Decoration Methods: What are they and which one should I choose? (with examples)

Decoration Methods or Print Methods are where the magic happens when it comes to custom printing on branded promotional products, corporate gifts, custom merch packs, etc.

This is where your brand comes to life on your chosen product(s)!


Decoration Methods Explained: What are they and which one should I choose? (with examples)


Read on to understand all Decoration Methods: What are they and which one should I choose? (with examples)

In order of popularity...


What is it?

Print any design with exact multi-colour matched logos, even with gradients. Use of water based inks makes this more environmentally friendly vs. Screen Printing.

Typically used for:
Apparel & totes where multi-coloured logos or logos with gradients are required. 


Supacolour Decoration Example -


Supacolour Decoration Method Example on Two Tee Shirts -


Screen Print

What is it?
Ink is pressed through fine mesh screens to apply your designs.

Typically used for:
Tee shirts, hoodies, apparel items where single colour, non-gradient logos are preferred.


Screen Printing on a Company Branded Tee Shirt Decoration Method Example for Ronin


Screen Printing on a Tee Shirt Decoration Method Example for Klaviyo - Mercha


Screen Printing Example Printed on a T Shirt for Mercha - Mercha


What is it?
A needle applies thread to stitch in your design. It’s a classy look, great for solid colours and logos. Not good for fine lines, small writing.

Typically used for:
Headwear, jackets, polos, bags and Hi-Vis workwear. Not great for tee shirts or thin material.


Embroidery Examples on Hats, Caps and Beanies - Mercha 


Embroidery Example on Company Branded Duffel Bag for Ortto - Mercha


Embroidery Example on Company Branded Hoodie for KPMG - Mercha


Pad Printing

What is it?

A design is dipped into ink and pressed onto the product. Provides great vibrant colours but is limited to 4 colours.

Typically used for:

Products with small, curved printing surfaces. E.g., cups, mugs and water bottles. Best for single colour logos.


Pad Printing Examples on Water Bottles and Mugs - Mercha


Pad Printing Example on Reusable Coffee Cup for Arkhi Digital - Mercha


Laser Engraving

What is it?

A laser is used to burn or 'etch' a logo onto the product. Laser engraving gives beautiful detail and works best on metal and wood-based items. Note, Laser Engraving does not produce colour. It provides a metallic or wooden finish based on the underlying material. 

Typically used for:
Pens, water bottles, coffee cups, key chains.


Laser Engraving Decoration Method Example on Metal Pen for The Central West


Laser Engraving Decoration Method Example on Bottle and Mug for Derek's Place


Laser Engraving Decoration Method Example on Water Bottle for Grange Glass and Aluminum


Digital Printing / Direct Digital

What is it?

Products are printed using large format ink-jet printing machines.

Typically used for:

Large format printing in multiple colours on any product that can accept large designs.



Digital Printing Example on Branded Tote Bags for Cancer Council - Mercha


Direct Digital Printing Example on Reusable Water Bottle for Golden Circle - Mercha


What is it?

Digital print applied to the product via heat to fuse the design and the product together.

Typically used for:

Perfect match to any colour and is great for designs with gradients. Ideal for items like stubbie coolers and lanyards for full coverage.


Sublimation Print Example on Neoprene Stubby Cooler for Swimart - Mercha

Other Decoration Methods


Debossing presses a stamp into a piece of soft material, making a permanent impression. Great for leather and soft goods for a subtle, elegant look.

Digital Transfer

Digital transfer is a way of producing full colour designs via a heat transfer process, which are too complex to be screen printed. Best for complex, multi-coloured designs on apparel, caps or bags.

Digital Label

Digital Label is a digitally printed sticker, which is then applied to your product. No limitations on colours. Best for anything delivered in a poly bag (e.g., mints, confectionary).

Roll Printing

Roll Printing is similar like to Pad Printing where a design is dipped into ink and pressed on the product. Best for large, cylindrical items.

Vinyl Sticker

Vinyl Stickers are printed stickers, which can applied anywhere you want a sticker (laptops and kids both seem to love stickers). No limitations on colours. Best for stickers, which can be applied to anything.