For several years we’ve offered award ribbons on our website but in interest of full disclosure, the ordering process was never great. The problem we ran into is most suppliers of award ribbons are small companies that have limited staff and are weak on providing product details. We also found the pricing structure unnecessarily complicated. I know there is a need and a demand for these types of ribbons. So now we are in the process of redoing this entire category on our website and hopefully will make the ordering experience a little easier and less intimidating.
Wearable ribbons, also known as ribbons badges, or lapel ribbons, award ribbons, stack-a-ribbons, flat ribbon badges, and on and on. There are so many names for these ribbons that I’m not entirely sure what to call them. Some common uses for wearable ribbons are in retail stores to promote a product, a special sale, or to promote a company’s competitive edge. For example “Ask us about our 0% 6-month Finance Program”. Wearable ribbons are used for orientations, to make it easier to identify staff members. They are used in graduation ceremonies to distinguish students or professors with special honors. For fund raising events. The list goes on and on.
Another type of wearable ribbon is the award ribbon or the carded ribbon. These ribbons have an eyelet at the top with a string. Also included with each ribbon is a card to enter the details of the event or the winner of the event.
Then there are rosette ribbons, which are typically a pleated ribbon that circles around a printed medallion and has an award ribbon hanging from it. There ribbons are commonly used in dog shows, award shows, counties fairs, etc. Though we have not yet added this item to our website, I am especially intrigued. I think they are very neat looking and very colorful. Below are images of the different types of wearable ribbons.
Ordering printed ribbons should not be that hard but the one thing I’ve learned about the promotional products industry is that ordering printed items is not as easy as one would think. So below is the basics for ordering printed ribbons.
When ordering printed ribbons, the most common type is a satin ribbon. The most common widths are 3/8″, 5/8″, 7/8″, and 1 1/2″. Ribbon is typically spooled on rolls of 100 yards (at least for widths of 1 1/2″ or less). We usually recommend at least a 5/8″ width as 3/8″ is bit narrow and the details in art and copy are more likely to fill in. The ribbon is a basic polyester ribbon that typically has a woven (finished) edge and is either smooth and silky on one side of the ribbon or on both sides of the ribbon. Satin on one side only is typically called “Single Face Satin Ribbon” or “Single Faced Satin Ribbon”. If you do a search online you will see that there is no consistency in the name. The other option is “Double Face Satin Ribbon” or “Double Faced Satin Ribbon”. This means both sides of the ribbon have a nice smooth silky feel. Double Faced as you might expect comes at a premium. A company or organization that is especially image conscious may opt for double faced satin ribbon. Both options only have printing on one side of the ribbons. Sometimes a customer will think double face is printed on both sides but this is not the case.
Lastly for this chapter – The most common print method for ribbons is hot stamp. Hot stamp uses foil for printing. Foils can be shiny/metallic and foils can also be matte. A few tings o keep in mind with hot stamp is that PMS/pantone colors cannot be matched. Also hot stamp is best for relatively basic logos. Very complicated logos may not print as well with hot stamp. The way a hot stamp machine works is the hot plate plate presses down on the foil paper that then leaves an impression on the ribbon. When the plate lifts up, some of the foil may not lift cleanly from the ribbon and this can cause some fill in or loss of detail. If you have lots of small text, it is better to remove the text or opt for a wider ribbon and enlarge the wording as much as possible. This will print a lot better. We highly recommend ordering at least a 5/8″ ribbon and whenever possible reduce the amount of small text. Less is more when printing on ribbons!
So we just added a new item to our website and I am very excited about this. It’s called “The Grand Opening Ribbon” or “Ceremonial Ribbon“. The product is not really new for us but we never offered it as a standard item on the website. I’ve been doing lots of searches online and there is a whole ribbon cutting world. Massive scissors (see image below) to cut the ribbon, bows, engraved scissors, etc. So we will start off with just a the basic ribbon and assuming it’s a popular item, we will start digging deep into this item and entrench ourselves in the world of ribbon cutting.
Today we have a new item in our mint section. It’s individually wrapped mints and mentos in a full color wrapper. Up until this point, we were only offering wrapped mints in one color only. It is slightly more expensive to have the full color wrapper but it does allow for some more flexibility and these new wrappers offer some new flavors as well as mentos. Looking at these mints is making want one very bad. Happy mints everyone!
At the recent PPAI show, I saw that ChicoBag had a booth. Years ago I wanted to add their bags to our website but ChicoBag did not seem to be set up for the promotional products industry. Well now they are, so the the big question is…drum roll please… should we add this item to our website? ChicoBag is a well known brand and you do pay a premium to sell the name. We are currently offering a similar product that is less expensive. So maybe the answer to the question is to offer both versions. I will add this to the 2018 list. Work to be done!
Here are pics of the bags we offer. This is one of my favorite items we currently have on our website. I love functional items and these bags are just perfect. They take up very little space and they hold a lot of items. We have them listed as holding up to 30 lbs and this seems right based on my own experience with the bags. Here is a link to the item on our website.
The PPAI show is the largest promotional product show of the year. It’s a source for finding new suppliers of printed items, including the newest techno gadgets and trendy promos. The convention also includes useful educational workshops for learning how to more effectively sell and market promotional items. Below are some highlights from the show:
Love the idea of a branded thermos from an iconic brand such as Coleman. I know this is something I’d be happy to receive as a promotional gift. We will try to add this to the website in the coming year.
How awesome is this? I want a subway bike! Not sure we’d add this to our website but if anyone is interested, let us know and we can design one for you.
And this was the most popular booth at the show. A company called Origaudio. They design cool gadgets and trendy bags. If only I could pronounce their name.
Not exactly sure why but I love these logo suitcases. Another item I will probably never add to website but if interested let us know!
Finally, the keynote speaker, Roy Spence, was awesome. He’s a founding partner at GSD&M Advertising and the CEO of The Purpose Institute. Mr. Spence has been in the advertising industry for a long time and he told great stories that involved his campaign for Southwest Airlines – “Triple Crown Awards (which is apparently an award that Southwest created and was of course the only winner), his initial meeting with Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, the former US Presidents PSA for Harvey, and his famous “Don’t Mess with Texas” campaign. It was the most impressive keynote I have ever been to. Can’t wait to next year PPAI show!