Different techniques can be employed when printing on the cord. This is dependent on the width, the nature of material and the client’s budget. The company’s designers may suggest a certain technique if the preferred design, the cord’s width and material and the printing technique are in conflict.
Here are the printing techniques employed in branding lanyards:
- Hot Stamping
Hot stamping is the most economical printing technique. Because of the low cost, this technique is ideal for student ID’s and for one-time events like trade shows, conferences, and fundraising. Hot stamping works ideally on polyester lanyards.
The technique involves heat and pressure that runs on a single roll of cord to be cut after the printing is done.
The process includes a printing head and a rubber roller that would roll the material to be printed on. The color of the print depends on the color of the foil used. Additional imprint color requires an additional fee.
This is efficient on single colored texts and simple designs and symbols. The print just sits on top of the polyester cord and will be rubbed away overtime. Hot stamping is applicable on 3/8 inches and 5/8 inches cord.
- Silk Screening
Silk screening is more expensive than hot stamping but offers a better quality print. It is ideal on nylon and cotton cord material. Unlike hot stamping where the single roll of lanyard cord is run through printing, silk screening requires the cord to be cut first.
The ink used for silk screening is thicker than hot stamping and soaks inside the lanyard cord. It would then be dried via high-heat. Texts and designs achieved through silk screening last long than hot stamped text but are also subject to fading after a long time since the print is essentially not part of the cord.
Polyester and nylon are ideal lanyard materials for silk screen. Like hot stamping, additional imprint color requires a fee.
- Dye Sublimation
Dye sublimation technique is perfect for lanyards that need multicolor designs. Unlike hot stamp and silk screen, the colors used in dye sublimation go through each fiber of the lanyard cord, making the print last longer.
The print is therefore not just sitting on the lanyard cord. It becomes part of the cord. In dye sublimation, the image and text to be transferred is printed to a special kind of transfer paper (different than that used in T-shirts).
The base ink used is white so that each color would appear as vivid as possible. Printing on both sides is also possible with dye sublimation. Polyester is the most ideal cord material used for this technique.
Dye sublimation offers high quality prints thus it fetches a higher price or a higher order volume.
Customization on woven lanyards lasst as long as the lanyard itself. The material used is polyester and the colors depend on the colors used on the design. This is perfect for non-intricate designs. Each additional color incurs an additional fee.
- Polyester vs. Nylon
Perhaps it confuses some people regarding the difference between polyester and nylon.
Polyester is softer and more flexible than nylon therefore it can be used for thicker and wider lanyard cords. It is even used in t-shirts. Polyester twill can also be tube stitched, creating a thicker but softer kind of lanyard cord.
This kind of tubular lanyard is more ideal in silk screen printing.
Nylon is tougher and smoother than polyester. It is also available in 1 inch wide variants but are significantly harder than polyester. Nylon is more ideal for silk screening than polyester. However, woven designs are not applicable in nylon.