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What is the difference between laser engraving and imprinting?

Engraving is a method of marking a promotional product by a computer laser beam.  This laser beam will typically remove ("burn off") the outer coating on a product, such as a pen, and hence expose the under color of a product.  For example:  A pen may have a blue barrel.  A laser will remove the blue coating where your logo is marked, and expose a gold or silver tube underneath.  No ink is used in the process. This is the longest lasting marking type.

Imprinting is a method of applying your marking (ie your logo) to a product in color using ink.  Screen and pad printing are the most common types.  This allows the customer to choose the color they want on a product.

Imprinting by Pad printing: is a method of imprinting in which a recessed surface is covered with ink. When the plate is wiped clean, ink remains in the recessed area. A silicone pad then presses against the plate, pulls the ink out of the recesses and is pressed directly against the product.

Imprinting by Screen Printing: is a method in which the image is transferred to the printed surface by ink squeegeed through a stenciled screen stretched over a frame. Screens are treated with a light-sensitive emulsion, then film positives are put in contact with the screens and exposed to light. The light hardens the emulsion not covered by the film, leaving a soft area on the screen for the squeegee to force ink through. Also called silkscreening.

Full color digital printing allows for a full color imprint without extra cost per color.