5 Facts About Custom Pad Printing Have you ever stopped to think about how the words, logos or other graphics got printed on all the everyday objects in your life? Look around you- chances are nearly everything from the pen on your desk to the soles of your shoes are emblazoned with the brand, size or product information of the object in question.
In many cases, pad printing is how those images and words got there. Here are some fun facts about custom pad printing- the intriguing and history-rich printing process you’ve almost certainly never thought about. Pad printing is two centuries old. The first examples of pad printing date back to 200 years ago, when a bag of squishy, gelatinous material was used to help transfer a Chinese motif onto copper plates by hand.
This became the wildly popular Blue Willow China pattern that has been used on dishes, teapots and other types of tableware ever since. (Your grandmother probably has a set of them stashed somewhere!) The process of pad printing was further developed, and mass production of pad-printed items began in the 1960s, but the Blue Willow China plates are where it all got started.
The keys on your keyboard? Pad printing! If you are reading this on a computer, look down at your hands. Each letter on the keyboard is there as a direct result of pad printing. You can also find examples of pad printing on your TV remote control, your kid’s superhero action figures, that pair of sunglasses you got at the radio station promotional booth at the street fair last weekend, and the “Hit Me!” golf balls you got as a gag gift for your boss. Pad printing is an immensely popular way to imprint upon a variety of surfaces large and small without distorting the original image, so it is widely used in everyday items.
The word cliche came from a pad printing reference. When something is referred to as a cliche, it means that it is a thing or phrase which is repeated often. This is because of the cliche plate used in the traditional inkwell method of pad printing - this plate has the artwork chemically etched into it and is dipped into ink over and over again to transfer the image. Get it? Cliche? Not all pad printing is created equal. There are numerous methods of pad printing, and different printers prefer different styles for a variety of uses.
While some of these pad printing methods have been phased out for better things as technology advances, others persist. Some of the most common pad printing methods include: Manual pad printing A manual printing machine is able to carry out printing on a very small scale. It is difficult to maintain the same level of quality on each product as printing progresses.
Open inkwell pad printing An inking mechanism located above the cliche plate provides the necessary amount of ink per impression. Sealed cup pad printing Sealed cup, or closed cup, as it is sometimes called, is newer technology for single color pad printing. The ink is sealed in a cup (hence its name) which keeps it at the optimum viscosity for longer, which increases the level of output without sacrificing quality.