We all know that golf balls are specially designed with dimples, bumps and slices in their cover to make them fly further. With their irregular shaped surface, have you ever wondered how logo printed golf balls get their crisp and colourful stamps?
The secret behind the clear and quality imprint on these logo’d golf balls is pad printing. This printing method offers a fine and detailed image printing on sporting goods and specialty items with complicated substrates including cylindrical, spherical, compound angles, textures, concave, and convex surfaces.
This system boasts of high-performance technologies and materials, making it possible to print logo designs not only on flat, but also on uneven surfaces.
Printing Pad. Printing pad plays a big role in pad printing. It functions as a transfer vehicle from the picking up of the ink to the transferring of an image on the substrate. In fact, the print results of any complex items like golf balls depend on this material.
Printing pads are usually made of silicone rubber and are available in three size categories: small, medium and large. There are also different types of pads to choose from depending on the applications., but the general rule of thumb is to choose the hardest and largest pad possible to minimise image distortion.
Image Plate. Image plates or printing plates have equal importance like the silicone pads. The quality of the logo printed golf balls also relies on their value and performance. They were the ones that hold the printing image transferred by the pad to the object.
The most common type of printing plates are either made from steel or nylon material called photopolymer. Both plates do their jobs in transferring the ink, but the two have a distinct life expectancy. Steel plates can do around 700,000 to 1,000,000 or more imprints. While the nylon plates have a shorter life cycle, which can produce around 10,000 up to 40,000 imprints depending on some production factors.
Printing Ink. Every printing technique requires a high-quality ink. This important component is solvent-based and requires mixing with additives before use. The main purpose of using a solvent mixture is to yield a stable adhesion and constant print quality.
Basically, there are two kinds of pad printing inks: one component and two component. The first one is used to print thermoplastic substrates like Polystyrene (ABS and SAN), Polycarbonate, soft and rigid PVC, Polyethylene and Polypropylene. While the latter is recommended for applications that require high level of mechanical resistance.
When choosing a pad ink for your logo printed golf balls, it’s crucial to note some considerations. Among the things to be considered are surface characteristics, brightness degree, drying requirements and mechanical or chemical resistance.
Ink Transfer. There are two ways of getting the pad printing process done. First is through an open ink well system, an old school method wherein the ink lies on the plate and is drawn back into the ink reservoir by a blade.
In the closed cup or sealed ink system, the ink cup is placed over the top of the printing image. The printing cycle goes like this:
- The printing plate moves forward, causing the ink to form a layer on top.
- The pad travels downward allowing the ink to be transferred from the plate to the pad.
- The ink on the pad is then transferred onto the surface.
- It will now go into a dry a room for the curing process.
The Major Advantage
Pad printing offers an enormous versatility compared to other printing methods. It’s not confined to printing on flat or round surfaces like the screen printing technology does. Plus, it can imprint on nearly all known materials including toys, appliance panels, household appliances, sporting goods such as logo printed golf balls, baseballs, tennis rackets, footballs, and industrial buttons as found on calculators, telephones and computer keyboards, to name a few.
By using this technology, adding different logo designs onto golf balls without distorting the image is now possible.
Final Word on Logo Printed Golf Balls
That question of how golf balls get logo’d probably popped in your head every time you hit the golf course with your clients and colleagues or when you received a promotional golf ball as a business gift.
Now that the secret is revealed, a lot of praise and thanks to all the promotional products suppliers who engage in a long process just to achieve a superior class of branded golf balls.
For over 20 years, Logo X has established its reputation in the promotional merchandise industry. We have a comprehensive range of golf event products including golf balls, tees, clothing, and other accessories.
Contact a Logo X representative at 0207 101 0722 or 0161 875 2500 today and we’ll be happy to assist you in all your specific branding needs.