Minneapolis Pad Printing and Hot Stamping


Your Questions about Hot Stamping and Pad Printing, Answered!

UniversalPromo customers are curious about our hot stamping and pad printing services. We want our clients to have as much as information as they need to feel confident about their printing project from start to finish. Below are some common questions about hot stamping and pad printing.

What is hot stamping?

Hot stamping uses a heat transfer printing process that stamps your design onto the surface of your product, called a “substrate,” using foil. The hot stamping process uses two components: foil and a die. For surfaces that have curves and contours, a silicone die is the best choice. Magnesium dies are best for flat surfaces. All of our hot stamping projects utilize high-quality foils.

To prepare for the hot stamping process, we imprint your design onto the die. This imprint will ensure a clean transfer onto the substrate. Once the die is heated, we position a ribbon of foil between the die and your product’s substrate. The foil is pressed against the substrate using the die. After we release the press, a reflective, durable design in foil remains on the substrate of the product.

Hot stamping ensures a quick production speed with very few rejects, for a variety of products ranging from packaging to bottle labels to pill boxes and more!

Which foils do you use?

UniversalPromo ensures quality hot stamping projects by sourcing the highest-quality foils on the market. Customers can choose from foils in a spectrum of colors, effects and finishes that include the following:

  • Solid
  • Metallic
  • Gloss
  • Matte
  • Satin

If customers need help deciding on the right foil to use, UniversalPromo is here to help! We work with customers to ensure the foils selected match with design specifications including shades, length and width.

What is pad printing?

Pad printing uses an indirect offset printing process that transfers your design onto a substrate using ink. Instead of using dies like hot stamping, pad printing utilizes a silicone pad. All pad printing utilize high-quality, medical grade inks.

First, UniversalPromo creates an inset plate with your logo or design that retains a thin supply of ink deposited by the pad printing machine. Next, the machine presses a silicone pad against the insert that lifts ink in the shape of your design and stamps it onto the substrate.

What inks do you use?

UniversalPromo sources Class VI Medical Grade Inks for use on every pad printing project. Class VI Medical Grade Inks include adhesion and quality characteristics of non-medical pad printing inks with additional qualities including biocompatibility and drug-resistance. Passing the highest safety standards in the industry, Class VI Medical Grade Inks are a safe choice for both medical and non-medical uses. Class VI medical grade inks also dry quickly and resist a variety of sterilization methods such as heat, chemical and gas.

Our inks are extremely versatile. UniversalPromo’s graphic design team employs the most current color-matching technology to customize color palettes and opacity for every customer. If your design requires it, we can do it!

What are the advantages of hot stamping vs. pad printing?

UniversalPromo can complete hot stamping and pad printing projects on a variety of substrates including the following:

  • Polyurethane
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • PVC
  • Pebax ®

Hot stamping is best suited for flat or gently contoured surfaces. Flat surfaces ensure an even transfer of the foil. Because hot stamping is a dry printing process, projects are completed quickly and with little waste. Another advantage of hot stamping is the capacity to print a multi-colored design all at once. 

Our customers choose hot stamping for a variety of products such as:

  • Medical devices
  • Household appliances
  • Electronics
  • Food storage and labelling
  • Packaging
  • Promotional items

Pad printing is a process best suited for transferring a two-dimensional image onto a three-dimensional surface. Pad printing is a great choice for products with textured, contoured or otherwise irregular surfaces. Since pad printing is very precise, this process can accomplish prints as fine or as large as you need. No project is too big or too small!

If you’re worried that your product is too small or shaped too strangely, don’t fret. UniversalPromo has an in-house team of engineers who specialize in customizing semi-automated printing processes. We will make sure you see consistent, high-quality results on even the toughest substrates.

Since UniversalPromo uses fast-drying Class VI Medical Grade inks, we can apply multiple colors to your substrate in a short period of time. Using high-quality inks makes hot stamping an efficient process.

Our customers choose pad printing for diverse applications including the following:

  • Class I, Class II, and Class III medical devices
  • Medical supplies such as pill boxes and syringes
  • Displays and screens
  • Product design and innovation prototypes
  • Promotional items
  • Health and safety magnets

What are your safety standards during the printing process?

Compliance is one of the pillars of UniversalPromo’s business. We take safety seriously in every step of the printing process because we know your product’s integrity relies on it! That is why we apply the same stringent compliance standards to every single project.

Our safety standards begin with the supplies and equipment we use. UniversalPromo completes every printing project using state-of-the-art printing equipment and high-quality inks and foils. Upon request, UniversalPromo will provide you with material safety sheets and certificates of compliance for our inks.

UniversalPromo completes every printing project in a clean room environment designed to protect your product and consumers from contaminants. We maintain this environment through careful control of equipment, personnel and cleaning processes.

We document each printing process to prove your product was handled safely from start to finish, and ensures we can repeat the process on future orders. Our customers can rely on UniversalPromo for consistent, compliant care in printing services.

The Best of the Midwest in Hot Stamping and Pad Printing Services

UniversalPromo is proud to be a leader in the hot stamping and pad printing industry, but our expertise is not our biggest source of pride. We are most proud to offer customer-centered service, because our customers have made us the leaders we are today!

We want you to be informed every step of the way, so you feel confident in the outcome from beginning to end. If you have more questions about our printing services, engineering, graphic design or any other capabilities, please reach out to us. We look forward to connecting with you!