Whether you’re promoting your business, planning a wedding or an event or otherwise need some promotional flair, designing your own cool drink coasters is a fun way to get the job done. But there are a few important decisions you’ll need to make as you begin to conceptualize a design and purpose for your custom drink coasters. Here are a few things you should do and expect to be ready to answer to when it comes time to print your coasters.
Visualize your design
Obviously, before you get started, you’ll need to have a design or concept in mind for your coaster (or coasters)! For inspiration, you can browse our website or social media for ideas or examples of what some of our customers have done with their custom coasters. Think about the reason you need coasters. Are they for a specific event, or general promotion for a business? Are they more functional or promotional? The purpose for the coasters will drive your design inspiration, as well as a lot of the other decisions you’ll have to make regarding your coasters!
Black and white or color?
Color print designs obviously pack a punch, but there are plenty of cool drink coasters that send a message using just black ink! Black ink tends to work especially for more text-based coaster designs, or designs using minimalist artwork. Color, obviously, can work for these kinds of designs as well, but is especially suited for complex designs with different shades and hues.
Single or double sided?
The question of whether to pick single- or double-sided designs for your coasters will come down to both your design idea and the purpose of the coasters. Many customers use both sides of their custom coasters to encourage users to make a choice or send a message. Maybe you want one side of the coaster to represent the groom’s side of the wedding and one side to represent the bride’s. Maybe you want to print a trivia question on one side of the coaster and have the answer on the reverse side. Maybe you just want your business’s logo printed on one side instead of both. Maybe you just can’t pick between one design concept and another. (Although, if that’s the case, have we mentioned we offer variable printing options?)
Choose your shape
The two standard shapes for coasters are round and square. Largely, the choice of shape is going to come down to what you plan to print on the coaster and how you see it laid out. For some designs, a square coaster is a better fit. For others, a round coaster is a better fit. If your coaster company has a template or software you can use (more on that later) to design your coasters, try both the square and round options to see what looks better.
Choose your width
When selecting your coasters, you’ll likely have a choice of different widths as well as shapes. At Sleeve a Message, we offer two widths each of our square and round coasters. In general, the width difference doesn’t matter too greatly in terms of functionality, but a slightly larger coaster can be a blessing when it comes to a design that would be just a little too crowded on a smaller coaster.
Choose your thickness
Choosing the right thickness for your coaster largely comes down to how you plan to use it. Sleeve a Message offers coasters that are 40pt, 60pt and 80pt, with 40pt being the thinnest and 80pt being the thickest. A 40pt coaster is lightweight and good for single-use applications, as they tend to start showing signs of warping or water absorption. If you only need a single-use coaster, 40pt will get the job done. However, if you’re looking for something that can stand up to heavier repeated use, 80pt is the way to go. 80pt is the choice that most bars and restaurants choose, looking to invest in a product that’s going to last the longest. And, if you’re looking to split the difference, the 60pt is perfect. Many customers pick the 60pt as the “just right” balance between the two: sturdier and more luxe feeling than the 40pt, but not quite the heavy-hitter the 80pt is.
Use a template
Once you’ve made some important decisions regarding the layout, shape and specifications of your coasters, it’s time to start piecing the design together. Many custom coaster companies supply customers with a template to work with when designing their coasters. This can be a huge asset to help you visualize how your coaster design will be laid out.
Make sure your design meets specifications set by your coaster provider
Whether you order your coasters from Sleeve a Message or elsewhere, the service you use should provide you with some guidelines for artwork requirements and guidelines based on the coaster specifications you’ve chosen. Make sure the design you’ve created (or have in mind) fits their specifications. In some instances, you might be able to work closely with designers or representatives at the coaster provider to fine tune your designs or ideas. They should be interested in helping you achieve the best possible outcome and should know not to print something they know will be an inferior product. After all, your goal and their goal is one and the same: to provide you with the cool drink coasters of your dreams!