Custom USB Memory Sticks - A Glossary Of Terms

In the sixth of the series of top tips to consider when purchasing Customised USB Memory Sticks, we have provided a glossary of all the main terms required when dealing with Customised USB Memory sticks.

To help demystify the purchasing and manufacturing process we have compiled a glossary of terms. Hope this helps!

A-Grade Flash: This relates to the source of the USB flash memory. Branded A-Grade lets you know that it is a new flash chip, which has been manufactured by one of the major industry brands such as Samsung, Intel and Hynex. These will go through the highest level of quality testing and will carry a longer warranty. They will carry a premium charge.

Artwork: This needs to be provided so the custom USB Memory Stick can carry your logo and / or marketing message. There are many different file types in which artwork can be saved as. The preferred formats which provide the sharpest print are ai(adobe illustrator) or eps (photoshop) and these should be in a vectorised format.

Auto Run: An autorun facility allows users to insert a USB Branded Memory Stick and for the computer to automatically run a programme e.g. a movie file.

Custom USB Forklift Custom USB Forklift

Carabineer Keyrings: Also known as snap link, snap hook, D ring or ‘biner. These are keyring that function like a climber’s carabineer. So great for attaching onto bags or lap top cases.

Data Encryption: There is software that we can add to your Branded Memory Stick that allows any data on the stick to be fully encrypted. This means that if you lose the Memory Stick it would be very difficult for anyone to access the data held on it.

Data Load: It is possible to load your data files onto the promotional USB Flash Drives. The data can be supplied in any format and is loaded onto the drives. Popular data formats are: MPEG’s, PDF’s and Powerpoint Presentations. This data can also be protected so the user can not delete and auto run (see above).

Drive Partition: It is possible to have your promotional USB Memory Stick manufactured with two separate drives. One drive partition can hold data that can not be deleted (protected) and the other can be for saving and storing data.

Duplication: Please reference Data Load.

Embossing: This is the method of adding a logo onto your Leather USB Flash Drives. Sometimes known as ‘stamping’.

Engraving: This is the process of adding a logo onto metal USB Flash Drives. Fantastic results and very durable and is highly recommended as a branding option for metal models.

Full Colour Print: Allows photo quality print but is only available on certain models.

Key Ring: Simple circular keyring which hooks onto the end of a USB Flash Drive.

Lanyard: a cord with an attached hook that is used to hold the promotional USB Flash Drive. Sometimes know as neckties.

Memory: You would usually refer to the memory of a promotional USB Flash Drive simply as ‘memory’, but others terms use are ‘capacity’ and ‘storage.’

The memory sizes come in a range if different sizes. They double up as follows, 32Mb, 64Mb, 128Mb, 256Mb, 512Mb, 1Gb, 2Gb, 4Gb, 8Gb and 16Gb.

1GB of memory is the most popular size but its useful to know exactly how many files this would hold.

Some technical jargon:

  • 1024KB (kilobyte) = 1MB (megabyte)
  • 1024MB =1GB (gigabyte)
  • A good quality photo is about 100KB
  • An MP3 music file is about 3MB upwards
  • A document file can be anywhere from 25Kb upwards


branded usb

Mock Up: An image illustrating the USB flash drive with your logo file. A further proof would be provided prior to production.

MOQ: Minimum Order Quantity

OEM B-Grade Flash: This relates to the source of the USB Flash memory. Brand A-Grade lets you know that it is a new flash chip which has been manufactured by one of the major industry brands, but it is inferior quality and will not carry their brand or warranties.

Pantone Reference: All colours have a specific reference will allows printers to match any logo colours. These 3 or 4 digit references must be provided with the artwork.

Proof: This is a visual of the chosen Flash Drive. It details the layout, size and colours in the logo. It is important that the proof is checked closely.

Shipping: USB Flash Drives are usually manufactured in the Far East, typically from China. Once the items are ready they are flown from China to the UK using a courier. Unfortunately this is not an overnight service and in some cases the items could take 4-5 days to arrive in the UK. Deliveries can be affected by delays in customs clearance either in China or in the UK.

Silk Printing: The most common method of printing onto USB Flash Drives. This option usually offers up to 4 colours to be printed to 1 position. Sometimes know as Spot Print.

Tagging: This is the term used to label a drive letter on a USB memory stick. For example rather than having the generic ‘removable drive’ title, you could add a company name or short message.

Resin Dome Sticker: This is an alternative method of adding a brand to a USB Memory stick. It allows full colour print and ensure that the logo will not deteriorate or be damaged by knocks or scratches.

Rush Service: USB2U hold blank stock in the UK for real emergencies. It is usually possible to have these items printed and delivered to your door in 48 hours. Call your account manager for an update.

USB: Universal Serial Bus. This is an industry standard introduced to allow peripherals to be used across all desktop and laptops.

USB Flash Drive: The most commonly used term but others we’ve heard are; USB memory stick, USB pen drive, USB key drive, USB jump drive, USB thumb drive and USB drive.

USB 2.0: The main primary difference between 2.0 and the previous standard of 1.1 is that the 2.0 USB Memory sticks are faster. USB 2.0 averages a data rate of 480 Mbps (megabits per second) while USB 1.1 only hits 12 Mbps, which make 2.0 about 40 time faster. Your memory sticks should all be 2.0.

USB 3.0: This is the new ultra fast standard for the USB Industry. In short it will allow data transfer of up to 4.8 Gbps. However, this will not be mainstream for at least 2 years.

Wall Paper Feature: You can now have your company logo or brand set as a watermark on the drive screen when your client opens your promotional USB flash Drive. When asking for a quote just let us know whether you would like to add this feature along with your specifications.

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