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B•Informed: Logo Umbrellas
Logo Umbrellas are a great promotional product with a large imprint area, high visibility and can be extraordinarily useful for end users. There is also a wide range of Logo Umbrellas available at varying price points. With all the choices, choosing the right umbrella can be challenging.
Here are some Insights about umbrellas to help you BInformed when selecting an umbrella for your next promotion or event.
Types of Logo Umbrellas
Compact Umbrellas – Compact Umbrellas can be folded or collapsed to a short length. The length of the collapsed umbrella can vary by model from less than 9 to 18 inches or so. Canopy arcs vary up to approximately 44 inches. Very small and light weight versions are frequently referred to as micro or mini umbrellas. Compact umbrellas often include a sleeve carrier though some include novelty shaped carriers such as a wine bottle shaped case.
Standard Umbrellas – Standard Umbrellas, also known as stick umbrellas, represent the most traditional umbrella with a fixed center shaft and canopy arc measuring up to about 50 inches. These umbrellas have straight or curved handles.
Golf Umbrellas – With canopy arcs in the 50-70+ inch range, Golf Umbrellas typically offer the largest available canopies for portable umbrellas. Golf umbrellas typically have straight handles.
Market Umbrellas – Market Umbrellas are non-portable umbrellas designed to be used in conjunction with patio umbrella tables and a weighted umbrella base. These umbrellas offer a large canopy and shaft. In some cases, Market Umbrellas include a crank on the shaft that is used to open and close the umbrellas.
Beach Umbrellas – For protection from the sun instead of the rain, Beach Umbrellas are larger, portable umbrellas that are used as a source of shade on the beach or at the park. While some of these umbrellas may be water proof, others are intended only for protection from the sun. There are even combination umbrella and folding chairs available.
Types of Construction
The skeleton of an umbrella is typically made from aluminum, steel, fiberglass/composite material or a combination of these materials. The basic structure consists of the umbrellas shaft at the center which is connected to a series of stretchers and ribs. The stretchers extend the ribs which are connected to the canopy material to open and close the umbrella. Of course, there are a series of joints with pins, rivets or similar fasteners that connect all the pieces together. Compact umbrellas have more of these connection points and fasteners enabling them to fold and collapse into a compact size.
Some umbrellas include automatic openers that allow the umbrellas to be opened with the push of a button on the handle. Clearly, this feature adds further complexity to the structure. In addition, newer designs feature dual or “vented” canopies with a smaller canopy at the center of the shaft which overlaps an outer canopy extending down the ribs.
What makes the perfect umbrella? Not surprisingly, opinions vary. Many will view a compact umbrella that easily fits in a brief case or handbag as ideal, others will seek extreme durability and some will not be satisfied until an umbrella is invented that will magically appear in hand when it begins to rain and won’t get lost. Fortunately, there are hundreds of styles, features and options available to fit almost any need… well, maybe not the magical availability and inability to get lost.
Performance is, however, a key underlying consideration in selecting an umbrella. After all, the objective is to avoid getting soaked in the next rainstorm. Even then, it’s important to recognize that perception and reality may not always align. For instance, while the inversion of an umbrella in a windstorm is a frequently cited source of frustration, this is actually a preferred option to become a living Mary Poppins.
While umbrellas may appear to be largely unchanged over the years, manufacturers continue to refine their products both in-terms of their structure, materials and features. Below provides insight on some of the performance characteristics of umbrellas in general recognizing that specific performance can vary from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer.
Aluminum Umbrellas – Aluminum offers low cost and generally lower weight characteristics for an umbrella while maintaining some flexibility in the structure. This flexibility enables the umbrella to endure stronger wind gusts without breaking than a more rigid material might. However, greater flexibility can allow unwanted canopy inversion as well as bending and twisting of parts (e.g. stretchers, ribs, etc.). Because of its lower cost and weight, aluminum is often used in Compact Umbrellas.
Steel Umbrellas – While higher in cost and weight, some manufacturers prefer steel structures in favor of their greater rigidity and durability in adverse weather conditions. A more rigid umbrella structures may be less susceptible to bending and canopy inversion. However, this rigidity may increase incidents of breakage even simply from being dropped or bumped into other rigid surfaces.
Composite/Fiberglass Umbrellas – Increasingly manufacturers are turning to fiberglass or other composite materials for umbrella structures based on their ability to provide balance flexibility and rigidity characteristics. These umbrellas tend to be the highest price option based on the development investment and technology costs involved.
Combination Structures – Some manufacturers are utilizing a combination of these materials for various components in an effort to optimize the performance characteristics of the materials while controlling overall product costs.
Compact Umbrellas – While popular for their convenience, the greater number of parts and joints in these umbrellas tend to make them more susceptible to breakage. The use of thinner and lighter aluminum can further increase this potential. Nonetheless, these are typically the most popular choices among consumers and among the lowest cost.
Golf Umbrellas – With their larger canopy, Golf Umbrellas also tend to be heavier and bulkier. While providing greater coverage in a rain storm, Golf Umbrellas can be cumbersome to haul around on a routine basis.
While imprint options vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and even model to model, here are some of the most common custom umbrella printing terms and options to be aware of:
Standard Imprint Location – Typically, the standard imprint location on an umbrella is within one panel (or wedge shaped) between two ribs. Typically, any one panel can be selected for the imprint.
Additional Imprint Locations – In most cases, umbrellas may be imprinted on more than one panel for an additional charge. For a typical 6-panel umbrella, this would translate to 1 standard and 5 optional (or additional) imprint location possibilities.
Standard Imprint Area (Size) – Most imprinting equipment must be able to grasp on the canopy material which requires some clearance between the edges of the imprint area and the adjacent ribs of the umbrella structure. This also limits the height of the imprint area since the area between ribs narrows toward the center of the canopy. The specific size of the imprint area will vary depending on the size of the umbrella and capabilities of the equipment that is used to apply the imprint by the factory. For that reason, it’s a good idea to compare the size of the imprint areas when choosing a Logo umbrella.
Imprint Colors – Factories often have a standard pallet of basic colors available for imprinting on umbrellas. If more a more specific color (a.k.a. “PMS Color Matching”) is required, there may be an added charge for each color. It is important to note that while the term “color matching” is commonly used, there are many factors that can influence the appearance of a color on umbrellas (and many other products) including the color of the material that is being printed. As such, factories will custom mix ink colors to approximate the desired PMS color as closely as possible but cannot typically guarantee an “exact” match. If color matching is critical, it is always a good idea to consider purchasing a spec sample of the exact umbrella and imprint to ensure the colors meet your needs.
Standard Imprint Colors – Most Logo umbrellas include a one color imprint in one location.
Additional Imprint Colors – Most umbrellas can be imprinted with additional colors beyond the one standard color typically included in base pricing. The maximum number of colors can vary, however, based on capabilities of the factory.
Full Color Imprints – On a more limited basis, there are some umbrellas that are available with full-color imprints. These are typically digital imprints (rather than screed imprints). While priced higher than a standard one color/one location imprinted umbrella, these full-color options may be more cost effective for artwork requiring 4 or more colors. In most cases, these full-color imprints are still limited to the standard imprint areas as noted previously.
All-Over Imprints – While priced higher, requiring larger order quantities and longer lead times, there are umbrellas available that can feature an over-all imprint across the full canopy rather than just within the standard area of individual panels. These umbrellas typically have a higher price and much longer lead time based on the size of the imprint and the fact that the canopies are typically imprinted prior to being assembled to the umbrella skeleton. Based on the effort involved, most factories will have a much higher minimum order quantity for umbrellas featuring all-over imprints.
Alternative Imprint Options – In addition to the exterior of the canopy, some umbrellas offer the ability to imprint on the base of the handle, on an umbrella sleeve or even on the inside of the canopy using an “All Over Imprint” approach.
Increasingly, manufacturers are adding features and functionality to umbrellas. From Novelty umbrellas featuring cute animal faces and protruding ears to flashlight umbrellas with a flashlight in the handle to help avoid those inevitable puddles, there are some unique options available. There is even a light-up umbrella featuring lighted shafts that colorfully illuminate the entire length of the umbrella.
With their large imprint areas and high visibility, Logo Umbrellas offer enormous promotional opportunities. The icing on the cake is that these are highly useful products that recipients will keep and use. Among the popular uses:
Golf Courses – Whether they’re made available in Golf Pro Shops or included as give-aways for golf tournaments, Logo Golf Umbrellas are a great way for sponsors to gain exposure while supporting the popular sport.
Schools & Universities – From bookstores to alumni donation gifts, umbrellas are a popular way to show support for schools, colleges and universities.
Conferences – When traveling to conferences, participants rarely will think to bring an umbrella with them. Imagine their relief from receiving a complementary umbrella on a rainy conference day… and picture a stream of umbrellas heading down the street featuring your conference logo. It’s a perfect balance of usefulness and visibility.
Note: B•Informed™ Articles are meant to provide generalized information to aid in the understanding of common product characteristics and options. The applicability of this information to specific products may vary from the generalized information provided here. This information is provided as a courtesy to customers and does not serve as an explicit or implied guarantee or warranty relative to any individual product. For questions concerning specific products, please submit an Information Request from the applicable Product webpage or contact a Customer Service Representative. Also, please see Terms & Conditions.