A Few Tips for Saving a Few Bucks
Have Your Artwork Ready to Go by Considering Imprint Areas
Of course it is not always the case that your brewery has a graphic designer in-house, but you have likely used one to help get your logo.
Ask for the die line or art specifications ahead of time. The die line is a factory template that shows specs for printing. For example, if you are putting your artwork on a can cooler, the die line will show the maximum imprint area as well as possible "sketchy" areas for printing near the very edge of the cooler that could cause bleeding if printed too closely. If you are putting your artwork on a curved edge (such as a stainless steel pint), it is important to know ahead of time what the maximum imprint area is, but possibly even more important to anticipate: how will your artwork fit on this product?
For example, if your logo is long and horizontal, but you are trying to fit it vertically onto, say, a cooler, it is crucial to consider that you may not like the very small size of your logo against the actual size of the product. Is there something you can do to make your logo a little more square? Can you stack words? Can you move your symbol above or below the words? Or, if you don't want to make any changes, maybe there is a different product that would better emphasis your logo.
Usually the initial artwork proof, or the first change is free of charge. However, once the supplier's art department has to start playing around with the logo to help you find what you are looking for, you may likely end up with artwork charges that range anywhere from $10 - $50 depending on how extensive the mock-up is and how many changes need to be made. Suppliers are happy to do this for you, but you may not be so happy with the bill. To avoid these charges, it helps to keep in mind: what your logo looks like, what you are buying, what the imprint area is, and how these factors can best be maximized.
Be Conscientious of Imprint Method
Quality does range depending on decoration method, but it is important to keep in mind what the purpose of your swag is, and the best way to work within your budget.
Of course we want the best quality for all of our products, but sometimes there is a middle ground between extremely high stitch counts for embroidery, and a cheaply printed t-shirt (if you are looking at apparel, for example).
If you are buying a T-shirt, it is unlikely that you need to embroider the logo as that is costly and an unnecessary detail that most shirts don't have. Instead, you could save a few bucks by silk-screening.
Coasters, for example, have width thickness ranging from 15 pt, 40 pt, 60 pt, and 80 pt. The lowest, 15pt, is almost paper-like, but if you using them for the purpose of marketing your name at an outdoor event, where drinks will be drank on picnic tables, do you need the highest quality coaster? 80 pt, on the other hand, is very durable and thick, to the point that it is almost sad to have to throw one out at the end of night. However, thick, high-quality coasters may be more appropriate at your brew pub or tap room than they would be at an outdoor festival. It all depends on what you want, but in our experience, a nice middle of the road coaster that is of nice quality and price is 60pt., appropriate for any purpose or occasion.
Side note: certain types of printing (i.e. coasters) don't cost more to print in full colour. However, when it comes to, say, embroidery or screen printing apparel, you will be charged by the colour, so try to keep that in mind as well.
Maximizing Set-Ups and Minimizing Repeat Set-Ups
As mentioned in an earlier article, the more new items you bring to market, the more set-ups you will have. And the more frequently you place an order, the more repeats you are going to have. Of course you want to try new things and expand your product line, and of course you can't always anticipate how many units you are going to be able to move and how quickly, but it is certainly something to keep in mind when making these procurement decisions.
Bundling Shipping Costs: More is Less
While we’re on the topic of saving a few bucks, I should mention that multiple orders of the same product in one-year costs you more for shipping than it would to ship all at once.
sense to order enough to hold you for a little while. Sort of like taking a cab, there is always a starting flat rate for shipping (it will never be under a certain $ value), and those all add up when you are shipping multiple times a year. The same goes for orders in general: if you are ordering two different products from the same supplier, ask them to ship the orders together to maximize shipping costs.