Adding Logos to Tarps

Posted by: Scott Sinclair

Customers often ask about adding a logo to their tarp.  There are several ways to achieve this which we will discuss in this post.  Here is a summary of the various methods:

  1. Digital Printing
  2. Screen Printing
  3. Simple Block-Letter Ink Printing
  4. Banner Overlays

The method that is best depends on a number of factors as described below.

Digital Printing

Complex logos need to be printed using "supersized" digital media printers on special print-friendly materials. The resulting logo can then be welded with our regular tarp material to construct the finished tarp. We don't do the digital printing ourself but rather work with a local digital printer for this.  There are a number of downsides to having a logo printed on your tarp. Here are some things to consider:

  • Often the logo won't stand up to weather and wear and tear as well as the rest of the tarp so the logo may start to look shaby even though there is lots of life left in the tarp.
  • Since the logos have to be printed on special "printable" vinyl, we can't guarantee that this section of the tarp will be as strong as the portion that is made from our heavy duty vinyl. There could also be color differences in the vinyls.
  • You will need to allow for at least a month to take delivery of a tarp with a complex logo since it takes extra time to coordinate these tarps with the print shop.
  • Digital printing can be rather expensive.
  • You will need to supply us with a high-quality vector image that can be given to the printer.
  • Printers are not able to print in white, so if white is required for your logo the background (tarp material) will need to be white and the logo must encompass all the non-white elements.

The benefits of going with digital printing include:

  • Images tend to be very high quality with lots of detail possible.
  • Multi-colored images are not a problem.
  • It is not prohibitively expensive to print in low volumes.

Screen Printing

Screen printing, also know as silkscreen printing involves creating stencils, known as screens, and using these to transfer ink onto the tarp surface. Screen printing offers a higher level of vibrancy than digital printing because the ink is about 10x thicker. Since each color requires a different screen and ink application this technique is not really feasible when more than two or three colors are required.  Here are some of the advantages of screen printing:

  • Can be a cheaper option when a large number of logos are required.
  • Better option than digital when printing on dark surfaces.
  • Colors can be more vibrant than digital images.
  • Silksreened images tend to be more durable than digital images.
  • Can be applied to a finished tarp surface.

The downside to screen printing include:

  • High setup costs make it prohibitive to do small qualtities.
  • Images cannot be too detailed.
  • Time consuming

Simple Block-Letter Ink Printing

At Heavy Duty Tarps, we don't do digital printing or screen printing in house but we can do simple ink printing. This mostly involves printing block letters on tarps, for example, to guard against theft of the tarp or to advertise your company name on your tarp(s). So, if you don't want a fancy logo on your tarp but you do want to include your company name or slogan, this might be the way to go. We charge $2.50 per letter for this option.

Banner Overlays

A final option is to combine traditional banners with a standard tarp. With this approach you would purchase your banner or logo from a sign printing company. Most cities have budget printers who offer inexpensive banners and signs printed on vinyl. So one option is to simply hang these banners on your Heavy Duty Tarp as shown here on a mesh tarp. Banner on mesh tarpThe benefit of this option is that the tarp does not have to be made from special printable material so there will be no delays in the production process. Also, when the banners wear out or tear, you can just replace the banner, there is no need to replace the tarp. This will also be a very cost effective approach when compared to the alternative options.

This approach works well when you want to show large images.

Sometimes customers just want to add a small logo to their tarps, in this case, another good option is to again have the logos printed on vinyl banner material but instead of hanging the logo on the tarp you can actually cut out the logo and glue it to the tarp. Contact cement can be used for this or if you want a very strong permanent adhesive we recommend a product called HH-66 which works very well when bonding vinyl onto vinyl. Here is an example of a logo that has been glued onto a vinyl tarp.

In summary, there are lots of different options when it comes to adding logos or lettering to your tarps. Generally, the most cost effective and least time consuming methods will involve

  • Having Heavy Duty Tarps add block lettering to your tarp
  • Working with a discount sign company to create banners or logos that you either hang on top of your tarp or stick onto your tarp using vinyl adhesive. 




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