pad printing

24 February, 2022

Branding Techniques For Glassware - Pad Printing

Over the coming weeks, we will discuss the pros and cons of the different branding techniques that are available for getting your logo or design onto your choice of glassware. Whether it be wine glasses, champagne glasses, shot glasses or beer glasses, each has its own characteristics that affect how we do the branding. There are 3 main techniques for branding onto glassware – pad printing, etching and decals. Today we are going to discuss pad printing. There are four main things to consider.

  1. Branding Size
  2. Durability
  3. Colours Required
  4. Budget

Let’s go through all of these and hopefully it will help you decide what works best for what you want to achieve.

  1. Branding Size: This is important as each type of finish has different qualities. Most glassware has a round surface that you will be adding your logo to. There are not many straight-sided glasses and this affects how large we can do the branding. Pad printing uses a silicone pad that presses against the glass to release the ink. As it is a pad, it is slightly flexible, but the pad comes down flat, so it can only print to the flat area it comes in contact with. When it comes to larger glasses like pint beer glasses, this is fine as you have a large area before the glass starts to curve, but when you have champagne or shot glass, the curve is very acute, so the print area is greatly reduced. If you are doing a glass that is long and thin, bear in mind the print area will be very small if you opt for a pad print.
  2. Durability: This is obviously a major factor in any decision. You don’t want to go to the cost of having your lovely wine glasses branded only to find your logo comes off in the first wash. Of all the branding techniques, pad printing is the least durable. If you hand wash the glasses, the print would be fine, but if placed in a dishwasher, in all likelihood the print will come off in time. It may be with a few weeks or a few months, but it will deteriorate if put in a dishwasher. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, the glassware is put in a low fire kiln if pad printing. This cures the ink to the glass so it will stay on. The issue with low fire curing is it does not give the ink an extremely strong band to the glass. This is where the second factor comes in. The detergents used in current dishwashers are extremely strong and abrasive. In the old days, a pad print could survive this, however, the strength of the tablets or powder nowadays is too strong, hence the recommendation of hand wash only. If you are a restaurant or bar looking to add branded glassware, we strongly recommend not to use this type of branding. It is more suited for people who will use the glasses for home use where they can handwash the glasses.
  3. Colours Required: Pad printing is mainly restricted to one colour prints. This is because each colour printed needs to be cured before the next colour is added. When the first colour is cured, it is extremely difficult to then line the glass up for the second colour print to ensure it hits the glass in the correct position. It can be achieved on some beer glasses as they have a handle that can be used as a guide, but generally, pad printing works best with one colour prints.
  4. Budget: Of all the branding techniques, pad printing is the cheapest. If you are looking to keep costs down and the glasses you are giving away can be hand washed and not put in a dishwasher, pad printing is the most effective for keeping the budget low. The branding process is the fastest, hence the cost is lower. If you are doing bulk quantities to hand out at a mass merchandising campaign, this would be the most cost-effective.

In the next two blogs, we will discuss options for etching and decals. In the meantime, if you are looking to do custom glassware and are unsure what would work best for you in regards to durability and finish, we’d be happy to help. Just send us an email or give us a call and one of our friendly staff can assist you.

The Glassware Only Team