FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about Sporty Thoughts service and relevant terminology. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Payment required in advance for all new clients. Credit accounts available for subsequent orders, on completion of application and subject to credit checks. Maximum credit given strictly 30 days.

Payment can be made by cheque, BACS, debit card or credit card. We accept all major credit cards. Credit card payments are subject to a 2.5% surcharge and we can only accept transactions up to £1000.

We have trading partners all over the world so we offer a free sourcing service. Please contact our experienced staff through the website, email or telephone who will be happy to assist in the search for your ideal product.

We will be happy to supply a proof sheet or mock up based on the description and artwork supplied by you. We will also be happy to amend or correct these images until you are satisfied and ready to place the order.

Origination put simply is the process of making the printing plate and setting up a machine to print your design or artwork. It is a one off payment. Quite often it is reduced on repeat orders or free of charge depending on the product.

All our products have different lead times and are subject to final artwork approval. Seasonal demand and stock availability can also effect lead times. We do offer a range of express items please contact one of our sales team for more details.

Most corporate guidelines will have specific pantone colours that must be used on all printed materials. If this can’t be supplied, we will find the closest possible pantone equivalent to the colours used in the submitted artwork. As computer monitors do not display colours all the same and materials have different print qualities it is impossible to get a 100% match.

Please inform our sales team of deadlines before orders are placed. Delivery dates are subject to stock availability and production times. Delivery dates are fixed upon final artwork approval.

Minimum order quantity is simply the smallest print run for a product that is also an attractive price to the customer. Orders below minimum can usually be accommodated but will incur additional cost.

Artwork is best provided in a vectored EPS or PDF format with Pantone colours. But we will be happy to provide or amend artwork for you based on your description.

Standard images are grids of pixels, each pixel has a value or colour. Vectored images are formed by plotting paths between points or coordinates. This means that a vectored image can be resized without pixilation or distortion.

No problem, we can re-draw or vectorize your logo at cost. Please call for more information.

Screen printing is the process changing vectored images into a template. The template is laid onto a screen. Ink or pigment is then forced through fine mesh of the screen onto the surface of the product. This process can only do one colour at a time. Multiple colours can be printed. There will be a set up charge per colour or origination charge.

Pad printing is the process of printing your artwork onto objects via an ink transfer system. A plate holds the ink in the pattern of the artwork; a silicone pad is brought down onto the plate, lifting the top layer of the ink which has become tacky. Once on the pad has ink it then deposits the ink onto the desired surface. As the ink is already tacky it dries quickly. Multiple colours can be printed. There will be a set up charge per colour or origination charge.

Four colour process printing is the method used for printing images with more than three base colours. Images are broken down into to the four CYMK colours. Individual colour plates are then created from these digital images. This allows the printer much greater control over the whole process. By careful dot alignment the original artwork is recreated. Transfer Prints and Paper Inserts are ideal for this process.

Embossing is the process of creating your artwork in relief on a surface using heat and pressure. It is a highly tactile effect. Blocking is the process of using a stamp to leave an indented mark on a material (usually leather). Commonly used with a gold foil effect.

Engraving is the process of creating your logo by cutting into the surface of hard objects. This is a very effective branding method as the logo will not wear away. Laser engraving has become more popular as it is a fast way of achieving similar effects.

Transfer printing is mainly used when applying an image to a curved or uneven surface. It is most commonly used for printing on ceramics such as pottery mugs and heavy fabrics with a textured surface.
The image is prepared on a special paper which is placed on the object in its unglazed state. After its initial firing to transfer the image to the object; the object is then glazed and fired again to make the image permanent. Seeing as there are a great number of steps to be taken, transfer printing is the most expensive and time consuming of most of the print methods.

A dye-sublimation print employs a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto a medium such as a plastic card, paper or fabric. The sublimation name is applied because the dye transitions between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage and is mainly used for producing photographic prints.
Most of the time CMYO (cyan, magenta, yellow and overcoating) colors are used, which differs from the more recognized CMYK colors in that the black dye is eliminated in favour of a clear overcoating. This overcoating is also stored on the ribbon and is effectively a thin laminate which protects the print from discoloration from UV light and the air, while also rendering the print water-resistant.

Our experienced staff will suggest products relevant to your needs that can be produced on a express service.