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Instant On Demand Branded
Decoration Methods for Instant On Demand
Decoration Methods for Instant On Demand

An overview of how swag items are decorated in instant on demand

Updated over a week ago

The items offered in Instant On Demand are decorated one of several ways.

1. Direct-to-garment (DTG) 🖨️

DTG printing uses inkjet technology to print directly onto the garment. It offers full color printing capabilities, with no minimum order quantities.

There are some limitations to DTG, as compared to traditional screen printing.

  • Snappy currently offers printing on the front of the garment. You are able to edit placement of the logo, but we highly recommend center chest. Placing a logo on the left chest can result in inconsistent left chest placement for different sized garments.

  • DTG uses CMYK colors, so we’re unable to match PMS colors exactly. Additionally, there may be small variations in color.

  • Some vibrancy in colors will be muted if printing on a dark garment. DTG uses waterbased ink (as opposed to plastic based inks typically used in screenprinting). Waterbased are naturally more opaque, and softer to the touch.

  • Opacities do not translate well to DTG prints. Please avoid using opacity in your design.

Items that use DTG printing:

  • All apparel

2. UV Printing ☀️

UV is similar to DTG in that it uses an inkjet printer, but it’s typically used for items that have a nonporous material (ex. plastic, metal, and glass). The design is printed on the product, then cured (or hardened) using UV light. Because the material printed on is nonporous, the final design is slightly raised and textured.

Similar to DTG printing, there are some limitations.

  • CMYK is used, so we’re unable to match PMS colors exactly. Additionally, there may be small variations in color.

  • Compared to DTG, vibrancy in UV is strong, as the material used is non-porous.

Items that use UV printing:

  • Drinkware (mugs, tumblers, waterbottles) ☕

3. Sublimation 🌫️

In sublimation printing, the design is printed on a special paper, then transferred to the item using heat and pressure. The ink actually turns to gas during this process, then bonds with the material after the heat and pressure is released. Sublimation works well for larger decoration areas, or for items that have an all-over print (where the design is printed on the fabric, then that material is cut + sewn into the finished product).

Similar to DTG printing, there are some limitations.

  • CMYK is used, so we’re unable to match PMS colors exactly. Additionally, there may be small variations in color.

  • Depending on the material used in sublimation, the vibrancy of color can vary. For porous materials (like bags or apparel), it will be comparable to DTG. for nonporous materials, it will be vibrant.

  • In some instances (particularly fabrics), if there’s a crease in the material, the ink won’t transfer properly, and the crease will appear as a white line.

Items that use Sublimation:

  • Blankets 🛏️

  • Some Bags 👜

4. Embroidery 🧵

Embroidery is a method of decoration that uses a machine to stitch a design onto an item using a thread and needle. It is a classic decoration, and typically used for smaller designs (like on the left chest).

There are several unique limitations for embroidery.

  • Thread colors are much more limited, and PMS matching is not available. We can get close, but because the embroidery thread has a sheen, it is difficult to exactly match colors.When uploading a logo, our design software will try to match the closest available thread color(s) to the design.

  • A maximum of 6 thread colors can be used in a design. If there are more than 6 colors, the software will attempt to translate the design into fewer colors.

  • A graphic design doesn’t translate well directly into embroidery, so each design must be digitized (converted into a format that the sewing machine recognizes). Please be aware that embroidered designs will have texture, due to the stitching.

  • Depending on the design, some minor edits will be made, including increasing the size of smaller lines to meet the minimum stroke size.

  • Gradients and transparencies are not possible to recreate in embroidery, so whenever possible please provide a file with no gradients or transparencies

In some cases, edits will be made to your logo to optimize it for embroidery. These edits may include increasing the size of small text, removing fine detail, or increasing the size of some elements.

Items that use Embroidery:

  • Most jackets, sport shirts, and vests 👕

  • Some bags and blankets 👜

  • Most headwear 🧢

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