Help and Customer Support» go back

Apart from offering an extensive and easy to use online catalogue, Carat Promotions endeavours to give its clients the best and most professional service.

Should you have any questions concerning our products, placing the order, artwork, or any other, please call our friendly helpline on 020 8941 5405.

Alternatively, please use the customer service pages below:

  • Order Process
  • Artwork
  • FAQ
  • Glossary
  • Research

Following stages will be followed to fulfil all orders:

Order enquiries can be made either by phone or email. To give you an accurate quotation we will need the following:
» product code / description / guide as to what is needed
» quantity
» budget, if there is a particular one
» branding type (e.g. printing, engraving, embroidery, etc.) and description of artwork (for more details on artwork click the next tag)
» delivery address if different from mainland UK
» delivery date if required
Provide quotation. We can quote on multiple quantities, different branding options and as many products as you require.
Order confirmation from you by email stating what you wish to order (quantities, branding, etc.), the delivery address and invoice address.
Invoice produced and, once it is paid, we start progressing the order.
Artwork proof sent which you need to approve. You can make as many amendments to the proof as you need until you are completely satisfied with the mock-up.
On approval we proceed with bulk production.
Product delivered.
Follow up call to confirm delivery received and feedback.
Order information (including artwork) stored for future reference and efficient re-ordering.

The following artwork can be used for branding:

logos / illustrations
We require artwork in a vectored .eps or .pdf format, colour separated, with all fonts saved as outlines.
photos
When working with photographic images it is best to save them at least 100% of actual print area at a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.

If you are unable to provide a file in a suitable format, we can convert from:

» Jpegs or similar
» your letterheads
» a sketch / written description

Charges for artwork preparation are based on the complexity of the image (there is no charge on text and simple shapes), so please contact us for quotation or more information.

If you are unsure whether your artwork is suitable for use, please send it to us at info@carat‑promotions.co.uk and we will be happy to advise.

Please view our frequently asked questions:

How to order or to obtain quotation?

Please see the first tab for more information.

Do you supply products that aren't on your site?

Yes! Cannot find what you are looking for? Please contact us and we will search our extensive product range for something that meets your needs or a practical alternative for your budget and lead time. Sometimes, the product range changes quicker than we can change our website – so get in touch.

What is your minimum order quantity?

Our minimum order quantities are based on technical aspects of our production processes and are specific to each product. We attempt to keep unit prices down for consumer benefit. In some cases we can arrange an order of less than our standard minimum quantity but this is not always possible.

What does vectored .eps or .pdf mean?

Simply put, EPS is an acronym which stands for Encapsulated PostScript, a computer file format widely used by the printing and graphics industries. They are file formats for artwork created in a vector-based program.

Vectored artwork consists of creating paths and points in a program such as illustrator or freehand. The program keeps track of the relationships between these points and paths so that every time the image is scaled for different print areas or curved surfaces, the paths are regenerated. This creates images that are infinitely scalable without a loss of quality. Vectored files are great for illustrations and logos.

Is my artwork suitable?

The type of artwork required varies from item to item. For further information click on the second tab on this page or call our helpline on 020 8941 5405.

Can you colour match?

We make every effort to pantone match your artwork but due to variations in material and printing processes used we cannot guarantee a perfect colour match. Where we feel the colours may not be well replicated we will let you know and advise any changes that could be made.

Will I see how my order is going to look before production?

Yes, we always send a proof sheet for your approval. It will show the location of your artwork, the dimensions and the colour based on your description of how you want it. If we don’t get it right the first time, please let us know and we will make changes until you are happy to proceed.

What is "origination"?

Origination is the cost of setting up our printing process; it is a single fee that covers the transfer of your artwork and any other printing costs. Usually, you are not charged for this if it’s a repeat process with us. Prices quoted assume you are able to supply us with suitable artwork. Don’t worry if you do not have this available as we can produce artwork for you at very reasonable cost. Please see here for more information on artwork.

What are your lead times?

Lead times we give are from your approval of artwork and are specific to each product. If you have a date you would like to work towards, please let us know and we will see if we can make it. Please note that at certain times during the year lead times may be longer for certain products as they become more popular.

When can I expect delivery?

Our delivery dates are estimated from artwork approval in the case of printed items and from receipt of payment on plain stock. Note that these are not from the date of your initial enquiry or order confirmation. If you have a specific date in mind for delivery then please let our sales team know before you place an order so that they can find out if we are able to make your date.

What are your terms of payment?

Carat Promotions do not offer a credit account; we work on a payment with order basis. This means that the order goes ahead when you make the payment to us.

If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 8941 5405 or email: info@carat-promotions.co.uk


Debossiong

The process of Debossing is offered on most of our leather and PU items but can also be done on other items (e.g. made of silicone). A die is created of your logo and then pressed into the material creating an 'impression' of the logo. Debossing provides a subtle, yet higher perceived value on many products.

Sometimes the term "Embossing" is used in a more general meaning for both embossing and debossing.



Digital Print

With Digital Print an image is printed directly to a specially coated paper in process colour, using technology similar to an office laser printer. This is then cover-coated, becoming a transfer which is applied to the item. As with full colour printing, there are limitations on the strengths of reds and pinks but, with pastels and citrus shades, the results are excellent. Because the inks are a natural product, perfect colour matching cannot be achieved on repeat orders and it is not possible to match the primary colour chart, but the technique is excellent for photographic reproduction.

Ideal for: photo images or cartoon images without bright primary colours. / Not for: any images with strong primary colours.



Dye Sublimation

Dye Sublimation enables really accurate colour photographic reproduction. A four-colour process high quality photo finish is possible with crystal clear results and really bright impact colours. The technique uses organic colour dyes. This opens up a much more diverse colour spectrum and gives you a brilliantly outstanding gloss appearance. It is also environmentally friendly, avoiding the use of substances such as lead and cadmium. Because it does not have to withstand a kiln firing, it provides a more versatile colour range than fired enamel colours.

Ideal for: photo images with a lot of detail bright colours for stunning reproduction. / Not for: certain shapes, mugs that need to withstand frequent harsh dishwasher cycles.



Embossing / Blind Embossing

Embossing is a process where the logo is raised from the surface of the material creating a three-dimensional design. This often creates a higher perceived value of the item. The techniques is often used on metal or paper items.

Sometimes the term "Embossing" is used in a more general meaning for both embossing and debossing (where the design is pressed into the material).



Embroidery

With Embroidery, the logo is stitched onto the material using threads in designated embroidery friendly areas creating your design. The artwork that is to be embroidered on an item needs to be specially prepared using a secialist software. This process is called digitisation and it enables the sewing machine to recreate the logo on the promotional tem. Embroidery is an elegant and stylish way to portray a wide range of logo types.

Each embroidery consists of a number of stitches (usually 5000-7000), depending on its size. Quotations are created based on the number of stitches and in order to prepare it we need to see your artwork and know the size of embroidery you require.



Foil Blocking

Foil Blocking is a process of stamping artwork onto a book or a diary cover using a coloured foil with pressure from a heated die or block. Usually silver or gold foils are used but other coloured foils are also available. The technique creates a design that stands out.



Laser Engraving

With Laser Engraving the logo is carved directly into the surface using a laser. The even and clean lines create a novel and detailed logo with a refined and elegant look. Laser Engraving is most common on wooden and metal products.



Offset Printing / Litho Printing

Offset Printing or Litho Printing is a commonly used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface.

A unique characteristic of offset printing is that the image and non-image areas are on the same surface level. The printing method uses the chemical fact that oil and water do not mix to print from a single surface level. In fact, offset printing acquired this method from lithography and thus it is often referred to as litho offset printing as well.

The printing technique is most popular in books, magazines and brochures, however, it can be used in many other instances.



Pad Printing

Pad Printing is extremely effective on rounded, uneven, or slanted product shapes. It is also perfect for small and intricate logos. A silicone pad is used to transfer the ink onto the product. The pad can hit various levels on a product at one time. Ink colour availability is restricted due to the limited ability to mix inks utilized in this process. Pad printing is utilized on products such as: plastics, pens, aluminum, tins, rubber, cardboard gift boxes, metal, vinyl, leather and paper.



Process Printing

Process Printing is short of four color printing process. The image is broken down into four essential colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black (known as CMYK). Most creative software can store an image in CMYK format, but be careful as the monitor may not give a Pantone-accurate version of the image. It is best to send graphic files with a printed visual.

Ideal for: large run photographic work. / Not for: smaller runs which are now better suited to dye sub or digital printing.



Screen Printing

Screenprinting is a stencil process which is also known as silkscreening or serigraphy. A screen is made by tightly stretching a fine mesh of material on a frame. Areas of the mesh are blocked with a stencil, and then a squeegee is used to pull ink through the unblocked areas.

An image, usually up to four colours, is printed within a given area directly onto the body of the item colour by colour. Each colour has to dry before the next one is applied in order to prevent smudges.

There are limitations with this process and it is primarily used for the low budget side of the promotional market. A screen printer can print several thousand items a day, in contrast to the slower, hand decorated transfer process.

Ideal for: simple, cartoon style logos and designs. / Not for: complex half-tones.



Spot UV Varnish

With Spot UV Varnish a high gloss specific varnish is applied to an area of an image. The technique is used on photos, type and graphics on paper items - usually business cards or paper carrier bags. The process lifts the treated area, making the image more vibrant and glossy.



Transfer Printing

Transfer Printing is a printing method by which the pattern is printed onto an intermediate medium such as plastic film or paper and then applied to the final product to be printed by pressure and/or heat or other treatment that makes the pattern leave the transfer medium and deposit permanently on the product to be printed. When applied on some items, e.g. mugs, the printing is transferred by hand so the process is slower and more labour intensive than direct screen printing but is more flexible with colours able to be built up with precision and control.

Transfer printing is used when larger than average print is needed, the item is highly shaped, or cases where more than four spot colours, very fine detail or tight registration is required.


BPMA Research

Bpma research – Whats on your Desk surveyed 400 respondents to understand what promotional items were used. These are some of the findings:

92% believe branded promotional merchandise increases company brand awareness.
76% say they can name a brand or company/organisation featured on a promotional merchandise on their desk without having to look for confirmation.
Over half (52%) purchased from companies branded on a Promotional merchandise product found on their desk.
82% would keep an item they were given than give it away.

Top 10 items people keep on their desks:

1. Pens
2. Calendars
3. Mouse Mats
4. Post-it Notes and Sticky Notes
5. Mugs
6. Pencils
7. Desk Pads and Note Pads
8. Calculators
9. Diaries
10. Notebooks

 

Advertising Specialties Impressions Study

Findings:

84% of end-users remember the brands on the items they have received.
42% of end-users have a more favorable impression of an advertiser after receiving the item.
Nearly 25% of end-users are MORE LIKELY to do business with the advertiser on the items they receive.
62% of end-users have done business with the advertiser AFTER RECEIVING the item.
Writing instruments are the most-recalled promotional item (next in line are: shirts, caps and bags).
The typical promotional product is kept for 7 months.
End-users keep items that are USEFUL.
Writing instruments are the most frequently used promotional items (next are desk/business accessories).