You’ve probably never heard the word tampography used in day-to-day conversation, but chances are, you experience its final product almost daily. Tampography, also known as pad printing, is the process of transferring a 2D image or design onto a 3D surface using a variety of etched plates. Its uses are infinite – from the branded pens handed out at company fairs to the Hot Wheels car you played with as a child.
How Does It Work?
Would your universal remote even have a purpose if all of the buttons were blank? How would you know if you were turning down the volume or just changing the channel? Luckily pad printing is here to mass produce the tiny lettering on each brightly colored button.
When printing the remote, an etching is created which will eventually be filled with ink. Then, using metal or plastic blades, the excess ink is removed and the artwork is ready to be transferred to the object. This is all done incredibly quickly and the machine can produce over 1,000 units an hour.
How Can You Use It?
As you can see, there are countless ways to use pad printing. However, since each printing job requires individual etched plates, it can quickly become a very costly process if you are not mass producing. However, there are still many fun ways to use pad printing for non-commercial usages.
- Branded Candy
What better way to brag about a special event then printing it on thousands of M&Ms? These customized candies are created using tampography and are probably among the more delicious usages.
- Skateboard Art
Those art deco flaming skulls that graced the bottom of you treasured skateboard were made possible through pad printing.
On shoes, tampography can be used for anything from generically branded logos to a full picture of your dog splashed across the toes of your favorite Crocs.
With pad printing, the sky truly is the limit! Next time you type on your keyboard or grab some fishing lures as bait, you can thank tampography for making life just a tiny bit easier.