Custom imprinted balloons are fun and add a great touch to any event, but how do the balloons get imprinted? Plain latex balloons are actually filled with air first. The balloons are then custom imprinted while inflated. This is also why getting a bag of custom balloons with any defective balloons is so rare…they just don’t typically make it through the process. Balloons are inflated, screen printed, deflated, them put into industrial dryers that basically shrink them which is why you would never suspect that they have been inflated before you received your order. You can see now why it takes a little bit of time to get a quality custom balloon! It’s hard to rush the process and still get a good quality product at the end.
Any camera ready artwork can be imprinted on latex balloons as long as it is not protected by copyrights. Don’t even try to imprint an Under Armour logo if you don’t work for the company and have permission!
There are two ways that companies imprint balloons. The method used depends on factors like quantity, balloon size and delivery date. There are pros and cons of each depending on the different circumstances.
One method is offset printing. Ink is applied to a plate, the plate then transfers the ink to a printing drum (the image is in revere at this point). The balloon then rolls across the printing drum and in the process transfers the image to the balloons.
Another method is silk screening. In silk screening, the image has been etched on to the screen. The screens are held and slightly compresses the surface of the inflated balloon. Ink is forced through the mesh in the screen in the image area and onto the balloon. The no image area does not permit ink to penetrate.
When balloons are inflated for printing, they are filled to about 75 percent of their total final capacity. This gives the correct tension on the balloons for the ink to transfer properly. The balloons are printed and immediately released…deflation begins. The inks dries by the time the balloon is deflated.
The ink for custom imprinted balloons is very specialized. It has to be able to “attach” to the surface of the balloons, but not go so deep that it creates a hole in the balloon.
Sounds easy enough…right? Get pricing and learn more.