief die, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface.
4. PERSONALIZATION Imprinting an item with a person's name using one of several methods such as mechanical engraving, laser engraving, hot stamping, debossing, sublimation, or screen printing, to name a few.
5. DIE-CASTING Injecting molten metal into the cavity of a carved die (a mold).
6. DIE-STRIKING Producing emblems and other flat promotional products by striking a blank metal sheet with a hammer that holds the die.
7. ETCHING Using a process in which an image is first covered with a protective coating that resists acid, then exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface.
8. ENGRAVING Cutting an image into metal, wood or glass by one of three methods--computerized engraving, hand tracing, or hand engraving.
9. PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM(PMS) A book of standardized color in a fan format used to identify, match and communicate colors in order to produce accurate colors matches in printing, Each color has a coded number indicating instructions for mixing inks to achieve that color.
10. COLORFILL Screen printing an image and then debossing it onto the vinyl's surface.
11. EMBROIDERY Stitching a design into fabric through the use of high-speed, computer-controlled sewing machines. Artwork must first be "digitized" which is the specialized process of converting two-dimensional artwork into stitches or thread. A particular format of art such as a jpeg, tif, eps or bmp, cannot be converted into an embroidery tape. The digitizer must actually recreate the artwork using stitches. Then it programs the sewing machine to sew a specific desing, in a specific color, with a specific type of stitch. This is the process known as digitizing.

1. SCREEN PRINTING An image is transferred to the printed surface by ink, which is pressed through a stenciled screen and treated with a light-sensitive emulsion. Film positives are put in contact with the screens and exposed to light, hardening the emulsion not covered by film and leaving a soft area on the screen for the squeegee to press ink through. (Also called silk screening).
2. PAD PRINTING A recessed surface is vocered with ink. The plate is wiped clean, leaving ink in the recessed areas, A silicone pad is then pressed against the plate, pulling the ink out of the recesses, and pressing it directly onto the product.
3. FOUR COLOR PROCESS A system where a color image is separated into 4 different color values by the use of filters and screens (usually done digitally). The result is a color separation of 4 images, that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the colored inks(Cyan (blue, magenta (red), yellow and black) reproduces the original color image. These four colors can be combined to create thousands of colors.
4. CAMERA-READY Artwork that is black and white and has very clean, crisp lines that make it easy to scan and suitable for photographic reproduction.
5. BLEEDS Printers cannot print right to the edge of a paper sheet. To create that effect, the printer must use a sheet, which is larger that the document size. Then the printer prints beyond the edge of the document size (usually 1/8"), then cuts the paper down to the document size.
6. IMPRINT AREA The area on a product, with specific dimensions, in which the imprint is placed.

1. MECHANICAL ARTWORK The traditional standard for acceptable mechanical artwork that is "camera-ready black and white" material
2. ELECTRONIC/DIGITAL ARTWORK Vector files: sometimes called a geometric file, most images created with tools such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw are in the form of vector image files. Vector image files are easier to modify that raster image files (which can, however sometimes be reconverted to vector files for further refinement)
3. BITMAP FILES Images are exactly what their name says they are: a collection of bits that form an image. The image consists of a matrix of individual dots (or pixels) that all have their own color (described using bits, the smallest possible units of information for a computer).
4. PAGE LAYOUT DOCUMENTS The font files and document preferences that need to be supplied for use on the suppliers operating system. Primarily when using QuarkXpress or Pagemaker.
5. METAFILE A collection of structures that store a picture in a device-independent format. Device independence is the one feature that sets metafiles apart from bitmaps. Unlike a bitmap, a metafile guarantees device independence. There is a drawback to metafiles, because they are generally drawn more slowly than bitmaps. Therefore, if an application requires fast drawing and device independence is not an issue, it should use bitmaps instead of metafiles.
6. PORTABLE DOCUMENT FORMAT (PDF) This format preserves the visually rich content of original files, and are easier to read that HTML content that appears in a web browser. Adobe PDF files print cleanly and quickly, and anyone can share Adobe PDF files, regardless of their platform or software application.
7. TIFF (tagged image file format) FILE A file format for exchanging bitmapped images (usually scans) between applications. EPS (encapsulated postscript)
8. FILE An alternative picture file format that allows PostScript date to be stored and edited and is easy to transfer between Macintosh, MS-DOS and other systems.
9. POSTSCRIPT A computer description language that allows a programmer to create complex pages using a series of commands.

1. PAPER PROOF Impression of type or arwork on paper so the correctness and quality of the material to be printed can be checked. The least expensive is a regular black and white faxed paper proof.
2. PREPRODUCTION PROOF An actual physical sample of the product itself produced with your artwork is sent for approval before and order goes into production. This is recommended on large orders.
3. DROP SHIPMENT An order shipped to more than one location and may be charged a fee for each additional destination.
4. PRODUCTION TIME The amount of time needed to produce and ship the order, once the order has been received and the art has been approved. Stock products with a one-color imprint usually ship within 10-12 working days. Custom products and those with multi-color imprints require longer production time.
5. OVERRUNS & UNDERRUNS The number of pieces that were printed in excess of the quantity specified is an overrun. The production run of fewer pieces than the amount specified is an underrun. The industry standard on many products is +/- 5% of the quantity ordered. You are charged on the actual quantity you receive pro-rata.
6. SET-UP CHARGE The fee charged on most products to get your artwork set-up to imprint on a product. Prices will vary by product and supplier.
7. COPY CHANGE A fee charged for changing the imprint copy on a product. This can apply for changing your artwork after it goes to the factory or when you are making imprint changes during a run.
8. EXACT RERUN When a product is reordered without changes within two years it is considered an exact rerun. Set-up fees are often waived or reduced on reruns.


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