Printing on USB drives – Methods, techniques, and possibilities

For years, our team at Sino-Memory has been the go-to provider of customized USB drives worldwide. We use a mind-blowing variety of materials, shapes, and sizes - but what’s even better is that we offer different types of printing on USB drives. No matter what drive type you pick and what goals you have, we can find a printing method that will work perfectly. If you already have an idea for a bulk USB drive order for your company, get in touch with us and we’ll get back with a personalized quote and specific suggestions for your goals. Let’s go over all kinds of printable USB drives and printing methods we use to customize them. We pick the printing method based on the USB stick material, design aspirations, durability requirements, and budget constraints of our clients. Needless to say we have the best modern equipment and machinery for all these printing methods.

Printing methods for USB drives

Digital printing / full-color process

  Digital printing is one of the basic printing methods used in USB stick customization. We usually use it for printing on credit card USB drives and wooden USB drives. The best part about the four-color process - it can capture hues and shades vey well. Any complex coloring on a flat surface drive can be done with digital printing.
This method works amazingly well for gradients and color transitions.
Technically, digital printing on USB drives works just as jet paint printers work on paper - by layering four base colors to form an array of colors. The four base colors are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The four color process is an excellent choice for artwork or complex designs, and it offers a tons of customization options.

Silk Screen printing

This is the go-to printing method for durable and scratch-resistant USB sticks. Our printing team has over 10 years experience and we use this method for the most complex images. In screen printing, we use high pressure to force ink through a mesh stencil onto the surface of the USB drive. The advantage is that we can precisely match the pantone number and the resulting images are crystal-clear.  

Laser engraving

This method is amazing for metal and wooden surfaces as it leaves a tangible permanent inscription. We use laser engraving to print text and images on our metal USB drives, flash drive cards, keychains, and other products. With laser engraving, the design is burnt into the surface of the USB drive using lasers - and naturally the limitation is that there are no colors, only monochrome images. If you’re interested in getting laser engraving for your branded USB sticks, our designers can help prepare any image for the engraving blueprint.  

Pad printing

Pad printing is a method that uses flexible silicon pads that get molded into a custom shape. If you want your flash drives to have irregular or curved surfaces, you will probably need to go for pad printing, since it’s the most versatile method. The main downside of pad printing is that it’s an expensive method that brings the costs of your order up. Moreover, the logo can’t really have more than 4 colors, ideally you should have 1-2 colors in it. Thee good thing about coloring is that we can match the pantone color chart perfectly with pad prints. We usually customize our pen-shaped flash drives using this method.  

UV Printing

UV printing using ultraviolet light to cure ink onto the surface of the USB drive. We’re able to send full-color high-resolution imagery onto flash drives, and the result looks great. UV printing is durable and resistant to fading, so the images and text on your USB sticks last relatively long.  

Hot stamping on leather

Leather USB drives give a classy upscale feel to your branding. If the leather drive is customized with your logo, image, or drawing, that wows the target audience even more. To print on leather we use the hot stamp method - the die of the logo or artwork is heated and then pressed onto the leather surface, creating a distinguished and stylish embossment.  

Water transfer printing

AKA Hydrographics or immersion printing is one of the funkiest and most creative methods. We dip the USB drive into a water tank that has a specialized film with your design on it. The film sticks to the drive, and then gets dissolved - while the paint remains. Since water embraces objects of any possible shape, this method is ideal for custom-shaped USB drives with a lot of corners and sides. We may sometimes decide to go for this method to achieve an eye-catching effect other printing methods won’t get you. Here’s an example of a water transfer printed logo USB drive.  

Top materials we print on

We’re offering bulk customizable USB drives in many materials - plastic, wood, metal, PVC, and silicon. With Sino-Memory you can print on all of these materials, no matter which USB design and model you go for.

Printing on wooden USB sticks

Wooden USB drives are amazing for adding a unique handmade-like touch to your merch. Most of the time we engrave wooden USBs with laser - the drawing is monochrome and permanent. Laser engraving on wooden USBs is especially handy for intricate designs, logos, text, and ornaments.
The result looks beautiful, natural, and sustainable, currently more and more of our clients go for the wooden USB drives.  

Printing text and logos on metal USBs

With metal USB drives we’re using laser engraving as well - this creates a permanent mark and lets you put any monochrome text or artwork on the drives you order from us. One of the most common challenges of laser engraving on metal USB sticks is gettin the design right. We have a design department that will be able to adapt any sketch or ready image you provide to make sure it’s visible, scalable, and detailed. This printing method makes sure the drawing on your custom USB drives is pretty much indestructible - it stays unless it’s polished off.

Printing on rubber USB drives

We use all major types of printing on rubber USB drives, and unlike other companies we customize 3D shaped drives, no matter how weird the shapes are. To print on irregular-shaped rubber USB drives we use pad printing. Within this method we create a custom printing plate from a flexible material, such as silicone or photopolymer. The plate has your text or design in an embossed (raised) format. The plate is then coated with ink, which adheres to the raised areas - and then it’s pressed against the drive in the right place. The printed rubber USBs are generally rather durable and long-lasting too.  

What can you expect to print on your USB drives?

Most of the time our clients are printing text, logos, geometric shapes, and color fills on their drives. Marketing-wise you can get really creative and print maps, QR codes, contest and quiz hints, geographical coordinates, names, and a lot more. You can come up with something original if you make the custom shape of your USB drives work together with the imagery printed on them. The wide selection of USB drive types we offer lets you express even the wildest ideas you can get. We can help you implement the most outside the box and creative printed designs for your order of USB drives. Get in touch with us now and let’s discuss your printing and customization needs!

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