There is often a lot of confusion regarding the various styles of custom silicone wristbands. Many people confuse embossed bracelets with debossed bracelets (even some silicone bracelet suppliers!) and are uncomfortable with printed wristbands. Throw in the option of laser-engraved wristbands and they throw up their arms in surrender.
Debossed wristbands are the most common and are the same style as Lance Armstrong's trend setting LIVESTRONG bracelets. Debossed refers to the fact that the design is actually recessed down into the wristband itself. To accomplish this, a custom bracelet mold is manufactured that incorporates whatever customized design that is desired. Because they require a mold to be manufactured, custom debossed bracelets are more expensive and take longer to produce than printed bracelets or laser-engraved bracelets.
Embossed wristbands are not nearly as common, yet they are an excellent choice if you are looking for a custom silicone bracelet that is more stylish and unique. An embossed bracelet also incorporates any custom design and requires a mold to be manufactured. However, with embossed bracelets, the fully customized design is raised up off the wristband as opposed to recessed down into the wristband. Pricing and turnaround times for embossed bracelets are very similar to that of debossed bracelets.
Printed wristbands are by far the most economical choice. Printed bracelets start with a blank wristband and are then silk-screen printed. The "technology" for screen-printing wristbands has come a long way. The dyes used today actually penetrate the silicone rubber of the wristband. Many people are under the impression that the print which is used on printed bracelets is cheaply painted on and will crack or flake off. With a reputable custom silicone bracelet manufacturer, this simply is not the case. You can expect the printing to last the lifetime of the silicone wristband itself. Printed bracelets do not require a mold to be manufactured. Instead, a template is produced that is used to apply the custom design onto the bracelets. Because a template is used rather than a mold, printed wristbands are less expensive with quicker turnaround times than debossed and embossed wristbands.
Laser-Engraved wristbands are becoming more and more popular. Quite frankly, they are very inexpensive to produce, yet many silicone wristband suppliers still charge exorbitant prices. Laser-engraved bracelets duplicate Lance Armstrong's popular LIVESTRONG debossed style. For smaller orders of 5,000 custom silicone bracelets or less, laser-engraved wristbands are your best choice if you prefer this popular debossed bracelet style. Similar to printed bracelets, laser-engraved bracelets start with a blank wristband. A simple setup program allows a laser-engraving machine to engrave the custom silicone bracelets to the exact specifications of whatever fully customized design that is desired. Laser-engraved bracelets do not require a mold to be manufactured; therefore, they are less expensive and enjoy quicker turnaround times than debossed and embossed bracelets.
The Best Choice
So, what is the best choice when it comes to selecting between debossed, embossed, printed, and laser-engraved wristbands? The answer is that it is always a matter of personal preference. One style that is becoming more popular is the laser-engraved wristband that is then color-filled. This replicates the most popular LIVESTRONG debossed look while incorporating an appealing contrast of colors. The cost is a little more since the color-fill is actually an oil-based paint that must be applied by hand, but, by choosing laser-engraved bracelets over the more expensive molded debossed style, you end up getting the debossed look and color-fill together for about the same price as just a plain debossed bracelet.
Regardless of your personal preference, it is imperative to select a custom silicone wristband manufacturer that does not hit you with hidden fees for setup, mold, and shipping expenses. Whomever you select, look for a pricing structure that offers one low price that includes everything - setup, design, mold, and, most importantly, shipping fees. This will prevent any unwanted surprises.