Printing on Ceramics and Glass


Page Contents:  Decal Process - Four Color Process - Iridescent Colors - Gold Techniques - Computer Graphics
Special Touches
(etching, icing, personalization, etc)

Decal Processes:

Decal imprinting offers many advantages and options over conventional direct screen imprinting. Among these are:

1. With decals you can imprint a larger decorating area on many items. This is especially true for mugs, tankards, and other handled items upon which the imprint can be placed considerably closer to the handle.

2. Decals offer the ability to obtain finer detail in terms of screen values. The maximum number of dots per inch (d.p.i.) for ceramic color decal screen printing is 120 d.p.i. versus 40 d.p.i. for direct screen printing.

3. Registration between adjacent colors is more precise with decals than with direct screen printing. The tolerance between direct screen printing colors is generally +/- 1/16". Precision registration of +/- 1/64" means finer trap lines and cleaner, crisper detail.

In addition, decals offer the opportunity to expand your product range within the same promotional program by allowing you to use the same decals on different items. This works great for continuity type programs or promotions requiring several different gift items having the same imprint.

Once your decals are produced we can arrange to store them in a climate-controlled storage facility until needed. Having your decals on hand, we can respond to your delivery requirement with product shipped just a week after receipt of your release in most cases. Once produced, your decals will be subject to a nominal decal production charge. Multiple quantity decal pricing is available. However each item ordered must constitute a one case (bulk) minimum.

When considering the same decoration for several different items within a decal program, you may wish to consider the following: (1) Is the size of the decal ordered appropriate for each of the items selected? A decal suitable for a shot glass would probably be much too small for a tankard, for example. Perhaps more than one size decal would be best; (2) Ceramic colors can change in appearance when applied to different items. Generally a light color (usually white) background underlay will provide the most brilliant imprint colors -- especially when applied to clear glassware items or dark colored ware. Of course, the additional color will incur a slight additional cost; or (3) Even under carefully controlled conditions, decals have a maximum shelf life for best results. We recommend that the quantity of decals ordered not exceed a six month usage requirement. Beyond six months we cannot guarantee nor can we accept responsibility for the quality or usefulness of stored decals.

Four Color Process:

We use a unique four color process imprinting using high quality decals. Four color process involves making computer separations from a customer's original full color artwork, breaking down its full range of colors and tones into four basic colors.

Because of limitations of inorganic ceramic enamel materials, the reproduction of artwork will vary somewhat from the original. This is caused primarily by the fact that the basic magenta hue used in printing four color process on non-ceramic surfaces is not available in the ceramic color palette.

Most items in our line can be imprinted using Four Color Process Decals. However, it should be noted that ceramic imprint colors are most vivid when imprinted upon a white or a very light colored background. On clear glassware or dark color glazed ceramic mugs a white background underlay is recommended.  This underlay is priced as an additional ceramic imprint color.

Metallic gold or platinum can also be added as a highlight to enhance a four color process decal. It is priced as an additional ceramic imprint color plus a small substitution charge, based upon the area of coverage. Be sure to specify whether regular or microwave safe metallic Gold (or Platinum) is required. For an upscale image, a matching halo, cap band, or crown band is available at an additional charge.

Decals can be used to reproduce photographs, paintings, prints, product labels, and other finely detailed multicolored materials.

Items decorated with our Four Color Process Decals offer the advertiser high perceived value and make excellent corporate gifts, awards, and tokens of appreciation as outstanding promotional products.

Iridescent Colors:

Iridescent inks are an affordable option. Iridescent inks are an incredible value because the inks are priced the same as regular ceramic inks. Iridescent inks are best accented on darker contrasting colored mugs. However, iridescent No. 2315-Copper is acceptable and quite appealing for use on white mugs. No. 2308-Silver, No. 2303-Gold, and No. 2315 Copper are ideal substitutes for precious metals and they are microwave resistant.

1. Iridescent Color Palette:

No. 2303 - Gold
No. 2308 - Silver
No. 2311 - Green
No. 2312 - Blue
No. 2313 - Violet
No. 2314 - Pink
No. 2315 - Copper

2. Iridescent Color Blending

Iridescent color blending is the dramatic technique that creates a multiple color imprint. Blending combines one or more iridescent inks to produce your own unique design. Each imprint on an individual product is unique and varies slightly. This individual imprint is the hallmark of a unique product that has its own "fingerprint". Iridescent inks combined with ceramic inks and/or precious metal imprints is an exciting process that creates an interesting and exciting look for any logo.

Iridescent blending is priced as a one color imprint in the normal manner and a blending charge of $.40 per item. One (1) color artwork and one (1) color screen charge for the multiple color blend is $42.50.

Iridescent imprint colors are available using our award winning decal process when it is desired.

Gold Techniques:

1. Iced 22K Gold

This new process is unique to our supplier and is a dramatic new look for enhancing a 22K Gold imprint. The gold is a raised imprint with texture. Iced 22K Gold may be used on glass or ceramics and porcelains. It is priced as a two color imprint plus the normal 22K Gold imprint charge. Icing adds $.40 to the normal per item pricing.

2. 22K Gold "Embossed" Effect-Glass

An award winning process of embossing (or coin effect) can be imprinted on glassware to create this upscale image. It is priced as a two color imprint, plus the additional charge for 22K Gold per side. This beautiful design is enhanced with an optional 22K Gold halo. A 22K Gold or Platinum embossing will incur two screen charges at $42.50.

3. Pinstripes

Pinstripes continue to be a most popular choice to generate a classy look. Pinstripes look best as a wrap-around imprint and a wrap-around in 22K Gold will incur a two sided or double 22K Gold charge.

4. Iridescent Gold

Iridescent gold is an affordable option that looks great. Iridescent inks are an incredible value because the inks are priced the same as regular ceramic inks. Iridescent inks are best accented on darker contrasting colored mugs. Iridescent inks are a perfect option or substitute for 22K Gold imprints to fit into your budget.

5. Microwave Resistant 22K Gold

This imprint is available for the user who desires microwave resistant imprints and yet offers the elegance of 22K Gold. It is safe to put into a microwave. Microwave resistant gold will fade under heavy handling and machine washing. Its unique formula means it won't arc or spark in a microwave oven but maintains its beauty. You must specify microwave resistant gold on purchase orders. Microwave resistance does vary in appearance and brilliance from regular 22K Gold. For comparison to 22K Gold we suggest you request a random sample.

6. 22K Gold Halo

A 22K Gold or Platinum halo (regular or microwave safe) may be applied on the rim or on top of most items.

7. 22K Gold Cap Band

A 22K Gold or Platinum 3/32" cap band (regular or microwave safe) may be applied around the rim of most items.

8. 22K Gold Crown Band.

A 22K Gold band is the maximum in elegance. A 22K Gold or Platinum crown band (regular or microwave safe) may be applied to most items. The metal is utilized on the outside, top and inside of the item.

Essential & Educational Information Regarding Gold Techniques.

A. It is important to remember that 22K Gold or Platinum is different from our ceramic inks. There are important art considerations that you may wish to incorporate into your design. For example, in some instances 22K Gold or Platinum will "bleed" more than ceramic inks and some art may not be suitable for 22K Gold.

B. We do not recommend putting 22K Gold over a ceramic color. Our "embossed" or coin effect is a distinctly different decorating technique. The embossed or coin effect is not available when using a decal.

C. The thinnest 22K Gold or Platinum regular line that can be imprinted is 1/64".

D. The thinnest 22K Gold or Platinum reversed line that may be imprinted is 1/32".

E. The smallest 22K Gold or Platinum screen pattern that can be imprinted is 30 dots per square inch (D.P.I.).

F. The use of 22K Gold or Platinum options are available at a modest extra charge (see General Information Page). The 22K Gold or Platinum imprint charge is in direct correlation to the amount of coverage requested. The pricing listed for imprints in General Information is based on up to 3 square inches of total coverage. For additional imprint coverage exceeding the 3 square inches of 22K Gold or Platinum, please allow us to review your art and render a quotation.

G.  22K Gold and Platinum are NOT dishwasher safe.

Computer Graphics:

Our supplier uses and features "state-of-the-art" computer generated graphics. Here's how it works and what it means to you:

Using the computer design technique enhances artwork dramatically. The skilled designers, using the computer, can produce complex designs and patterned graphics. They can accent a logo, feature it or even create it. The artwork is striking in its clarity and brilliance of reproduction. The computer can take a logo and apply any of the following graphics: step and repeat, repetitive copy, graduated lines, motion, 3-dimensional, reflective, geometric, repetitive ascending shadow, spiral, or halftone. We have the latest in modern technological equipment.

We can quickly create images and design, add lettering, color, combine several images and save the creation for use at a later date or to make quick alterations. If you need to change or revise the artwork, it can be simply recalled and revised. Drawings can be made with the ease and the speed of a computer with the control and detail of something formerly done by hand. Camera-ready artwork can be made from rough sketches, a photograph, a map or chart, a fax, a relatively low quality image or, of course, from scratch. The artwork will be invoiced on a time-required basis.

Images can be sized to fit on any item. The system is flexible, fast and affordable. We're pleased to offer this new technique to you to help promote concepts, ideas, images and of course, product.

1. Motion Graphics: This technique can be applied to create the illusion of motion.

2. Halftones: This popular computer graphic presentation is a percentage of half tones that gives the multiple color image within a design that is actually one color.

3. Web Sites: This design combines a percentage of screen patterns in multiple colors. Coffee mugs present the ideal opportunity to advertise your web site address.

4. Line Graphics: Using linear graphics is an effective tool to dramatize your image or logo.

5. Step and Repeat Pattern: A step and repeat pattern is a unique way to take advantage of the entire imprint area for logos.

6. Slanting Repetitive Copy: This process puts a new angle on a design and generates the subliminal repetitive message.

7. Motion Ascending Graphics: The depicted computer graphic is combined with a halftone to produce an effective visual presentation. The logo seems to gradually fade up into the horizon.

8. Slanting Repetitive Copy

Special Touches:

1. Satin Etch

Surface etch imprints are an affordable option in a ceramic color that creates the rich appearance of etching. Surface etch imprints lend a high perceived value and incurs a one color imprint charge.

2. Icing

Icing is a process that creates a raised imprint with texture. Icing may be added to most any imprint color on your specified area within the design. It is microwave and dishwasher safe. Each color of ice is an additional color charge of $.40. Price the product in the normal manner by adding all the ink colors and add the additional cost for icing. Of course icing is available with a 22K Gold or Platinum imprint.

3. Embossing Combination

This creative technique combines a ceramic satin etch imprint with an embossing ink to generate this dramatic look. This process works best on glassware items. It is priced as a two color imprint.

4. Color on Color

Color on color adds subtleties to the advertising message. Color on color may create an embossed effect. Color on color is imprinting a ceramic ink that is as close as possible to the product color. It is priced as an additional color. Color on color is most effective when combined with other ceramic, metallic or iridescent colors.

5. Etching

Most of our glassware products can be single-etched for that upscale look of polish and urbanity. Please mark your purchase order "SINGLE ETCH."

6. Personalization.

Individual names, individual proper names, or sayings can be applied and fired directly onto most items in our full line catalog. Prices are in addition to regular prices.

7. Iridescent Blending

You may combine one or more iridescent inks to create your own creative result. Each imprint is unique and has its own characteristics. Each piece will vary in appearance. Blending is priced at $.40. Blending is a multiple color imprint for a one color price.


Most orders will have an additional $55 setup charge and shipping costs.  Other charges may apply.

Most orders subject to a billable over/underrun of 10%. 
Some products are more prone to this than others.  If your quantity is critical please ask how this policy will impact your order.