Jacob Adner talks about print on demand drinkware, what people should look for in the products including insulation and stainless steel.
John Maher: Hey, I’m John Maher, I’m here today with Jacob Adner, founder and head of business development at Digital on Demand, a leading on demand printing fulfillment service. The topic today is print on demand drinkware – what to look for when adding to your product lineup. Welcome, Jacob.
Jacob Adner: Hi John, thank you for having me today.
John: Sure. So, Jacob, what are some of the things that people should look for in their print on demand drinkware?
Jacob: Yeah. So drinkware, of course, runs a wide variety of substrates and materials, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for when you’re picking your product. And, one of the major things that people don’t necessarily look for is double insulation that fully insulated all the way around. So, there’s a number of different manufacturing techniques that separate different types of tumblers from Yeti tumblers to Arctic tumblers to you name it. Some of them will have seams down the inside and what that does is over time first of all, it can rust. And, second of all, it could, while you’re drinking your coffee, it’ll actually allow heat to seep through. So, it’s not necessarily as insulated as you’d like it to be so having a wealth of experience in the product industry, as it relates to drinkware, we know what to look for when we source our products.
So we source only the highest quality products, fully doubly insulated, no steam, the type of stainless steel makes it makes a difference. The finish to the outside of the product makes a difference. You don’t want something that’s going to chip or peel extremely easily. Some powder coats or some painted coats really will come off quite easily or even in the wash unprompted. So, we try to take that into account when we select our product and then of course the lid is really important. You want a nice tight seal between the mouth of the product and the gasket on the lid. You want a nice slide cover that keeps the drink insulated. I mean, you don’t want one that’s going to get jammed or clogged or gross. So it’s something to keep in mind, but those are some of the factors that we try to have a mind’s eye toward when we select our product.
John: Are the products or some of the products able to be run through a dishwasher say, without image coming off?
Jacob: That’s something that we take pride in is our ability to achieve high quality adhesion to our substrates. So, we use a number of different pretreatment methodologies to make sure that when we print on a product, it stays on there and is durable for a long, long time. We do a lot of wash testing, scratch testing to figure out what the best pre-treatment method will be for each substrate, because they each have their own surface energy and properties to the composition of the product. So, we do the surface science, we figure out how to make the ink stick to it. And, when we customize a product, we want to make sure that it lasts for a long time, so that your custom drinkware is something that’s memorable for forever.
John: You mentioned the insulation having double insulation. What does that mean and why is the insulation so important and how do your products really address that?
Jacob: Double installation essentially has to do with the way that the product is manufactured. So when you look at a regular cup, that’s one wall of material between what you put inside the cup and where you put your hand. When we say double insulated, that means that there are actually two walls that are seamed at the top and at the bottom. So there’s actually a cavity between the two walls that creates a barrier for any form of temperature change to happen between the interior, the contents of what you put in your cup and the exterior, whether it be winter or your hand or whatever you name it, it can impact the temperature of your drink or your beverage.
So if you, for example, put hot coffee in a single insulated cup and you put it outside, it’s going to cool down, regardless of if it has a lid on it. If you put it in a double insulated cup, that’s going to — of course, it’s more insulation — keep it hotter for longer and it won’t allow the exterior temperature changes to impact the temperature of the drink. So that’s just for example something, and then as far as cold drinks go too, you can put ice cold drink in a 20 ounce tumbler, but if it’s not double insulated and you put it outside and you have hot hands and a hot day, it’s going to cool down and/or melt. But, if it’s double insulated it’s very hard for that to happen.
John: Is it just air on the inside? Or is there actually some sort of other material that insulates it?
Jacob: It’s not air, it’s not another type of material. And there are a number of different manufacturing methods, but generally there’s a cavity.
Jacob: But, you’re working with stainless steel, which is extremely durable product so it’s hard to puncture that cavity. And you have different thicknesses that you can work with as far as the thickness of each wall. So there’s a high variety of ways to double insulate, but generally speaking double insulation is better than single insulation as far as product preservation goes.
John: What types of stainless steel are available? And what difference does that make?
Jacob: There’s 18-10 and 18-8. Essentially it just has to do with the different compositions is metals within the creation of the stainless steel. But, more often than not, stainless steel is the creme de la creme of material for creating double insulation. So essentially there’s 18-10 and 18-8, but more often than not, it’ll be 18-8.
John: And, does stainless steel present different issues in terms of being able to print on it?
Jacob: To achieve good adhesion, stainless steel just requires a little bit more care in its pre-treatment. So typically it’ll require a flame, so you change the surface energy to then allow a primer to go onto the substrate so that it can absorb any form of ink that goes on to the product so that you have good adhesion. Whereas, something like acrylic with our proprietary ink doesn’t require any pretreatment at all. So, the material has a significant impact on what kind of pre-treatment you need to apply to the substrate to achieve good adhesion when printing.
John: Okay. And in terms of your products, how does the lid of the drinkware affect the feel or the usability or the quality of dove that print on demand, drinkware and what lids are available for your products?
Jacob: So, with our acrylic cup of course it’s a screw on lid that is it screws on tight, but you have a straw. So it’s a little bit harder to maintain temperature quality in something like that. Whereas our 20oz tumbler has a sort of, you have a vacuum sealed cup with a press on gasket lid that creates a nice, really tight close on the cup to make sure that the temperature stays the same. But, the lid has a significant impact. I mean, if you think about an open coffee cup versus a closed coffee cup. When you let your closed coffee cup sit there, obviously it’s going to stay hotter than an open coffee cup. So, the tighter the feel and the higher quality, the lid, the better the impact is on your preservation of your temperature and the quality of your drink with inside your drinkware.
So, it really has a lot to do with how you want to preserve your drink. And, that’s something we take into consideration when selecting our product. For example, our water bottle is a screw on top, but it has a sort of a vacuum seal gasket on the interior that which helps preserve the temperature. So, that’s an example of how it can have an impact.
John: Right, because that’s going to be the place where you’re going to get the most cooling down of a hot liquid would be when you open it up to take a drink. That’s where a lot of the issues would come. If you don’t have a nice tight seal on the lid, you’re going to have a lot of heat escaping from that.
Jacob: Exactly, exactly right. I mean, it’s just sort of common sense in that nature, but yeah, I mean, if you open it up to the environment and going need physically see the steam escape from the drink.
John: Right. What is “finish” in regards to print on demand drinkware and then how does the finish affect the quality or the feel of that finished product?
Jacob: The finish of the product has to do with the way substrate feels as it relates to texture. So, you can have a coarse powder coat on top of your tumbler. So, when you see one of those, for example, a colored Yeti, oftentimes it has sort of a coarse feeling to it that just has to do with the type of powder coat that they use to coat the outside of the tumbler to give it that pastel color versus something that’s sort of like our Vogue water bottle, which is more of a paint coat, which is a little sleeker. And, you can go between some types of drinkware have a coating of varnish over it, so that you have this sort of clear sheen over that color.
So, it really just has to do with how you want your print to pop on each product. Ability to use varnish or non-varnish can create a comparison or a contrast with that substrate so that you really capture the full expanse of making your product pop with our printing methodologies. So, there’s a lot of different ways to get creative with various substrates, but the helix machine really makes it an easy process and print on demand even augment and gives life to that process.
John: Is the finish sort of analogous to glossy versus matte when you’re printing, say, a business card or a photograph or something like that?
Jacob: Yeah. You certainly have the potential to play around with various types of finishes versus glossy versus mat being one of them.
John: All right. Well, that’s really great information, Jacob. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Jacob: Thank you John, appreciate the time.
John: And for more information about print on demand services, visit the website at digitalondemand.com or call (978) 224-7900.Back to Blog Home