Why bags are a perfect promotional item, especially during the summer

The summer sun was high in the sky. A blazing ball of warmth.
The sky so blue, the sand a shimmering white.
The little girl screamed and whooped with delight, as she ran from the waves on the Scottish shore.
“Mummy! Mummy! Look at me!” she called, as she raced in and out of the water.

Her mother smiled and beckoned the little girl to come, as she pulled a cooler bag towards her. Unzipping its lid, a feast of sandwiches, fruit and juice were revealed.
Placing a selection of treats on a plate, also contained within the bag, she handed them to the little girl.
As she watched her daughter satisfy her appetite, the mother secretly thanked the ‘Bag God’ for creating such a handy vessel to easily carry everything to the beach.

– Rhona Hartley, May 2017

BAGS! You have got to love a bag! Give me bags! Beach bags, bum bags, handbags, golf bags!

But how much do we know about bags? When, for example, was the humble ‘plastic bag’ created? Not knowing the answer myself, I decided to do a little bit of research.

It turns out that American and European patent applications, relating to the production of plastic shopping bags, can be traced back to the early 1950’s. However, these patents refer to composite constructions, which had handles fixed to the bag in a secondary production process.

The modern lightweight shopping bag, that we’re most familiar with, is the invention of a Swedish engineer called Sten Gustaf Thulin. In the early 1960s he developed a technique of forming a simple one-piece bag by folding, welding and, then, die-cutting a flat tube of plastic. His design produced a simple, strong bag and was patented worldwide by Celloplast, a Swedish packaging company, in 1965.

Plastic bags are commonly printed using flexography, a high speed and low cost method of printing. As its name implies, this system uses flexible printing plates which have the capability to print onto uneven materials. Unlike other printing techniques, the ink remains ‘wet’ on the surface of the material, until it is dried and fixed under a UV light.

Attitudes towards plastic bags have changed in recent years. We all seem to carry canvas ‘bags for life’ with us instead, in order to avoid paying plastic shopping bag charges. It’s rather ironic that a pioneer in this line of thinking was IKEA, a Swedish store, with their blue Frakta carry bags.

Sport bags are just the handiest bags ever! They make carrying anything easy: clubs; rackets; gym-kit. Thank goodness that they came into our lives. Similarly the styles and ranges of travel bags has expanded rapidly, mainly driven by low-cost airlines and our preferences for short-haul, short breaks.

Regardless of what type of bag you require, here’s the really clever part. They all have amazing brand-ability! Look around you. People always have bags with them, especially in the summer when everyone tends to carry things when they’re out and about. Why not raise the profile of your organisation by having your logo or identity applied to a bag? It’s a great way to promote and advertise yourself.

Last year I had the pleasure of creating a bespoke bag for Hastings Hotels in Northern Ireland. Two of their hotels contain beautiful spas, which required a promotion item. With that in mind, and with the help of a great manufacturer, Branding Up produced a stylish bag that incorporated the Hasting Hotels Spa branding and reflected the deluxe quality of these facilities. The net result was one happy client!

If you’re looking for a similar promotion item for an event this summer, then let's chat. We could be producing something fabulous that would help to get you noticed too. Try us! We’ve got bags of ideas!

Here's a pic of the sports bag we designed for Hastings Hotel’s “The Spa”
A couple of years ago, we worked with Joey D to create these bags for The University of Edinburgh, which incorporates the University's tartan

OMG! Here's one from the vaults – a delegate bag we produced for the Aldus PageMaker 5.0 European Launch event in Edinburgh. Still looks great though!


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