Branded promotional bags

Promotional Bags

Branded promotional bags

In recent years bags of all types have become very important and now sell in very large numbers. There are several reasons for this; they are a genuinely practical item; the branding area is large; there are many sizes and styles available and finally an increasingly wide variety of materials.

When choosing a bag it is important to address the following questions;

  • What is the budget?
  • Who is the recipient likely to be?
  • What style of bag is required?
  • Is there a specific material either required or prohibited?
  • What is the branding on the bag?
  • Is it printed on 1 or 2 sides?

Finally it is good to remember that giving away a bag has a two-fold advantage. The person receiving it will appreciate its usefulness, and at the same time is carrying around awareness for a Company or product. Also modern technology allows for digital printing on bags which means that the large print area can be really eye-catching.

Types of bag

There are many different styles which can be very similar;

Tote bag [shopping bag], zipped tote bag, fold-up bag, drawstring backpack, reflective backpack, laptop backpack, business backpack, laptop trolley backpack, rucksack, duffel bag, travel bag, sports holdall, laptop bag, tablet bag, business bag, document bag, conference bag, meeting bag, delegate bag, convention bag, messenger bag, satchel, wellie boot bag, cooler bag, picnic backpack


In recent years a number of new materials have become available for the production of bags. Developments have been driven by eco credentials, reduction of cost and printing requirements, and there are 3 main categories;


Comes in a variety of textures and thicknesses to produce very natural kraft paper bags in white or tan with paper handles right through to deluxe laminated bags with rope handles [as used often in up-market clothes stores].

Advantages Kraft paper has a natural, good eco feel. Low cost. Laminated bags have a high-class look. Recyclable.

Disadvantages Not moisture repellent – structure weakened by water or damp. Typically has a short life.

Plant based

Includes cotton, canvas, jute, cotton and jute in combination, recycled cotton and denim.

Advantages Cotton comes in many weights [ie. thicknesses] and above 7ozs is referred to as canvas. Lots of colours available. Long and short handles. Good eco credentials. Cotton and cotton/jute [juco] easy to print.

Disadvantages Lightweight cotton can feel flimsy. Jute can be difficult to print because of the uneven, fibrous surface. Jute and recycled cotton bags can be expensive.


Main materials are polyethylene [polythene – as in ‘plastic bags’], polyester, non-woven polypropylene, nylon and recycled PET. These are all derived from plastic and although not eco-friendly, they do have many practical advantages.

Polythene bags


  • Water proof, recyclable, bio-degradable, Large range of colours. Durable
  • Disadvantages Demonised in recent times and so have bad eco message
  • Polyester and nylon
  • Advantages Very good to print. Large range of colours, weights and weaves. Extremely durable
  • Disadvantages Smooth synthetic surface which can look and feel cheap.
  • Non-woven polypropylene
  • Advantages Light weight, different thicknesses, often has recycled content. Large range of colours.


  • Can feel lightweight and flimsy.
  • Multi-colour prints can be difficult.


Recycled PET


  • Uses recycled bottles in PET [polyethylene terephthalate, a form of polyester].
  • All the advantages of polyester but with great eco credentials


  • More expensive than polyester without any visible difference.


Some of the main uses for branded bags

  • Goody bags to hold other items
  • Literature bags for exhibitions and events
  • Welcome packs for housing associations
  • University Freshers Week.
  • Student and higher education fairs
  • For retail customers
  • Fund-raising for charities
  • Staff incentive
  • Staff equipment
  • Re-branding
  • New product launch
  • Benefits to the brand
  • Large printing area for the message
  • Long-term brand awareness
  • High perceived value
  • Very cost effective
  • If eco materials used, then credentials reinforced.

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