Investing in a custom tent with your business's logo makes your brand stand out at events and trade shows. But how do you go about printing your logo on a canopy tent? You essentially have two options: Do it yourself. Or work with a professional custom tent company, like TentCraft.
This article breaks down those options and explains how the pros at TentCraft use dye-sublimation printing technology to make your brand's logo pop on a canopy peak and not crack or peel after year's of use.
Here are some options to put your brand's logo and custom graphics on your pop up tent:
Iron-On or Heat-Press Decals
If you already own a canopy tent — a cheaper solution you possibly purchased at a big box store or on Amazon — your only real option for adding a logo is by purchasing an iron-on decal.
A heat press is a better way to apply these decals. You can learn about that process in this video:
Of course, there are pros and cons to this method.
- Affordable. You can easily upload your logo or graphics to any site that prints iron-on decals, including Etsy shops. Depending on the size, expect to pay $25-$40.
- Easy to apply. You'll set the iron to a temperature deemed appropriate by the logo printer, line it up on your tent's valance or peak panel, and iron it on smoothly. You'll then slowly peel it away and your logo should be affixed to the canopy tent.
- Peeling and cracking. When you are essentially attaching a high-end sticker to your canopy tent, it's susceptible to crack and even peel off over time.
- No guarantees. What you see on your computer screen may not totally match what arrives in the mail because there's typically not a professional color-matching your brand's logo colors. All printers are calibrated slightly differently.
- May not adhere. If your canopy tent has a waterproof coating on it, there's a chance the decal may not even stick to it.
We would never recommend this option if you've invested in a professional pop-up canopy, like the custom pop-up models offered by TentCraft. But if you're packing up a cheap EZ-UP for the weekend soccer game and you want to put your family's name on the valance, this DIY option might be the best option for you.
How Professionals Put a Logo On a Tent
At TentCraft, we do things a little differently because we're OBSESSED with delivering a quality product.
Because we're in the custom canopy tent business — and because we manufacture our tent frames and print our tent canopies all in Traverse City, Michigan — we control quality every step of the way. And that's especially true when printing a tent.
How Do You Print a Tent?
For our pop-up tents, we use dye-sublimation printing technology. For our frame tents, which utilize vinyl canopies, we use latex printing technology.
Printing a Logo On a Pop-Up Tent
TentCraft uses dye-sublimation printing on its pop-up tents, which is a two-step process.
First, graphics are printed onto a transfer paper using special sublimation inks. When it's on the transfer paper, the graphic or logo looks faded and unsaturated. That changes in the second step.
Second, that transfer paper is then fed around a rotating heat cylinder drum to transfer the ink from the paper to the substrate. In our case, the substrate is our proprietary fabric called Duranti (a super-strong 600-denier polyester material) that's specifically designed for rugged outdoor use. It's water, mildew, and UV resistant.
When you mix heat and the pressure of the cylinder drum, the dye from the transfer paper penetrates the canopy material and creates a permanent color bond.
In other words, the sublimation process results in the dye going from a solid to gas to a solid state again without ever going through a liquid form.
Isn't science cool?
Printing on a Vinyl Canopy Tent
Latex printing technology is the best way to print on vinyl canopies. This method involves using print heads to distribute water-based inks onto the canopy. Many professional print companies use this method to print onto banners and other signage as well.
There are some companies that use a thermal press to put logos on canopies. We advise staying away from that method. It’s a large-scale way of ironing on a decal and it’s susceptible to chipping and peeling.
Before You Print a Custom Logo On a Tent
As much as we would love to save a logo off a website and email it over to a company to print on an event tent, it's not that easy.
To make sure your pop up canopy has the best-looking custom logo on a peak or valance, there are some artwork requirements prospective customers need to follow:
- File Formats: We prefer Adobe Illustrator (AI), Photoshop (PSD), TIFFs, EPS, SVG, and Adobe PDFs.
- Fonts: You need to convert fonts to outlines in order to avoid any defaulted text. If they're not, you need to provide the fonts.
- Images: Rasterized images need to be at least 72dpi at print size or 720dpi at 10% scale. Vector art needs to be the highest possible resolution. Photo images should be in CMYK — not RGB.
- Colors: We love working with Pantones, so match up your brand's colors using Pantone Coated swatches and provide us with the code for the most accurate color matching.
- Scale: Set up your artwork at 10% scale because our templates are provided at 10% scale.
Can You Provide a Design Service?
Whether you don't have a logo or you're not sure how to design your canopy tent for an outdoor event, TentCraft provides a value-add design service to make the process easy. We call it "Artist Choice," and it's a free service if you order a pop up canopy tent through us.
Custom Printed Tent FAQs
Can The Color of the Tent Be Customized?
Yes, the entire canopy can be printed to a color of your choosing. To make sure the tent fabric matches the color of your brand, we recommend using Pantone swatches for the most accurate color matching.
What Is The Turnaround Time for a Custom Pop Up Tent?
Because TentCraft is an American manufacturer, we move REALLY quickly. We can typically turn around a logo canopy tent in 3-5 business days.
How Much Does a Custom Pop Up Tent Cost?
This is always hard to answer because there are so many different factors that dictate price. Learn more about TentCraft prices.
Can You Print Custom Table Covers?
Absolutely! In addition to printing custom tents, our team can create a custom table cover, banner stand, and other signage to complete the look of your promotional tent.
Print Your Custom Tent With TentCraft
If you need a custom tent or structure to help take your business to the next level, investing in a quality solution up front is always the best way to go. Don’t risk having your branding peel away after multiple uses. Contact TentCraft to start your custom project.