May 22, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

DIY Pad Printing vs. Trusting the Experts

3 min read

If your business is looking into pad printing services to get their brand visible to potential clients, you may have some questions about the necessity of professional printing in the age of affordable digital printers and user-friendly print design programs. While it’s true that DIY pad printing is now easier and more affordable than ever before, it is still a matter of quality, knowledge and experience. Here are some reasons why enlisting the help of professional printers versus going the DIY route will get the pad printing results you want for your signage or promotional products.

What is Pad Printing? Pad printing, also called tampography, is a style of offset printing that involves pressing a silicone pad onto an etched plate with the desired logo or artwork on it, and then transferring that image onto 3D objects such as promotional materials. While professional pad printing plates are made of steel, hobbyist pad printers use less-expensive polymer plates, which may not yield the same precise results as their professional steel counterparts.

Will DIY Pad Printing Save Money? One of the major drawbacks of doing your own pad printing is the cost. Unlike screen printing, which is definitely more cost-effective to do on your own, pad printing requires a lot of overhead, thanks to the components you need to make it happen. For example, you will need etching tools to make the plates, as well as the silicone pads that are required to transfer the image from the plates to the objects you are trying to imprint. Because pad printing offers a level of precision that is not available with screen printing or even the use of a 3-D printer, hobbyists and professional pad printers are drawn to the freedom and ability the technique gives them to create the artwork and transfer it to the etched plate, and consider such printing to be an art form. If the number one goal is to print something cheaply, pad printing is not the best option for you. However, if your brand demands a printing style that denotes prestige, elegance and style, opting for the precision and clean lines of pad printing is a good choice.

Who Can I Trust for my Pad Printing Needs? Though it is tempting to save money and opt to go the DIY route with your pad printing, keep in mind that it is something that requires a large amount of skill and practice to get right. Do you have the time to devote to getting pad printing right on your own? Do you have the funds to obtain all of the equipment you need to do your own pad printing? Most importantly, do you want your marketing materials and promotional giveaway items to look as though they were printed by a professional company? For many business owners who like the look of pad printing, outsourcing to a professional printing company is the way to go.

Whether you decide to opt for a professional to handle your pad printing needs, or you choose to go the DIY route, keep in mind that pad printing is generally a more costly option than screen printing, and be certain that pad printing is the best choice for the materials you wish to imprint upon, so you get the best results possible.

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