There are many options for Customising pens & it can often be hard to decide which production process will work best for branding your logo or message  This guide aims to help you understand the differences between each method:

1.  Printing

Pad Printing is one of the cheapest ways to print a pen.  This is where your design is put on to a pad and pushed against the product (in layman’s terms). This is usually done by printing a single colour at a time, so can cause some problems if the logo has many different colours.  Problems can also occur with pad printing when the logo is complex. As one colour is printed at a time, logos that join two separate colours can be very difficult for the factory to connect.

Pad Printing business gift- promotional pens

Heat Transfer printing is one of the best ways to print multiple logos onto products – however this comes at a price. The heat transfer printing method uses a transfer logo print and essentially burns it on to the product.  The increase cost of this method usually comes from the set up cost, because a new mould has to be created for each design, typically the set up costs of this type of printing will be hundreds of US$ per design.

Promotional Gifts- heat transfer pens

Silk Screen Printing is used by ODM for most of our basic logo prints on plastics.  See Silk Screen process blog.

Executive gifts- Silkscreen Printing Customised Pens

All of these types of printing usually will not increase the unit price of the product, but will increase the set up costs, the other option- laser engraving affects the unit price itself.

2. Laser Engraving

Laser engraving may be more expensive than printing, however the effect you get from it can make your goods look like really high end products.   Although laser engraving sounds like it is perfect for all your high-end branding needs it has one flaw- when engrave you are burning through the outside layer of paint, therefore whatever colour is underneath the paint, the engraving will be in that colour – typically there is a gold colour from brass inners of pens.

Therefore it is important to check what the original colour of the product is before choose engraving. If for example you wanted a silver finish it is possible to paint the whole product silver before the final paint. This way the engrave will come out silver rather than the original products colour. This extra layer of paint may increase your costs, but is worth it for the high end finish you will get!!

High end promotional product- Laser engraved pen

Another key advantage of Laser engraving is the low set up costs, meaning this is the best option for high end promos.   You could, for example, customise each pen with e-mail, telephone, twitter etc…. of your client making this a unique high end promo.

3.   Embossing or changing the mould to apply figurine

Set up costs can be very high to change the body of the pen, no matter the material.   A new mould is required and this can run into Thousands of Dollars.   Nevertheless, this option can really give a promotional product that unique look.   Think of a food company placing their mascot as a promo figurine on top of a pen.  The set up cost is high, but if you make lots of pens this can be easily amortised into the unit costs.

See our other blogs related to production processes: