Good Things Come in Small Packages: Printing on Small Items

As the old adage says, good things come in small packages. When your clients want to print on small promotional items, like pens, flash drives, and key chains, depend on Marabu inks for brilliant color, superior durability, and scratch resistance.

The best inks for the job depend on two things: substrate and printing method.

Our printing customers typically rely on pad printing for smaller items, but for higher volumes – like personalizing a large quantity of pens – they sometimes opt to screenprint. And, as the industry evolves, there’s an increase in digital printing for small promotional items.

Many small promo items – such as pens, lighters, key chains – are plastics, which require a certain type of ink. For pad printing on plastics, we often suggest inks like TPR, TPU, or TPX. TPR is a gloss ink and the fastest drying of these options. TPU, a high gloss ink, dries quickly. TPX is a high-opacity ink that offers a different look and dries a bit more slowly. These are all two-part inks, needing a hardener to make them dry, which is common in the industry.

Using a screen press is a faster process, allowing printers to customize more pieces per hour or per minute. Popular inks in this category include SR and PY. Like pad printing, these inks have two components. Printers can use SR as a one-component ink and then heat to dry, but most printers still choose to do two components for a better, harder finish.

As some customers move towards digital, Marabu has high-quality inks for this printing method, and we can make recommendations based on the type of digital equipment our customers are using. Contact us to discuss your options.

The best ink for the job also depends on the substrate you’re printing on. For instance, many small promo items are plastic, including pens, key chains, lighters, and some flash drives. We’d recommend different ink options for small metal promo items, such as badges and buttons.

Regardless of which Marabu ink you need, all our products offer exceptional durability, scratch resistance, and chemical resistance. Additionally, all our ink lines have a full range of colors, mixable to match any Pantone color.

So, how do you choose the best ink for your clients’ promo item needs? We have a helpful chart that shows which inks work well on each substrate and with each printing method, so get in touch with us for these guidelines. We also recommend that you test the ink on the products before conducting a full print run, to make sure your client is happy with the results.

Marabu offers the best service, supply, and support in the industry. As a full-service company, we’re here to help you do amazing things for your clients. Contact us for more information and product advice. You can receive more printing tips here.

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