Logos add a company’s identity to every aspect of the materials and communications it produces. From applying your logo durably on products to incorporating it on shipping cartons that help deliver finished goods, the printing hardware you choose can help heighten the visibility of your business while you accomplish routine commercial objectives. To print your logo correctly on the materials and media you use, match the device you choose to the output need it fulfills.
When you apply your logo to standard identity materials for a business, you provide basic support for communicating with customers and vendors. Business cards, letterhead and #10 envelopes constitute the foundation of a company’s tangible outreach. Although you can use desktop hardware to create these pieces on an as-needed basis using perforated card stock, off-the-shelf paper and envelopes, you present a more-professional appearance if you send production-ready files to a commercial press. The differences between DIY and press-printed versions of these items may be subtle, but they can signal how you treat the setup phase of your company.
If you decide to print at least some of your communications materials yourself, a high-resolution laser printer creates crisp, clear output of your logo’s type and graphics. An all-black logo looks equally sharp on either a monochrome or a color laser printer, but the same dollar investment can buy you a full-featured black-only device with higher resolution, sturdier construction, advanced networking or other options. For a color logo, look for color hardware to reproduce the full range of its tones and shades. Because laser output resists friction and remains virtually impervious to light and moisture, it offers a better choice than inkjet or solid-ink printers for logo-endorsed materials that travel through the mail. Some laser printers can reproduce the inks used in commercial printing, enabling them to match the colors of press-printed items.
If you ship tangible products to customers — end users or component manufacturers — you can use a computer-controlled thermal printer to incorporate your logo on the labels you apply to cartons, along with address information, bar coding and other transit details. Labels also can apply your logo on surfaces as diverse as the outside of electronic components or the parts containers in a product that requires assembly. Thermal printers typically operate at approximately 200 dots per inch, so they don’t achieve the resolution of other forms of output hardware. Depending on the type of hardware you choose — direct thermal or thermal transfer — the device can print directly on special label stock, or use one of various types of ribbons to accommodate rough handling or environmental challenges. Thermal transfer printers offer various colors of output ribbons for customized imprinting.
How you apply your logo to a virtually infinite range of output media depends on the objects on which you print and the use to which they’re subjected. A pad printer uses a compressible hemisphere of silicone to transfer decorative or functional details from a printing plate to three-dimensional objects and manufactured items. It can add your logo to anything from sporting goods and electronic control surfaces to promotional merchandise and completed garments. If you create photographs or posters, you can incorporate your logo directly into output on inkjet or large-format output devices. A solid ink device can apply brightly saturated color using pigmented soy wax, adding your logo to handouts and charts. For best results, evaluate hardware in light of its performance flexibility and the primary attributes of its output: friction and moisture resistance, light sensitivity, color accuracy and resolution.