For the full USB2U website please visit on a device with a larger screen.
Banner

Our Printed Chic USB Flash Drives Can Be With You in 24hrs

Posted by USB2U on 13th October 2014 | Permalink

We understand that sometimes it’s just not possible to foresee that you’re going to need some printed USB flash drives. We know that things get missed off the “to-do” list. We know that other people you thought were taking care of the order for USB sticks can “forget” them and equally we know that other promotional USB flash drive suppliers can be too confident of their ability to deliver against very tight deadlines.

The typical lead-times that most supplies work to is around 5 – 10 days from final artwork approval (which in itself can add a day or two to the process and even them lots of suppliers won’t start working on your order until you’ve paid for them). This is usually fine in “normal” circumstances but if you need your flash drives in a hurry then it can be a challenge finding a local supplier that can help!

At USB2U we not only hold thousands of blank USB sticks in stock ready to be overprinted but we handle all of the printing, data-loading and QA checking in-house. In fact we hold so much stock in the UK that around 50% of all of our orders are now assembled, printed (or engraved) and data-loaded by us in Northampton. This means our customers get a super-fast turnaround on their orders and there is no risk of them getting “stuck in customs” or being delayed because of shipping issues.

In fact with a print and engraving capacity that exceeds 5,000 USB sticks per day we’re so confident in our ability to turn around orders quickly that we offer a 24hr”rush service”! Although we describe it as a 24hr service the reality is often quicker than this because we seem to get a lot of orders in the afternoon which are then printed and delivered before lunchtime the following day – so, in reality our 24hr service is quite often 20hrs or less!

Here’s what one customer had to say about our rush service and what it meant to them and their client last week:

Excellent service. Saved an important account (Philip Noons of JE Group)

We had an important client call us on Friday evening to get a USB order to them by 3:00PM on the following Monday. None of our other suppliers could help us. I emailed Natalie on Friday evening and spoke with her on the Monday. I had the artwork approved and the job turnaround by 1:00PM. A truly impressive level of service. My courier picked up the items and delivered them to our client’s exhibition in London by 2:30PM that day. Needless to say, our client (a highend retaill store) were extremely grateful. USB2U, thanks to their efforts, made us look good.

If you find yourself in need of promotional USB sticks in a hurry then there really is only one place to call!

At the moment we’ve got some special pricing on our Chic USB Sticks and yes, they can be with you (printed and data-loaded) tomorrow.

Promotional USB Sticks in 24hrs

Promotional USB Sticks in 24hrs from USB2U

Share

What Artwork is needed to Print USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 25th June 2014 | Permalink

When you set out to buy promotional USB flash drives there are some basic things you’re going to need to ensure you get exactly what you want. At the most basic level you’ll need to have a reasonable idea of how many USB sticks you need or can stretch to (you’ll find the more you buy the cheaper the unit price will be) and you’ll need to know what memory size you need – these two elements are the key drivers behind the unit price you’ll pay.

Choosing the right amount of memory is less easy than knowing how many USB Sticks to buy. It’s easy to just go for the smallest memory option (typically

Vector Artwork

Vector Artwork

128MB) but bear in mind if you do this that the promotional USB sticks won’t be of that much value to the recipient because they won’t have much room to store their own data on. Less storage space = less perceived value = less actual usage = less brand exposure. Our advice is to go for a 4GB or 8GB USB stick – this is normally large enough to store any of your own files one before you hand them out and gives the recipient tons of spare space to use for their own files.

Surprisingly the level of detail in the print or the number of colours printed is not really a major cost driver. A few years ago you might have had to pay a set-up fee per colour and a fee to print each colour but these days there are only pennies between a single colour print and a full colour print.

The real issue when it comes to printing (and therefore to a certain extent cost) is the quality of the artwork supplied to print from. Contrary to popular belief it is really possible to produce good quality printed USB memory sticks from a JPEG file (this is the sort of image you usually see used on Web Sites) because they are typically low resolution files. They might look ok to the eye but if you try and print from them you’ll typically get poor and often blurred results. A really good high quality JPEG might be OK but it’s worth getting it checked first rather than being disappointed with the printed results.

By far the best thing to do is to supply good quality Vector Artwork files – Vector file types are .eps, .ai, .pdf and .swf. You CANNOT re-save a JPEG into these formats and magically get a Vector file you have to set up the artwork files as a Vector Graphic and then save them in these formats. If you’re not sure ask you design team or external designer to supply you with Vector Artwork. Full details of how to send your artwork files and the formats we can work with are detailed here.

Please also don’t (as one school did) just scan the badge on the front of their school blazers and ask us to print from that – the computer programming adage of “garbage in, garbage out” will apply!

Share

USB Yearbooks – Personalised USB Memory Sticks for Schools

Posted by USB2U on 18th March 2014 | Permalink

We’re rapidly approaching that time when lots of students will be making their preferred and insurance university choices before they then start to focus on the securing the exam results they need to get their place secured. It’s a difficult and emotional time for everyone with because not only are the students dealing with the pressure of exams but they’ll also have to come to terms with saying goodbye to their friends, many of whom they will have been close to for years.

It’s not uncommon now for lots of schools to put together a Year Book to help the students record their memories of the time they spent at the school but some lots of students will also arrange for their own “hoodies”, T-shirts etc.

Another option is a personalised USB memory stick – each USB stick can be printed or engraved with the students name on one side and details of the school on the other. The USB stick can also be pre-loaded with a copy an electronic copy of the school yearbook and could also include video clips of school drama productions, award ceremonies, sports days and of course embarrassing pictures from the Prom Night!

There are lots of different styles of USB sticks to choose from including the popular USB wristbands to the more common “twister” style of drive – they can all be supplied in a printed gift box and optionally with lanyards or keyrings. With prices starting at just a few pounds the USB sticks are a cheaper option that Yearbooks but realistically many students will want the printed version so they are best thought of as a supplementary option that gives more scope to include media clips etc.

USB Wristbands

USB Wristbands

If the USB sticks are being bought by the school on behalf of the students then there is no pre-payment because the school will automatically be given 30-day credit terms. The lead time to produce the personalised sticks is around 10 days but if you do leave it late don’t worry because at USB2U we can offer a “rush” 24hr delivery service.

To submit the names of the students all we need is a Word Document or ideally an Excel file (any CSV file will do). We supply a mock-up and proof before anything is printed or engraved so there will be plenty of opportunity to make sure you are happy before we “press the button” and produce them all.

USB Yearbooks – now there’s an interesting idea!

Share

USB2U Launches New USB Sticks and Gift Box Packages for Professional Photographers and the Feedback is Universally Excellent

Posted by USB2U on 5th February 2014 | Permalink

The market for professional photographers is tough and it’s incredibly competitive. Arguably since the arrival of digital photography and the paradigm shift it created the barriers to entry have been reduced – anyone with a decent digital camera, a Mac and software editing software can “claim” to be a professional photographer. In the UK alone there are said to be around 45 – 50,000 professional photographers!

To survive professional photographers are having to up their game and put more emphasis on their branding, marketing, and the way they deliver their images to their clients. Websites, Pinterest Pages, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are now de rigueur. Of course there is no substitute for being brilliant behind the lens and having a engaging manner with clients that puts them at ease but to be a commercial success brilliant marketing and presentation is now just as critical.

Long gone are the days when professional photographers could offer their clients their portfolio on a CD or DVD. Whilst printed images, albums and folios still reign supreme clients still want (expect) to be given digital copies of their images so that they can post them on their Facebook pages, blogs and other Social Networking and of course make their own prints.

USB Sticks and Boxes for Photographers

USB Sticks and Boxes for Photographers

Branded USB memory sticks are the new way for photographers to delivery digital copies of prints to their clients but USB stick suppliers (much like photographers) have had to up their game as well. It’s no longer good enough to supply basic models printed with a brand of logo – photographers are demanding innovative USB solutions that include attractive packaging options and they want something that can’t be picked up in the High Street. In response to this USB2U has launched a new range of USB sticks and gift boxes aimed specifically at the photography sector and the feedback has been universally excellent:

Tim Simpson Photography said: “This is the second time we have used USB2U. This time we had the wooden presentation boxes too. At Tim Simpson Photography we try to do things with style and little differently. We feel this product backs this up, we know our clients are impressed when they receive their images presented this way. A great product.”

Lavenham Photographic said: I ordered some wooden USB sticks for my wedding photography business and could not be happier with the quality of the finish! The engraving of my logo is so fine and detailed, (even with a very small fine font) and nobody I’ve shown them to has ever seen anything like them before. For conveying the impression of being ‘special’ ‘different’ and ‘high quality’ they are absolutely spot-on.

Elisha Clarke Photography said: “I am delighted with me new USBs! The wooden boxes and USBs have a beautiful and professional finish. Everyone I show is impressed.”

USB2U will be at The Photography Show at the NEC, Birmingham held on the 1st – 4th March 2014.

Share

End of the School Year celebrated with Personalised USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 16th July 2013 | Permalink

Printed and engraved USB memory sticks have long been the preserve of large companies and universities who have for many years used them to underpin their marketing and advertising campaigns, to hand out a conferences, seminars and open days or as a simple “give-away” to help drive brand awareness and sales.

But, intense competition in the market for the supply of promotional USB sticks has driven down the price and more significantly has driven the minimum order quantity from hundreds to as little as 25 pieces. The impact of this is that more and more people are now buying customised USB flash drives for what seems like an ever increasing range of uses.

Schools are a good example. Historically it was only the larger secondary schools that were buying USB sticks for their students and often they were purchased to en-masse to give out to the whole school or to sell in the school shop. Today lots of primary (and junior) schools are buying 25-30 sticks at the end of the school year to give to just one class of leavers – the sticks normally have the school name on together with any crest/logo the school might have and often each stick is personalised with the pupils name.

USB sticks for Schools

USB sticks for Schools

Some schools are even going one step further and loading onto each flash drive school photo’s, clips from the school sports day, school reports and exerts from the school play – think digital scrapbook or school yearbook loaded onto the USB stick and you get the idea.

We’ve even had one teacher take the radical decision to pay for them for his class so he could hand them out at the end of the summer term loaded with the homework he wanted doing over the summer holidays! A great idea albeit I’m not sure if it’s what the pupils really had in mind.

For schools the beauty of buying personalised USB memory sticks from USB2U is that we offer a free design and mock up service, there is NO upfront

Free Carabiner Keyring with all School Orders from USB2U

Free Carabiner Keyring with all School Orders from USB2U

payment because all schools immediately get 30-day payment terms and if you’ve left it a little bit late to organise them we can deliver from UK stock (printed) in as little as 24hrs!

If you remember to ask we’ll throw in free lanyards and every school order is sent with a handful of little carabiner keyrings.

So, If you’re thinking of ordering printed or engraved USB sticks for your school or class then give is a call!

Share

Promotional USB Cards with a Removable USB Stick

Posted by USB2U on 26th June 2013 | Permalink

One of the more popular promotional USB products to hit the market over the last couple of years has been the USB card. The early versions of these were all credit card shaped but they were much thicker than a standard credit or bank card at around 4-5mm. The latest versions are now super slim at just 2mm and they can be printed in full colour across the whole surface of the card (front and back) which makes them an ideal marketing tool.

Compared to standard USB memory sticks where you can typically only print on a small part of the stick the USB cards look great because every square millimetre of the card can be printed on and because the surface is nice and flat the results look stunning!

Different Styles of USB Cards

Different Styles of USB Cards

But it’s not just the thickness of these cards that has changed. The new cards are now available in a range of different shapes; squares, circles, ovals, triangles and rectangles. These new options throw up all sorts of interesting branding ideas – we’ve already produced USB Maltesers on the circular USB cards, USB condoms packs on the square USB cards, car badges on the oval cards and name badges on the mini rectangular USB cards!

The innovation hasn’t stopped with the increasing thinness and shape of the cards – we now have a new version of the USB credit card where the USB connector can be removed from the “host” card and used like a mini USB stick. Like all of the other cards this new version is only 2mm thick and can be printed in full on both sides but the USB element slides out from the card – don’t worry, it slides back in again as well and its precision engineered so when returned to the “host” credit card it won’t accidentally fall out.

USB Credit Cards

USB Credit Cards

Arguably these cards are a little easier to use than the standard ones that have a “flip out” mechanism which some people find a little fiddly until they are used to how they work. The “slide” option is certainly more intuitive but as ever a lot of it is down to personal preference.

At the moment the slider option is only available on the larger credit card version but we expect to introduce some other shape options soon.

If you’re interested in seeing what your logo or design might look like on any of our USB cards then simply drop us an email (sales@usb2u.co.uk) with your artwork and we’ll work up a range of different mock-ups for you – no cost and no obligation!

 

Share

Even in Death You Can’t Escape USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 29th April 2013 | Permalink

Technology has a habit of permeating every facet of our daily lives and USB memory sticks are proving they are no exception to the rule. Whether they’re used to celebrate a child’s birth, to record childhood events, to store precious wedding photographs or to record the mundanities of everyday life there is no doubting the impact they have made since their introduction some 10 years ago.

Millions of USB sticks are bought in the UK every year and millions more are given away as promotional products to support product launches, as competition prizes and to hand out at conferences and university open days! Wherever there is a need to store and transport data, to hand out data or to raise brand awareness USB sticks are being used.

Today even in death USB sticks can’t be avoided – in the last couple of months we have supplied printed USB memory sticks to Funeral Directors, Will writing companies and to family members of the deceased.

Funeral Directors and Will writing companies are using them just like any other company – they’re printing their brand and logo on the USB sticks, pre-loading them with information about their services, links to their websites, testimonials from customers etc. and then they are handing them out to prospective clients. Apart from the subject area there is nothing unusual in how these particular USB sticks are being used.

But the USB sticks being supplied to relatives of the deceased are interesting because these are typically printed with a photo that celebrates the life of the person that has died. The memory on the stick is then loaded with what amounts to a “scrapbook” of their life; photos, video clips, music they loved, tributes from friends and family and links to websites that they have created: Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr etc.

The USB sticks are then either handed out on the day of the funeral or sent out to friends and family to help them celebrate the life of the loved one that has died. Whilst they might not be for everyone there is no doubt that done well they are a loving tribute to person that has died and they help the person putting them together to heal from their loss.

With the seemingly relentless march of technology into every aspect of our lives we are all going to have to think about how our own personal “digital footprints” are managed and remembered.

 

Share

New 5 Day UK Service Introduced for Printed and Engraved USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 15th February 2013 | Permalink

In response to growing demand from our customers we have introduced a 5 day service for a large proportion of our USB memory sticks. There are no additional charges for this service and it includes engraving or full colour digital printing (on both sides) of the USB sticks and if needed data loading onto the sticks.

We have also retained our popular “Super Express 24hr Service” and our “Rush 72hr Service”. So whether you need your order the very next day or within a few days there are now plenty of options to choose from and you’re not limited to just one or two different designs. Irrespective of which timed (and guaranteed) service you choose from there are currently 18 different models to select from and some come in a range of colours and memory sizes so you really are spoilt for choice!

One of the attractions of this service is that once your order has been confirmed then delivery of your USB memory sticks is guaranteed. There is no exposure to “customs delays” or international shipping because your order will be fulfilled from UK stock. All you have to do is sign off your proofs in a timely manner, arrange your payment (if you’re not on 30 day terms and a lot of our customers are) and then finally make sure that you’re in when your USB sticks are scheduled for delivery!

Optional extras like printed or engraved gift boxes, lanyards and key rings can also be specified when you use any of our express delivery services. If you do have a particularly large amount of data you want pre-loading onto your printed USB sticks then we can normally accommodate this but you do need to consider how you get the data to us. Our data-loading team will test the data and check the “load times” and then agree with you how quickly the data can be loaded – with 4 separate professional data loading machines on-site we are able to load thousands of sticks a day (subject to the data size and structure).

During “pinch points” like Chinese New Year when lots of USB suppliers struggle to maintain their usual service levels these guaranteed delivery options are likely to prove incredibly popular. So, if you do need printed or engraved USB memory sticks in hurry and you don’t want to take any risks with delivery just give us a call or send in a quote request via our website.

USB2U New Rush Service Announced

USB2U New Rush Service Announced

Share

It’s Getting Closer –Are You Ready?

Posted by USB2U on 16th January 2013 | Permalink

As each day ticks by we nudge ever closer to Chinese New Year and the Year of the Snake and whilst this might be good news for those planning to celebrate the New Year it’s definitely not good news for anyone looking to buy printed USB memory sticks.

In 2013 The Year of the Dragon officially starts on 10th February. It’s a huge festival for Chinese communities around the world so expect the usual fireworks and extravagant displays that have become synonymous with the start of any New Year.

The days and weeks after the start of the New Year is a typically a time for families to gather together, to feast and to relax. As a result production of pretty much everything in China stops during the New Year festivities.

The impact of this is a mad clamour to get things like printed USB sticks produced before the holidays start followed by a period when nothing gets produced because of factory closures and then a mad couple of weeks when the factories return and everyone is “playing catch-up”!

In the weeks just before Chinese New Year as demand for USB sticks increases it’s no surprise that the price increases – usual supply and demand rules apply! The higher prices tend to linger for several weeks after the holiday finishes before gradually falling over the following months.

Lead times also take a battering around Chinese New Year with typical lead times of 7 – 10 days often being extended to anything up to 6 weeks!

If you need or think you might need promotional USB memory sticks during February then please plan ahead and buy now. By doing so you’ll get a better price and you’ll be assured of delivery of your USB sticks when you need them. Leave it much longer and you’ll potentially expose yourself to a whole world of pain!

If you do leave it late then your only option will be to find a company that holds blank stock of USB memory sticks and is able to printed or engrave them in the UK. Most companies that do this tend to carry a few basic models in one or two colours so your options will be very limited.

One notable exception to this is USB2U who carry a wide range of different USB sticks all of which can be printed, engraved and data-loaded and delivered in as little as 24hrs! If do need USB flash drives printed with your logo on from a UK supplier during Chinese New Year (or any other time for that matter) then give the team at USB2U a call.

USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Share

Printed Tins for Printed USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 29th November 2012 | Permalink

There’s something about being given a gift in a tin that somehow elevates its overall worth or certainly its perceived overall worth. Tins, particularly those printed with a logo, look fantastic, feel fantastic and as well as adding to the overall aesthetic they provide an excellent level of protection to the product encased in its robust outer skin.

When you spend money buying promotional items like USB flash drives one of the key objectives is to make an impact (and hopefully a memorable impact) when you hand them out. It’s a small thing and some might argue that boxes, packaging and tins will just end up discarded in a bin. But, that initial “wow” factor when someone is given a gift is all important and gifts that are well thought out, well presented and well packaged stand a much better chance of being remembered – that’s what you want from anything you give out to customer (or prospective customers), you want to be remembered and you want the memory to be as positive as possible.

USB Memory Sticks - Presentation Tins

USB Memory Sticks - Presentation Tins

Fortunately there are a range of different types and sizes of tin boxes available for printed USB memory sticks and most of these can be printed or engraved with a logo to compliment any branding on the printed USB stick placed inside it. There are also tins with a “window” built into the lid so that the USB sticks (and the brand printed on them) can be seen easily without opening the tin lid.

The tins tend to come in two different sizes (large and small) with the large ones measuring 119mm x 89mm and the smaller ones coming in at 92mm x 62mm. Both sizes offer plenty of room to print a good size logo or image on but smaller ones have the benefit of being easier to store, transport and carry.

USB Flash Drives - Printed Tins

USB Flash Drives - Printed Tins

Inside each tin are two pieces of custom cut foam (typically black) that create a soft cocoon for the USB sticks to be held securely in place – black foam tends to be used because it helps to make the USB’s placed inside the tin stand out. The only exception is when black USB drives are used and then the black foam will usually be swapped out for white foam.

In terms of cost the tins (even printed) are surprisingly inexpensive given the overall added value and visual impact they add. Next time you are looking to buy printed or engraved USB memory sticks it’s certainly worth asking for a price for the tins.

 

Share