Custom printing tote bags | The Print Room

Custom branded tote bags: Our top tips to make your bags pop!

Our tips to create totes that will get your brand out there!


The tote bag is a must-have item. They're simple, have a large branding area, long product life-time, are relatively inexpensive and get lots of regular use. For these reasons, custom branded tote bags are one of our most popular products for corporates and brands. 


5 Custom Branded Tote Bag Stats;

  1. Consumers Love Them! 73% of people report owning a branded tote bag
  2. Long-Term Impact -On average consumers will keep a branded tote bag for 11 months or more.
  3. Lots of Impressions - On average a tote bag will receive 3,300 impressions over its lifetime, both from the person who has bought or received your bag and from people who see them wearing it out and about.
  4. Stunning Return on Investment - All of these impressions help to grow your brand, for example, if your bag costs $10 and gets 3,300 impressions - that's less than a cent per impression. 
  5. Loyalty - custom branded bags help build the relationship between your brand and your customer. People are 50% more likely to do business from a company that gave them a promotional tote bag.


As we've established above, custom branded tote bags are a very effective marketing tool. But how do you make your brand's bags really pop and stand out in a sea of totes bags. 

The no. 1 thing you can do is build a brand that people love and are proud to support and wear over their shoulder. Having an eye-catching design that will appeal to people will be more effective than simply putting your logo on the bag. Thinking about how you can use attention-grabbing graphic design, different decoration techniques and a good quality bag will help to create a branded tote bag that people love to use over and over again. 


Below are our top tote bag printing tips to make your bag stand out in the crowd.


Use speciality inks 

As well as creating an amazing graphic design for your tote bags, selecting an interesting ink will help set your bag apart from the crowd. We offer a range of environmentally-friendly speciality inks such as neon colours, metallic, glow in the dark, gold foil and reflective that will combine nicely with your design. These speciality inks are often especially effective when used as a subtle detail in the design - positioned to the corner of your bag, or in one part of your design. 


Choose A Bright Tote Bag Colour

Often we see natural or black cotton tote bags, however, one of our favourite suppliers AS Colour has recently released a range of different tote bag colours. You could opt for a brighter coloured tote bag such as pink and do a simple 1-colour screen print onto this for an eye-catching result. 


Print in CMYK or Simulated Spot Process

Screen Printing in CMYK is a method that can produce stunning effects, and it can be used to create an impressive tote bag design. To print a CMYK screenprint, we separate your artwork into 4 colours – each colour will be printed through a separate screen. Usually, we use CMYK screenprinting for photo-realistic prints or reproducing paintings or realistic illustrations. Simulated Spot Process screenprints are similar to CMYK, however, rather than the ink colours being Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, specific Pantone colours that exist within the artwork are used. Simulated Spot Process screen printing is more accurate at representing your original artwork once printed however may require more than 4 screens, so can be more expensive. We also can only use CMYK printing on white or natural fabrics, if you want to use a black or coloured bag, a Simulated spot process would be the best option.

(To learn more about screen printing head here.)

  1. Embroidery on Tote Bags

Embroidery is most commonly used for hats or workwear, but when used on tote bags it create a high-end finish that will last forever. Embroidery could be instead of or in combination with a screen printed design and is a great way to add texture to your tote bag. If you are looking to create a premium-quality tote bag that people will pay for or a very memorable product, embroidery would be a great option. Most commonly we do embroidery on tote bags for boutique fashion stores and streetwear brands that can command a higher price for their tote bags. 


  1. Supacolour Heat Transfer Printing

While screen printing is the most common option for larger runs of tote bags, Supacolour transfers are especially effective if you have a high number of colours in your art, a photo-realistic design or are printing onto courser fabric types such as jute bags and you want your logo to be crisp and clear rather than bleeding into the fabric. Supacolours are great for artwork with gradients and a very affordable option for multiple coloured designs on custom branded tote bags. 


Want to create your own custom branded tote bags? The Print Room offers fast turnaround tote bag screen printing, embroidery & Supacolour printing for a wide range of NZ clients ranging from brands such as ParrotDog, Rhythm & Vines and Fix&Fogg. Get a quote from one of our merch consultants by entering your job details online.


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