Talking Pens 17

Talking Pens – Issue 17

Issue 17 of Talking Pens newsletter features our free setup and carriage offer on the Electra Classic Ballpen, as well as other exciting new products. We bring you the latest on our premium Pierre Cardin range and take the time to talk to Marketing Assistant Matt.

Also find out why we wore silly hats to work and the things we’ve been doing with marshmallows!

Download Talking-Pens-Issue-17

Engraved Electra Classic Ballpen

Free Setup and Free Carriage on Electra Classic Ballpen

We understand that promotional product distributors work with tight margins, so our new Electra Classic Ballpen and Electra Classic Satin Ballpen are now available with free setup and free carriage.

The free setup and delivery we offer ensures that our Electra Classic range remain ideal promotional pens due to their attractive design, versatility and budget-friendly price point. The Electra Classic Ballpen has a vivid anodised finish available in a wide range of colours, perfect for matching a corporate identity or brand. Whilst, the Electra Classic Satin Ballpen, also available in a range of colours, swaps the anodised coating for an appealing satin finish that creates a higher perceived value.

Both Electra Classic Ballpens can be spot colour printed onto a large branding area, or an alternative laser engraving service is available that reveals the aluminium base metal underneath.

The Electra Classic Ballpen and Electra Classic Satin Ballpen have a 5-day standard lead time, with an incredible 48-hour express service also available.

You can customise your own Electra Classic Ballpen.

Or click here to create your own Electra Classic Satin Ballpen.

Pierre Cardin Writing Collection

Pierre Cardin Writing Collection Launched

The Pierre Cardin Writing Collection is an exclusive range of writing instruments; pens and notebook, that have been developed based on the principles of high-quality design, precision manufacturing and Cardin-inspired aesthetics.

The range has been designed to fill a gap in the market: a retail brand manufactured to the standards you would expect from only the very top brands, but at a price point attractive to the promotions industry.

These are exclusive products you won’t find anywhere else, built from the ground up by an expert team of designers and manufactured with astonishing attention to detail. This care extends to hand-polished clips, hand-machined detailing and hand-fitted caps.

Each pen from the Pierre Cardin Writing Collection can be personalised with your own branded or corporate message using the latest printing or laser engraving technology. Our personalised designer pens make for an impressive promotional giveaway or an executive gift that you can really be proud to associate with.

Check out the current Pierre Cardin Pens available from The Pen Warehouse here.

Or browse the entire collection of Pierre Cardin Writing Collection directly from PierreCardinUK.Com.


blog Image for Printing Terminology – Promotional Products Jargon Buster

Printing Terminology – Promotional Products Jargon Buster

Don’t know your ‘screen printing’ from your ‘pad printing’? Thought that ‘debossing’ was your manager getting the sack? Can’t even spell ‘MOQ’? Our handy glossary of commonly used printing terminology is here to help. You can bookmark this page for future reference or please feel free to share with your colleagues.

Glossary of Printing Terminology & Acronyms:

AI file – this is an Adobe Illustrator file and has ‘.ai’ at the end of the name. This format is usually requested for spot colour artwork as the colours can be separated into distinct layers for individual printing.

CMYK – this is the colour format used in printing and refers to the cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks that are combined to create a printed image. If an RGB display image is converted to CMYK for print, some colours may be subtly modified in the process.

Cropping – the process of trimming artwork so that it occupies a smaller area or removing unwanted elements from the around the edges of artwork. It is not the same as resizing as it involves removing some of the image.

Debossing – a design is stamped into a surface using a metal die to leave an indentation. This is the opposite of embossing.

De-Doming – initially uses the debossing process with the addition of a Resin Domed Label inside the debased area.

Digital printing – an ink jet printer fires microscopic droplets of ink onto the product surface. This allows photographic-quality prints in an almost limitless spectrum of colours, gradients and shades.

Doming – full-colour images are digitally printed onto self-adhesive labels which are then coated in a thick layer of resin. This creates a raised 3D effect.

DPI – stands for ‘Dots Per Inch’ and refers to the number of dots that make up a printed image. A higher DPI will mean higher quality printing. We recommend 600dpi for printing standard-sized artwork.

Dye sublimation – a design is digitally printed onto a transfer paper and then heat transferred onto the product surface, resulting in great adhesion and quality. Due to the high heat and pressure involved only certain materials are suitable for this process.

Embossing – this is a raised design on the surface of a product and therefore the opposite of debossing. Ink or foil may be applied to the relief area or it can be left as a ‘blind emboss’.

EPS – an Encapsulated Postscript file. This is another format used by Adobe Illustrator and allows individual elements to be edited and colours split into separate layers.

Full colour – artwork that is photographic, has gradients or shading, or has a complex composition. This would have to be digitally printed as it could not be printed as separate layers of colour.

JPEG – this is the standard format used to save bitmap artwork. It is primarily suitable for web and onscreen display but can also be digitally printed if the resolution is high enough and saved as CMYK. Not suitable for spot colour printing.

Laser engraving – concentrated light energy is applied via crystal rod. This removes the surface metal of a product to reveal the base metal. Only suitable for metal products.

Layers – an Adobe Illustrator file or PDF can be made up of a number of layers meaning elements can be edited independently of one another. This is ideal for spot colour printing as colours can be printed as separate layers.

Lead time – the period of time from a supplier receiving a signed-off order to dispatching the final printed products, usually measured in working days.

Line colour – Adobe Illustrator files are usually composed of vectors, meaning a number of distinct lines and shapes. This might be referred to as ‘line colour’ artwork and allows elements to be edited and colours printed individually.

MOQ – stands for Minimum Order Quantity and is the smallest order size for a printed or engraved product, usually governed by the cost of setting up the print run.

Origination – this is the process and associated cost of setting up a print run. The term origination tends to refer to digital and laser engraving setup, while ‘screen’ refers to setting up spot colour printing. The term ‘setup’ might also be used to generically describe any of these setup processes and costs.

Outlined fonts – an artwork file with typed text uses fonts to display that text. If the artwork is sent to a printer or a colleague who does not have those fonts, the text will not display correctly. Therefore fonts should be converted to outlines before submitting artwork. This turns fonts into vectored shapes. Note that text cannot be edited once converted to outlines.

Pad printing – a silicone rubber pad is used to transfer the artwork from an etched metal plate. This is ideal for printing to curved surfaces such as the Contour Ballpen.

Pantone colours – the Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the industry standard set of colours. While it is possible to match spot colour printed artwork to Pantone colours, it is not possible with digital printing.

PDF – Adobe’s Portable Document Format has become the industry standard way of saving print files. A PDF will usually be editable in Adobe Illustrator and therefore suitable for spot colour printing.

PNG – similar to a JPEG but can have a transparent background. A PNG can be digitally printed if high enough resolution and in CMYK format.

Print area – the area of the product that can be printed. The size of this area depends on the shape of the item and the printing method used. Most pens from The Pen Warehouse have multiple print areas to choose from.

Proof – this is a visual representation of artwork, used to approve it prior to print. Once the proof is signed off by the customer the go-head to print is given.

Registration – when multi-colour designs are pad or screen printed, each colour is printed as a separate layer. Registration refers to lining up these layers to form the complete design. Close registration means all the elements are accurately aligned.

RGB – this is the colour format used for online and onscreen display and refers to red, green and blue coloured pixels. It will need to be converted to CMYK for printing and this may result is some colours changing appearance.

Screen charge – creating a screen for printing and setting up a screen print job is a time-consuming process. Most printed product suppliers will charge for this setup.

Screen printing – a woven mesh is stretched over a frame to create a screen. A stencil is placed under the screen and ink forced through onto the product. This is a cost-effective print method, particularly for large jobs.

Spot colour – this is artwork that will be printed as separate colours using methods such as pad or screen printing. Acceptable artwork file formats, .eps and .pdf.

TIFF – these are bitmap images like JPEG and PNG but tend to be more suited to print, assuming they are high enough quality to begin with.

Transfer printing – artwork is digitally printed onto a specially formulated film and heat transferred directly onto the product. This method offers high adhesion and is suitable for a wide variety of materials.

Transfer wrap – digital transfer printing is used to wrap an image around a 3D object, such as the entire barrel of a pen, as in the case of the Contour Wrap Ballpen and System Ballpen range.

Vector image – this is artwork that is made up of lines and shapes, meaning elements can be removed or modified and colours separated into layers prior to print. Fonts must be converted to outlines.

Pierre Cardin

A History of Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin was born in 1922 in San Biagio di Callalta, Italy, at his parents’ holiday home. His was a once affluent farming family whose land had been devastated by some of the fiercest battles of the First World War. His parents moved back to their native France in 1926 and Pierre was raised in St. Etienne, a coal-mining town in eastern central France. He had trouble fitting in as he was considered an immigrant and was bullied at school.

Pierre Cardin’s father was a winemaker and had expected his son to adopt the family trade. When the young Pierre showed an aptitude for art and design, his parents hoped he would use his talent to become an architect. However, it soon became obvious that Cardin junior was not interested in taking that path. Pierre was instead drawn to the world of theatre and ballet, and particularly fascinated by the costumes and set designs. At just eight years old he was designing dresses for a friend’s dolls and his true passion was beginning to emerge. When a school inspector asked Cardin’s class what they wanted to do when they grew up, Pierre declared, without hesitation, “a couturier”.

Embarking on the Path to Fashion

In 1936, at the age of 14 years old, Pierre Cardin started as an apprentice for Chez Bompuis, the best tailor in St. Etienne. It was here that Cardin learned the art of tailoring suits that would inform his work for the early part of his career.

By 1940, France had been overrun by the Nazis and St. Etienne was occupied. Pierre decided to head for Paris, setting off on his bicycle with a few meagre possessions. After being robbed by Nazi soldiers, he detoured to the town of Vichy, a glamourous symbol of unoccupied France. He found work at the clothing store Manby where he made suits for women.

Cardin was called up for compulsory labour in German factories in 1943. He went on the run before a leg injury exempted him from conscription. Instead he was sent to do administrative work for the French Red Cross, where he developed the humanitarian interests that are still important to him today.

Pierre Cardin eventually made it to Paris towards the end of the war; the young fashionista finally found himself in the fashion capital of the world.

When the war ended in 1945, Pierre Cardin went to work for the fashion designer Paquin, then had a brief stint with the Italian clothier Schiaparelli. He also studied architecture, although fashion was still very much his focus. During this period Cardin teamed up with director Jean Cocteau and designer Christian Berard and made numerous costumes for films, including the 1946 production of “La Belle et la Bête”, or “Beauty and the Beast”.

Pierre Cardin’s big break came that same year when he landed a job at Christian Dior. As one of the most internationally recognised designers of the day, Dior was preparing to open his own fashion house. Cardin was part of an elite team chosen to work on the new “House of Dior” collection, designed to emphasise femininity after the austere war years, and Cardin continued to shape the direction of Dior’s “New Look” over the next few years.

In 1950, after honing his trade while working for other people, Pierre Cardin decided he was ready to go it alone.

Cardin Sets Out on His Own

Cardin set up his own fashion house and was almost immediately successful. In 1953 he launched his first haute couture collection of women’s clothing. While his initial work was widely respected, it was with the launch of his famous “bubble dress” the following year that Cardin found international success. 1954 also saw Cardin open two boutiques, Eve and Adam, with Paris’ first boutique for men following three years later. It was around this time that Pierre Cardin set his sights on Japan as a potential market – unheard of among European fashionistas – and his designs were also influenced by his travels there.

As well as a revered designer, Cardin was an astute businessman and towards the end of the 1950s realised that the market for high fashion was limited to a niche wealthy clientele and more money could be made by selling simpler, cheaper versions of his designs. This was the emergence of “ready-to-wear” clothing. Cardin is quoted as saying “Why should I work only for rich people?”

In 1959, Pierre Cardin opened his first pret-a-porter boutique in Paris. This provoked the ire of the Chambre Syndicale, the federation that governed the French fashion industry, and he was briefly expelled from membership. The Chambre Syndicale was a conservative body and saw ready-to-wear as a threat to the traditional values of the fashion industry.

Cardin pressed on undeterred.

A Brand is Created

The 1960s were busy and successful for Pierre Cardin. It was during this period that he introduced his famous “Space-age” look – futuristic, angular designs that were far removed from the soft, female shapes he had worked on for Dior. These were revolutionary items of clothing, not just aesthetically but also in the way new materials were used to achieve the look Cardin wanted. His designs were strange and alien and were an immediate hit.

As well as this avant garde fashion, the 1960s saw the launch of Cardin’s first clothing line for children, and a new casual style of men’s dress that had a major impact in Britain and America.

He also created a system of licences during this period – a practice now commonplace but unheard of at the time – and was the first designer to launch a clothing collection where the garments displayed the designer’s logo. Although Cardin can’t be credited with inventing the idea of the designer label, he was certainly its most influential and enthusiastic proponent.

In 1971, Pierre Cardin opened his own venue in Paris to show off his collections. The “Espace Cardin” allowed Cardin to exhibit his work without the approval of the traditionalist Chambre Syndicale, and he also used the space to promote new artists, musicians and theatre performers.

Cardin was not content to limit his work to clothing and accessories. By the 1970s, his already established brand allowed him to branch out into new fields. Pierre Cardin furniture was characterised by his trademark futuristic designs where traditional cabinetmaking and lacquering techniques were married with sci-fi aesthetics and bold geometry. Perhaps Cardin’s foray into furniture-making had always been on the cards – it is said he designed his first piece of furniture at just eight years old.

The burgeoning Pierre Cardin brand even moved into industrial design. He developed a number of “themes” that could be applied to a wide range of products, each carrying his name and logo so as to be easily recognisable as Cardin branded. In 1972 he was commissioned by the automobile manufacturer AMC to design the interior of a special edition Javelin, with a bold design considered outlandish at the time. Towards the end of the 1970s he even put his name to a Pierre Cardin branded executive jet.

Perhaps Cardin’s most iconic creation of this period was his Palais Bulles, or “bubble palace”, in Cannes, South of France. With the help of architect Antti Lovag, this audacious project was started in 1975 and finally completed in 1989. The finished villa is famous for its bulbous, alien construction. It occupies 1,200 square metres and includes 10 luxury rooms, a tropical garden, swimming pools and a 500-seat amphitheatre. It is furnished with Cardin’s own creations, as well as the work of other contemporary artists.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Pierre Cardin’s influence further spread across the globe. He was the first Western designer to exhibit in China and the first to open a boutique in Russia; he designed uniforms for Pakistan International Airlines and redesigned the national costume of the Philippines.

In 1981, he bought the famous Maxim’s restaurant in Rue Royal, Paris and soon opened further Maxim’s in Brussels, Beijing, New York and Moscow. Cardin-branded food products were released to complement the chain. By 2008, Pierre Cardin had opened his tenth Maxim’s restaurant.

Today, Pierre Cardin has become a highly regarded brand that is recognised the world over and we are proud to have the name adorn our Pierre Cardin executive pens and Pierre Cardin. To view our collection of Pierre Cardin executive pens, click here.

All of our Pierre Cardin products are sourced from the official Pierre Cardin Stationery licensees for the UK & Ireland.