Printing Services

How to choose the best printing technique for your brand

People love personalising objects. A wolf painted onto a cave wall 40 000 years ago was probably created for a feel-good effect.

When thinking about corporate gifts for clients, consider the final visual quality of the gift first. Promotional items that are colourful and enhanced with attractive designs are a lot more engaging than more monochrome or less obviously marked ones.

When opting for a specific printing technique, keeping this point in mind can be a lasting key to securely positioning your brand where clients will stay focussed on it.

Selecting the right corporate gifts and direct marketing devices for your event is the first step to the best printing technique. Monkey House Promotions are glad to offer consistent support and insightful advice based on years of experience.

It is well worth considering the advantages and unique features of the six types of printing processes we offer. This information will support you in making initial product selections and will guide you to the best technique for your brand.

With a massive range of products that vary in shape, texture and material, it is important to be aware that certain items only accommodate certain printing techniques.

Please read our brief Monkey House Promotions summary on each technique. This information includes details on what we are able to achieve with each printing technique, examples of most popular gifts and products for each technique, a summary of the actual process as well as pointers on what not to expect.

This key information will give you the edge in choosing the best gift and printing techniques for your branding.

Screen Printing

This is a highly effective print technique for detailed multicolour prints.

It works well for outdoor garments and beach accessories such as umbrellas, carrier bags, t-shirts, bandanas, braai aprons, gym bags, sporting fan paraphernalia, safari and birding log books, diaries, notebooks and folders.

To create prints on your merchandise, we use a light exposure unit and positives to produce a screen that is image exposed. Ink is pushed through the screen using a squeegee or fill blade into the spaces where the image is exposed. This exposure then comes into contact with the product. A heat process finally bonds the ink to its new surface.

Product texture influences final print results. We don’t advise applying text smaller than 3mm.

The artist Andy Warhol screen printed Marilyn Monroe’s image in 1962, which brought this ancient Chinese craft swiftly back into fashion.

Laser Engraving

An elegant and permanent marking technique for a range of materials including wood, leather, latex, metals , coated metals, stone, glass and materials used specifically in jewellery design.

The technique is suitable for hard wearing gifts needing clean cut brand messages ‘etched in stone’. We highly recommend it for products intended for office, home and everyday use such as mugs, spoons, glasses, knives, key rings, pens, flasks, sporting equipment, torches, carrier pouches, speciality gift boxes and even personalised jewellery items.

To achieve engravings on your merchandise, we literally burn off the upper layer of the item. The laser’s image results in an absolutely accurate copy of the logo design being imprinted onto the item.

Obviously final colour results of this process are dependent on the original colour of the item beneath the surface and we use no ink or equipment other than the laser itself.

The earliest non-laser engraving dates back to 60 000 years ago , where in South Africa, people marked ostrich eggshell drinking containers with abstract patterns found at Diepkloof outside of Cape Town.

Pad Printing

This printing technique makes it possible to place company specific motifs and itemised data on mass produced ranges of three-dimensional objects.

Industries benefiting from it include the medical industry, computer hardware industry, audiovisual equipment producers, sporting equipment manufacturers, the automotive industry, including toy car production as well as multiple miscellaneous enterprises taking advantage of it for serial numbering and id tagging purposes.

For corporate gifting purposes, we suggest it for smaller plastic knick-knacks which your clientele will probably use on a daily basis, such as items like pens, rulers, key rings, desk-based stationary holders, organisers and notepaper containers.

To achieve the highly detailed outcomes of pad printing, we use silicone rubber pad molds. The molds take up ink from a printing plate bearing the company motif, text or number and transfer it to the item for print. A heating process ensures bonding occurs for a lasting quality print.

Technological developments have given the technique momentum, making it an excellent option for high volume manufacturing needs.

Dye Sublimation

Results of this digital printing process are excellent, with a high level of detail and limitless use of colour possible.

We recommend sublimation for items made from artificial substances such as nylon and polyester. Among possible items are; garments such as t-shirts, caps, braai aprons, promotional banners, table cloths, sports gear, bags, umbrellas, flags and supporter bandanas

We design and precisely shape the brand specific logo automatically. We print this logo onto process-specific paper using the appropriate ink. We then position the paper logo shape on the merchandise and let it undergo a heat process in order for colour transfer to take place.

It’s useful to note that with sublimation it’s not possible to print the neutral tone white, although white or neutral base tones result in the best sublimation prints.

Digital Printing

Images for print are stored digitally making modifications possible and easy. This is a major advantage of digital printing because it allows for greater control of the desired result closer to the final production stage than with any other technique. Laser and inkjet printers used in the process also offer a very wide range of colour options and turn around time is quick.

We recommend this technique for attention-grabbing banner advertising, campaign trails, event posters and signage, exhibitions, conferences, trade shows, markets, sporting events, outdoor sales drives communications apparatus.

Finer details do tend to get lost in the process though. The process works in the same way any desktop item is publish; with the ‘print’ command applied to the digital image, the laser printer applies coloured toner (ink) onto a selected end material such as paper, photo paper, canvas, glass, metal and even marble, among others. As soon as we are happy with our print, we transfer it onto a specific transfer folio. By this stage, the target product will already have gone through a chemical treatment process, preparing its base for logo application. We then position the transfer folio onto the target product allowing the inky image to settle on its new base. We end the process by applying a sealing agent to the product, ensuring the permanent quality of the logo.

Ink and laser jet printers don’t print the neutral tone white, and for this reason, we suggest that you think about the effects of using alternative colours conceptualisation and design stages. Results for metal products are excellent and colourful, high quality effects are possible using digital printing techniques

Heat Printing

Heat Printing produces excellent results in an array of colours. It is widely used for fabric design for clothing ware like t-shirts, aprons, caps and for accessories like promotional carrier bags. The technique is also suitable for non-fabric items such as plates, mugs and more.

The process begins with a digital image being transferred onto a vinyl surface – vinyl is a synthetic resin or plastic substance.

We then position the vinyl base on the product and put these inside the heat press. The transference – printing process- happens when the heat melts the portion of the vinyl containing the print and this gets fixed onto the fabric.

We suggest heat printing for patterned prints and special effects. Only white vinyl is used meaning white prints are not an option. Metallic colour prints are not offered with heat printing either. High volume prints are possible when automatic transfer presses are used.

Digital Transfer Printing

Digital Transfer Printing is an exciting newer printing technique which we use to brand metal, plastic and ceramic gift items in permanent full colour! This is high resolution digital branding for permanently good-looking branding on high quality promotional gifts.

Full colour digital prints can be transferred onto metallic items, ceramics as well as some harder types of plastic with exceptional results.

To transfer digital prints onto your merchandise, we first treat the product with a primer. We then print out the branded design onto specialised transfer paper. After this, we place this transfer paper onto the product, allowing the ink design to merge with the surface of the product. Finally, we apply a sealant to the product to ensure the permanency and longevity of the design.

For colour lovers, this technology is nothing short of miraculous, with alluring metallic tinges accompanying designs on products of metal origin. We recommend the technique for white ceramics such as mugs, jugs, sugar bowls, vases and ashtrays as well as our ever-growing range of metallic corporate gifts. The technique does not, at this time, print the colour white, which we advise our clients to bear in mind at product selection stage.

This technique is probably one of the most elegant and understated in our range. A sophisticated message comes with executive debossed leather, paper and vinyl products. With debossing, the appeal of a gift bearing the name of your company never goes unnoticed on items such as notebooks, folders, binders and hardback paper desk diaries. Paper-based items such as invitations, company specific greeting cards, place names for gala dinners and limited-stock promotional items make their mark in a visual and tactile way.


Debossing involves printing a design into the surface of an item, causing there to be an impression pushed into the material. The results are a concave imprint or indented design onto gift selections.

We effect debossing by applying heat and pressure to a template of your company logo or name to the surface of the gift. The process then entails placing the material to be embossed between two metal dies and the imprint is literally squeezed onto the material.

Debossing creates a truly permanent stamped impression on gift items which cannot deteriorate in quality easily, it embodies the stately appreciation you would want to show to your most weighted business associates.

Foil Stamping

The appearance of foil stamped corporate stationary and gift packaging is equally elegant to that of debossing. It is probably also more appealing to the eye at first glance, since we commonly use gold, metal or opaque pigments or metallic foils in the process.

In fact, it can also be applied in conjunction with embossing, the process where a raised impression of a printed image is worked onto the surface of the paper product (not to be confused with debossing, which results in concave surface impressions as detailed in the insert before this – entitled ‘debossing’). Together, foil stamping and embossing can create a very pretty three-dimensional effect on your carefully selected brand fortifying purchases.

We achieve foil stamping by means of manual or air-powered foil stamping machines which transfer the metallic foil to the solid product surface using heat. Other popular items for foil stamping include match boxes, photograph frames, notebooks, birth, engagement and wedding photograph albums, mission statements, awards certifications and select exhibition and conference paraphernalia. Professionals, depending on how they view their industry, might also like to order foil stamped business cards. Foil stamping, like embossing, renders permanent and high quality results which can enhance the appearance of fairly ordinary stationary and gift packaging, guaranteeing the memorable quality and timeless trust of your message and your brand.