Top 6 Questions We Get About Swag

After 25+ years in the business, I feel that I’ve heard just about every question related to swag that there is, but every day brings a new question and we are happy to answer them all!  Here are the top questions we are asked about all the cool swag we put your logo on.

1. Can you put my logo/company name/ phone number on that? 

Yes, that’s what we do!  There are very few products we carry that cannot be imprinted.  Prices almost always include a one color, one location imprint.  The exception to this is apparel and we can quote decorated prices on that based on your artwork and the decoration method you want (screen print, embroidery, heat transfer, rhinestones, etc.)  There can be size restrictions due to imprint area, especially on non-apparel items, but we can work with you to adjust your art if necessary to fit as much of your desired information as possible.

Your logo here cool swag ideas

2. Why do I have to pay a set-up charge?  If I order more than one item is there a set-up for each item? 

Set-up charges are for the time and expense it takes to get your logo ready to print (make screens for screen printing, digitize a tape for embroidery, etc) and make sure your art will print correctly.  Each item has a set-up charge, and that charge varies depending on the item.  When you order multiple items there will generally be a set-up charge for each item.  If your budget is really tight, let us know and and we can look for items with a low or no set-up.  However, keep in mind that sometimes “no set up charge” just means that the set up has been calculated into the per piece price instead of added as an additional charge. Items without a set-up charge may be slightly more expensive than one with a set-up.

Why does this matter?  It might not, if you never plan to reorder the same item again.  But exact reorders (same item, same imprint) placed within a 2 year period frequently have either no repeat set-up fee or a reduced fee.  If it’s rolled into the  price rather than being a separate item, you wouldn’t get to take advantage of that free or reduced repeat set-up.  Additionally, because of the higher piece price, it’s actually sometimes cheaper to go with a lower priced item plus a set-up charge than to go with the one with the higher price and no set up, especially if you’re doing a high quantity.

3. Will I see a proof? 

Honest answer?  It depends.

If you have time for standard production on your order, then you will get a proof.  We will do an art layout before we submit the order and this will show your art to-size and in the color you requested.  At that point you can make changes to artwork, layout, color, etc.  Once revisions have been made and your art layout has been approved, we would send your order in for production.  Our supplier will provide a pre-print proof showing placement, sizing and other details.   Any changes at this point may incur additional charges (remember, you had already approved this artwork for printing and added revisions can be labor intensive.)  After you approve your pre-print proof we will release the order for production.

If your order is a rush, we likely will not have time for a proof.  We will do the art layout as described above, and to avoid any potential issues, we can also offer a product mock-up prior to placing the order.  This will show your approved art layout on the item in the correct colors, but the item and artwork are not always to scale.  The purpose of the mock-up is really just to ensure we’re printing the correct art, in the correct colors, on the correct item.

4. What is Vector art and why do I need it? 

Vector files are created in vector-based graphic programs such as Adobe or Corel and saved as such.  The easiest way to explain it is that vector art is comprised of lines, points and curves, and when elarged, it doesn’t lose its detail or sharpness.  With vector files, it’s simple to edit small details, change colors, enlarge/reduce aspects of the logo, or make other edits.

Alternately, Rastor files, such as .png or .jpg files are comprised of small squares (pixels).  At a small size they may look okay, but the edges aren’t entirely smooth and when elnarged, they become very jagged and blurry.

We always require vector art for printing.  You don’t want your logo to be blurry and neither do we!  So we don’t even attempt to print from Rastor files (and our suppliers wouldn’t let us even if we tried due to the poor quality in the final product).

Unfortunately, there is no way to save a rastor file as a vector file and it actually be in the correct format.  Instead, we would have to take your rastor file and have a graphic artist convert it to a vector file.  We have a great team of graphic artists that we can utilize to get your artwork into the necessary format if you don’t already have it.

And no, a logo pulled off a website will not work.


Top- Vector art                   Bottom- Rastor art pulled from website- cannot remove background or change colors

5. Can you do a PMS Match? 

PMS match (Pantone Matching System) is the process by which we can most closely match the imprint color to the exact color in your logo.  This option is available on the majority of items that are screen printed.  Keep in mind that printing on a colored surface, fabric or other materials may affect the final imprint color.  With embroidery, we can match as closely as possible based on thread colors available.  Full color or digital printing can’t guarantee an exact match, but we will get as close as possible.

There is generally a PMS Match charge and it averages around $50.00.  If you don’t need to match a PMS color we have a wide variety of stock imprint colors available at no additional charge.

What about PMS match on products?  Believe it or not, we do have items that we can do in your exact PMS colors.  Contact us to discuss your project and we can see what items will work best for you.

PMS imprint colors

6. What is SPOT COLOR vs. FULL COLOR (aka “4CP”)? 

The easiest way to explain this is that spot color is printing one color at a time (think paint by number- you paint all the blue first, then the red, then the yellow and none of them blend together).  Full color is more like taking a picture- all your colors are there- blue, red, yellow, etc.- but they are blended and mixed to make 100’s of shades of colors.  A one color imprint (spot color) is still the most popular imprint we do, however with the availability of full color imprints increasing, and the price dropping, it often makes sense to go with a full color imprint if your art is more than one color.  Additionally, if you have a gradient in your artwork, full color imprinting will be necessary as we can’t achieve a gradient with spot color.  We can help you weigh the options and benefits of each print method so you can make the best decision.  We can also help you make tweaks to your artwork as necessary to limit the number of colors if budget is a main concern.

                 mug with full color imprint

Spot color                                      Full color or 4CP imprint

Have more questions?  We are happy to answer them all!   866-247-4320