DECAL OPTIONS

With so many different options out there for decorating your custom apparel or promotional item, how do you know when to use each method?

Each option has its own set of benefits and limitations. We want to help you find the option that works best for your brand, budget, goals and the materials you are using. 

Embroidery


Embroidery is our most popular decal style. The Process First we digitize your logo, map it out for an embroidery machine based on the shape and colours. The appropriate thread colours are chosen and a sample is sent out to you for approval. When we get the go-ahead, your order is put on embroidery machines that read the final ditigalized logo / image file so that it can be stitched to the exact specifications. When to Choose Embroidery Embroidery looks great on polos, jackets, woven shirts, caps and bags it is a versityle style of decorating your merchandise, promotional products and apparrel. Best Applications

  • Custom Polo Shirts
  • Custom Hats, Beanies & Visors
  • Custom Jackets
  • Custom Sweatshirts & Layering
  • Custom Backpacks & Bags
  • Custom Embroidered Towels & Blankets
Benefits of Embroidery as a Decoration Method
  • There is an added texture to the design
  • The product does not need to be laid flat like in printing, making embroidery suitable for hats and bags
  • The intricate design evokes a high perceived value and sense of professionalism
  • More durable and resistant to damage from washing than most decoration methods
Drawbacks of Embroidery as a Decoration Method
  • Number of colours used in the design is limited to the thread colour options and prices typically increase with additional colours
  • Embroidery is only a suitable decoration method for fabric
  • Embroidery machines can struggle with small lettering or fine details in design




Screen Printing


An easy way to think about this is as a photographic stencil process. A stencil is created and then is used to apply layers of ink directly onto a product. The result is the screen's image transferred to the print surface. The versatility of this decoration method allows it to be used on a wide variety of items. You can read our complete step by step guide to custom screen printing here! When to Use Screen Printing as a Decoration Method Screen printing, also known as silk screen printing, is the most cost-effective method for large quantity print runs (around 50+ items) and works especially well with items like t-shirts and tanks. A complex design with many different colours requires different stencils for each colour, so this decoration method is best for logos with 4 colours or less. Screen Printing is Ideal for… Custom T-Shirts Custom Activewear & Sports Apparel Screen Printed Sweatshirts Promotional Pens & Custom Printed Notebooks Custom Drinkware Screen Printed Electronics Custom Golf Balls Much more Benefits of Screen Printing as a Decoration Method Most cost effective decoration method for larger custom apparel orders Just about any design can be applied to any product through screen printing Ink is applied thicker than digital printing, making your design more vibrant and easier to see on darker fabrics or surfaces Drawbacks of Screen Printing as a Decoration Method Necessity to create screens means screen printing is not ideal for smaller order sizes or individually personalized items Prices typically increase on orders with a high number of colours




Heat Transfer Printing


If you have ever used an iron to press a decal onto a shirt then you know the basis of heat transfer, but our method is exceptionally more advanced. The digital heat seal decoration method utilizes regulated heat and pressure to thermally bond graphics onto a material’s surface. You can read our complete step by step guide to custom heat transfer printing here! When to Use Heat Transfer as a Decoration Method Heat transfer, also known as digital transfer, is a great decoration choice if you are looking for affordable design options with unlimited colours. With decoration methods like embroidery and screen printing you are using physical resources - thread and ink - to create a logo. This cost can be avoided with heat transfer, making it the most ideal decoration option for smaller orders. Heat Transfer is Ideal for… Custom T-Shirts Custom Activewear & Sports Apparel Sweatshirts & Hoodies Custom Backpacks & Bags Benefits of Heat Transfer as a Decoration Method Minimal set up costs and equipment make heat transfers ideal for smaller order sizes Affordable individually personalized decoration, such as sports uniforms Allows for finer details and smaller text than embroidery Heat transfer is available in many different finishes and styles Environmentally friendly Drawbacks of Heat Transfer as a Decoration Method Logos and designs larger than 15 inches tend to be more expensive than other design methods Image does not last as long as some other decoration methods and the printed area is not very breathable Unable to use an iron on the printed area of the garment When logos are too large the texture of the design can be thrown off Should not be done on certain synthetic materials that can’t be exposed to the high heat from the iron




Debossing


Debossing gives your logo a 3D element. Dies are constructed from metal in the shape of your logo. Heat and pressure push into the product and form the material into the impression you want. This decoration method produces stunning & sophisticated results and is perfect for leather decorating. You can read our complete step by step guide to custom debossing here! When to Use Debossing as a Decoration Method Perfect for products where subtle and high perceived value is appropriate. A crisp debossing adds lasting value to items used every day as well as unique dimension and quality to your product. Ideal products are leather goods such as padfolios, money clips, or luggage tags. Debossing is Ideal for… Custom Notebooks & Journals Custom Home Goods & Tools Custom Outerwear Personalized Speakers Water Proof Apparel Benefits of Debossing as a Decoration Method Creates dimensional depth and detail by depressing your design onto the material Doesn’t create holes in fabric like embroidery, making it ideal for water-proof apparel Works extremely well on leather apparel or surfaces Can be done in conjunction with other types of decoration Drawbacks of Debossing as a Decoration Method Can not be done across seams or zippers Small text or highly detailed designs do not work as well with debossing




Laser Engraving


A unique application where the laser removes a thin layer of fibre or pigment dye. By adjusting the intensity and speed of the laser we can sculpt dimension into the design, resulting in stunning clarity and precision. You can read our complete step by step guide to custom laser engraving here! When to Use Laser Engraving as a Decoration Method This decoration method creates sharp, crystal-clear logos that are unable to be peeled off. Ideal for items that get continuous use such as promotional pens, custom drinkware and personalized tools. Laser Engraving is Ideal for… Custom Engraved Pens Custom Water bottles & Tumblers Engraved Mugs Custom Home Goods, Kitchenware & Tools Custom Flashlights Custom Multi-Tools & Pocket Knives Personalized Flasks Benefits of Laser Engraving as a Decoration Method Go-to decoration method for metal products The engraving process itself is cheap and can be done very quickly Designs are extremely durable, making them ideal for frequently handled items Drawbacks of Laser Engraving as a Decoration Method Laser engraving machines are expensive Laser engraving is typically only performed on metal or wood surfaces




Foil Stamping


Foil stamping is a specialty printing process in which a metallic or pigmented foil is heated with a magnesium dye and then stamped with enough pressure to seal a thin layer of foil to the surface. When to Use Foil Stamping as a Decoration Method Metallic foils have a glossy, polished finish and are a great way to make your logo pop on darker coloured surfaces. Because ink is not involved in the process, the colour of your desired surface will not impact the design. Foil Stamping is Ideal for…

  • Custom Notebooks & Stationary
  • Benefits of Foil Stamping as a Decoration Method
  • The polished and glossy finish stands out on any colour surface
  • Foil stamping does not use ink, so the colours of your design will not be influenced by the surface colour
Drawbacks of Foil Stamping as a Decoration Method
  • Foil stamping is not a decoration method for apparel and is usually only utilized on hard goods
  • Can’t be used in conjunction with designs that use thermography because the heat from the foil stamping process will melt the resins




Digital Printing


Digital printing is similar to printing a document from your computer. An image is printed directly onto the material. Unlike with embroidery or screen printing, in which physical resources (thread & ink) are used to create a logo; with digital printing, full colour, high definition logos can be done economically, even in small quantities. When to Use Digital Printing Digital printing is used as a substitute for screen printing on smaller orders, digital printing also works well with logos that require a high amount of detail. This is also a commonly used option for logos that contain a gradient, as the print can closely match the digital version seen on a computer screen. Digital Printing is Ideal for

  • Custom T-Shirts
  • Custom Activewear & Sports Apparel
  • Printed Sweatshirts & Hoodies
Benefits of Digital Printing as a Decoration Method
  • Easier set up than screen printing – no screen creation or colour separation required
  • Ability to print more precise details in a broader range of colours
  • Great for smaller order sizes
Drawbacks of Digital Printing as a Decoration Method
  • Digital printing can be more expensive than screen printing for large orders
  • Digital printing machines can only print on 100% cotton fabric
  • Digital printing is slower than screen printing for large orders
  • Digital printing is not ideal for dark fabrics




Pad Printing


Pad printing, also known as Tampography, is a decoration technique in which ink is transferred from a silicone pad onto your desired surface. The pad printing process can be thought of as a more advanced version of stamping – a pad with ink is pressed onto the product and then left to air dry. When to Use Pad Printing as a Decoration Method Pad printing is a very versatile decoration method, in that it can be applied to just about any product regardless of shape or form. This makes it especially useful on rounded surfaces like golf balls, pens and water bottles. Pad Printing is Ideal for…

  • Custom Logo Electronics
  • Custom Notebooks and Stationary
  • Personalized Golf Balls
  • Custom Water Bottles & Drinkware
Benefits of Pad Printing as a Decoration Method
  • Pad printing provides superior image clarity
  • The process is easier than screen printing for printing on irregularly shaped objects
  • Pad printing provides improved resolution on smaller fonts and designs over screen printing
  • Pad printing is a gentle decoration technique, making it ideal for delicate materials and fabrics
Drawbacks of Pad Printing as a Decoration Method
  • Pad printing is not ideal for designs with a lot of different colours
  • The pad printing process can take longer than other options
  • Pad printing is typically more costly than screen printing





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Tel: (416) 569-7400

E-Mail: info@mcloughlin.ca

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