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Building a Bridge From Print to Promotional Items

Marketing this year is expanding beyond digital and printed communications to physical marketing. Now, thanks to the great reopening of businesses and business-related travel, marketing departments are allocating spending towards in-person events and tradeshows.

Print vs Promotional 

Promotional items are a mainstay of event marketing where useful giveaways from writing pens to a USB hub for your computer are given to attendees. Since these items are printed with the company’s logo and branding, they increase top-of-mind awareness with prospects and existing customers. Do not overlook HR departments in companies as another sales opportunity. To bolster corporate culture and team unity, companies are sending promotional products from apparel to work-from-home technology to remote and hybrid employees.

Print marketing requires design considerations based on a two-dimensional media — usually paper. Customers choose the size of the finished product along with the type, weight, and finish of the paper. The design is converted for output, most often using a 4-color digital or analog printing process. The design can include a mix of text, graphics, and photographs since the printing method can support high-resolution output.


Promotional Marketing

Unlike print marketing, promotional marketing requires printing on three-dimensional objects. The material used to make the promotional product largely drives the type of printing process that will be used. However, there are several design specifications and considerations, including:


Size and Location

The logo or images may need to fit on the side of a pair of sunglasses or scale up to fit on the side of a tote bag. Using vector-based artwork and sizing in a design program like Adobe Illustrator ensures the output will remain sharp at nearly any size.

Printed Colors

The company logo and branding may include a range of colors that are normally reproduced using 4-color process printing or unique spot colors. Promotional items are often printed with a single color, particularly if the item is screen printed. For textiles where embroidery is used, it is still best to minimize the number of colors used. Reducing the number of colors and simplifying the design will minimize costs and, in many cases, increase the readability of your design.

Product Colors

Promotional products come in a variety of materials (e.g., plastics and textiles) and colors. The visual interaction between the product color and the chosen print colors is critical. For example, if a pair of sunglass frames are purple, the logo design needs to be a contrasting color which is most likely not in the purple color family.

Fonts and Fine Strokes

When fitting your design on small promotional products, remember that text can disappear or become unreadable if the font is scaled too small. The same is true for outlines or strokes of lines that, when reduced, become too thin for the printing process to reproduce. Generally, font sizes under 6 point and strokes below 0.25 points are difficult to reproduce.


Now that in-person and physical marketing are at the forefront of your customers’ plans and budgets help them understand and navigate the unique design considerations for each type of promotional product. Head over to promo.4over.com to share useful items that your customers can create to promote their corporate culture and brand internally with staff and externally with prospects and customers.


4over is always here to help you grow your business and deliver for your clients. And as a trade-only printer and promo provider, 4over will never compete with you—the best measure of our success is yours!


4over LLC is one of the largest wholesale trade printers in the US, with multiple production facilities across North America. A trusted source of print fulfillment since 2001, the company helps large franchise printers, single print shops, print brokers, graphic designers, photographers, and every type of print reseller in between grow profitable businesses by offering a vast selection of quality products at guaranteed trade-only prices. With capabilities such as gang-run offset, digital, grand format, and promotional printing, plus state-of-the-art equipment, 4over offers every customer savings, selection, and scale. Not yet a 4over reseller? Register Today!

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As one of North America’s largest trade-only printers and a trusted source for print fulfillment since 2001, 4over helps print, design, and other creative services resellers grow profitable businesses. We do this by offering a vast selection of quality print products at guaranteed trade-only prices. Our expansive e-commerce catalog includes everything from standard marketing collateral like business cards and brochures, to harder-to-find specialty, large format, and promotional products.

Our capabilities span gang run offset, digital, grand format, and promotional printing across six production facilities, staffed by experienced, committed operations teams. With locations across North America, state-of-the-art equipment such as powerful Incas and Scodix UV machines, and fast turnarounds, 4over offers our customers savings, selection, and scale. We serve large franchise printers, single print shops, print brokers, graphic designers, photographers, and every type of print reseller in between. Learn more at Trade.4over.com

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