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General Information

Printing Characteristics

Screen Printing: Is the printing process for smaller quantities and the highest quality image. Screened images are very sharp, crisp, and deliver good ink opacity. This process also gives the ability to overprint multiple colors to solve registration issues in some art. Multiple color logos are printed and re-registered one color at time. The registration can vary approximately 1/8". Multiple color logos are limited to one side on cups.

Pad Printing: Is a printing method which uses a silicon pad to pick up ink from a plate and transfer the ink directly onto the item being printed. The ink transfer is thin and the opacity is lesser than screen print. It is not recommended to print on dark substrates without first putting a white base down. This would add an additional color charge to the cost of the item. Images with fine detail and halftones are best suited for this print method. On most items we are limited to 5 spot colors. Registration can vary approximately 1/8".

Traditional 4-Color Process: Is a printing method that gives the ability to reproduce photographs and special effects in artwork. The process allows for less than full saturation of the primary colors. This is achieved by tiny dots (halftones) of each primary color printed in a pattern small enough that it is perceived as a solid color. With this, a full continuous range of colors can be produced. Colors created by 4-color process printing are not solid colors, but a series of dots. For example, this is noticeable in the photographs reproduced in your local newspaper. Unlimited colors and color choices can be achieved with this print process. Special effects, such as drop shadows, glows, and gradients, can also be replicated. Colors are not matched to Pantone® colors, therefore if you attempt to replicate spot color artwork with 4-color process you will not receive the same results. The gradients and tints only fade to 20%, which can lead to loss of sharpness of photo or illustration quality. 4-color process can utilize either vector based or pixel based versions of your artwork, as long as the image has adequate resolution. It is recommended that digital files are no lower than 300 DPI, and cannot be images pulled from the Internet.

Digital Printing: Is an ink jet process that uses CMYK, otherwise known as 4-color process (4-CP). It is great for smaller quantities, photo replication, and replication of special effects such as shadows, highlights, and dramatic contrasts. This process can hold great detail, however is not great for Pantone® color matching. All PMS/spot color logos are converted to CMYK. Most Pantone® colors will appear different when converted to CMYK. This is not considered a defect. This conversion can be referenced with a Pantone® Color Bridge book. When choosing this print method, if you have other items ordered that will be printed via the American Traditions or American Hi-Speed print method, they will not look similar. This also is not considered a defect. American Digital printed items may be run on different machines. This can & will yield color variation throughout the product proof, initial order, reorder, or final product. This is not considered a defect.

Offset Printing: Is a method of printing in which all colors are laid in one pass, achieving tight registration. This makes offset printing an economical way of ordering larger quantities. Registration can vary up to 1/16”. Quality of offset printing is sometimes less than screen print due to the high printing speeds, resulting in slurring at the top and blurring towards the bottom of the imprint area. Ink coverage is thinner than screen printing. This results in an imprint which may look transparent, especially on clear items. Dot gain in halftone is often up to 20%. Butt registration is allowed, however trapping is not. Do not expect the same clarity and opacity of print as screen printing. Maximum number of imprint colors varies between products. Specifications can be found under individual item pages in the catalog.

Emboss & Deboss Printing: Is a printing method which uses heat and pressure to create a raised or recessed image into the product. This printing method is best suited for bold imprints without fine detail, halftones, or reversed images. Both imprint methods are available on all napkins and deboss is available on coasters. Please be aware the image is not as crisp on the Almost Linen™ napkins due to the thickness of the product.

Hot Stamp Printing: Is a printing method which uses heat and pressure to transfer foil to the item being imprinted. Due to the softness of the napkins, coasters, and wraps a certain amount of bleeding and fill in will occur on fine detail and reverse images. Logos with fine detail and reverse images are recommended to be ink printed. Please note, since foil is stamped on to the products, large solid areas may flake during use. Halftone images are not able to be hot stamped.