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Home » Frequently asked questions » Tips on ordering printed balloons

Tips on ordering printed balloons

What size and type of balloons do you print on?

We print on:

Various makes of latex balloons from 11" to 36" in size.

Various makes of Foil (Mylar) balloons from 18" to 36"

All listed on our website.


Which production techniques do you use?

We screen print the balloons, the latex balloons are printed inflated then are deflated, this gives a sharp image on the balloon, the inks used give a solid colour print when inflated.

We use the latest machines for screen printing, we were the first company in the UK to offer printing on latex balloons in up to 8 colours, printed in house, back in 2011.


Do you charge extra for the Screen?

The cost of the screen is included in the prices quoted on this website.

Please remember this if you are comparing prices, as some companies dont it make clear that they charge extra.

Can I order different coloured balloons?

Yes!, you can choose as many different colors of custom printed balloons you like provided they are printed  with the same image, at no additional charge. If you change ink colors on the order there is a charge to wash the screen and change the ink.

In the balloon designer & online quote system you can have up to 12 different colour balloons & 2 ink changes, if you need more than that send us a quick quote email.


How Many Colours Can I have In My Design?

Usually, the maximum is 8 for latex balloons and 6 for foil balloons.


Your artwork and or text can contain up to 8 spot colours in total. The price of your balloons will increase as you increase the number of colours that you have in your artwork. So, if you're on a budget, you'll be better off with a simple design, we can help you converting a colour image down to a 1 colour one.


Your artwork and or text can contain up to 6 spot colours in total. The price of your balloons will increase as you increase the number of colours that you have in your artwork. If you would like more than 6 colours, then please call us or send a quick quote request.


Multi-colour printing:

Due to the nature of printing on latex balloons it is not possible to print line on line colour registration, we can get within 1mm most of the time, but the registration will not be the same on every balloon, we state that there could be up to 3mm movement between the colours in any direction.

Foil balloons have the same problem as each colour is printed separately then the balloon removed from the print table to dry before printing the next colour.

The balloon is then placed back on the printing table, but it's not possible to exactly line up for the next colour to be printed, so for foil balloons you need to expect movement between colours of up to 5mm.

Can I specify an ink colour? 

We have general ink colours in the designer, if a particular colour match is required we use the PMS (Pantone Matching System) for solid colours.

Use the nearest colour to your requirements to design the balloon & then state the pantone reference for the actual ink colour required, we will match as close as is possible, but we can't guarantee an exact pantone match.

The ink colours will be effected by the balloon colour used & the transparency of the balloon if it's latex.

We can match the colour of the image from a computer screen, but every monitor displays colours a little bit differently


Can I design a multi-colour image in the designer?

No! this facility doesn't exsist in the designer at this time, the quote system will quote you for this, just place the order through the quick order option.

In the designer you can design 1 colour prints, 1 or 2 sides.

Is there a minimum order for printed balloons?

We can print small orders as well as large print runs.

Our minimum order depends how many colours you have printed on to the balloon and starts at:

Latex balloons from 25 balloons for a 1 or 2 sided 1 colour print.

Jumbo Latex balloons from 1 for a 1 or 2 sided 1 colour print, we can print up to 4 spot ink colours.

Latex balloons from 50 for a 2 - 4 colour print.

Latex balloons from 250 for a 5 - 8 colour print & Full colour print (CMYK).

On multi-colour prints we can only print the 2nd side in one colour only.

Muti-colour print to both sides & all round print, can be outsourced on Belbal balloons, minimum order 3,000pces.



Foil 18" & 20" from 10, 1 to 6 colours per side

Foil 36" from 1, 1 colour to 2 sides, more print colours may be possible, depends how close the registration of ink colours need to be.


A Latex balloon is round. How can it have 2 sides?

By 2 sides, we mean that we print the design twice on the balloon as if it had a front and back.


Do you print the exact number of balloons ordered?

Latex Balloons 11" & 12" we normally supply a percentage of overs to cover misprints, misprints & sometimes unprinted balloons manage to find their way into the finished packets, the balloons are also check weighed at despatch to ensure you have more balloons than ordered, in the unlikley event that the order is short we consider a shortage of up to 2% to be a proper performance of the contract.

The 24" & 36" latex balloons are supplied as exact quantities.


Foil balloons are supplied as exact quantity ordered, if using as decoration it would be advisable to purchase a few extras, as balloons are printed flat & not pre-inflated so we have no way in knowing that there are no faults, we can only visually inspect.


Do you have a colour chart I can see?

All the Latex & Foil balloons that we print on, are available to view on the website.

How do I design an image to look good on a balloon?

Your design should be designed to be read from a distance of 1.5 to 2 metres away, so small and thin fonts are not good, bold fonts are best.

Try to avoid large blocks of ink with small text or thin lines coming through as the balloon colour, as the ink will leach a little on the balloons surface and could cause the text and lines to fill in.

On Latex balloons large blocks ink can also appear distorted due to the curvature of the balloon, you will find more about this 6 questions down.

If your logo has a landscape image, by this I mean a logo at the side of some text, would it be possible to move the logo above the text, as this then makes the whole image larger and uses more of the printed area.

One line web addresses on their own don't look much on a balloon, think about spliting them over two or three lines.


How do I submit a design to be printed? What format?

Your artwork would be as high a resolution image file as possible ideally at least 300dpi, we are able to reduce the size of your artwork if necessary, but if we have to increase the size it can cause the artwork to pixelate (blury image), unless it's an editable vector file. Files must be formatted for a PC rather than a Mac in a file type of ai, eps, psd, pdf, png, jpeg, jpg or tif. - gif files tend to be too small and used for web graphics, they pixalate badly when enlarged, the ideal file is a vector image.

All text in you image should be converted to curves or outlines, to make the text an image. Because if we don't have the same font used on our computers, the file will open using a substitute font and not display correctly, Word files have the same problem and should not be used.


Ideally we require a Black image on a White background to produce the screen, regardless of what ink colour you require.

For multi-colour printing send the colour image, there's no need to split the colours, we will do that for you.


You can submit your design through the quick order on the website, or import it into the online designer and add additional text if required.


Can you enhance poor artwork?

If you are not able to supply a suitable resolution file to use, our artwork department can do this for you, nominal charge for most files is £10 we will advise if charge is more after seeing the file. If you have this service you will receive the vector files which will then be in a format for any other use you require.


What if i don't have artwork?

Don't worry if you don't have any artwork for your balloons, you can use the balloon designer to create some, or let us do it for you, the designer has many clipart images for all occasions or just use text.

We can create a simple image for you free of charge.


How big will my image be?

Each different size balloon has a different available print area, we always print the largest image possible. The print area is always a circular shape so it is best if you are able to tweak your artwork / design to best suit this (i.e. a long, thin design wouldn't best utilise the space and would have to be printed quite small to fit within the print area).

The print area of a 11" & 12" latex balloon is approximately a 5" diameter circle, 12" to 14" on 24" & 36" latex balloons.

The print area of an 18" & 20" foil balloon is approximately an 9" circlce, 14" on a 36" foil balloon.

Why doesn't my image wrap around the full viewable face of a latex balloon?

Imagine a partly blown up balloon pushed against a window. The area touching the glass will be circular in shape, giving us the printable area. The print will stretch with the balloon and look bigger when the balloon is fully blown up.

We always print to the maximum print area available, unless requested not to.

Why does my image look distorted on a latex balloon?

This is due to the curvature of the surface been printed, the image printed is not distorted on the screen it is as it appears on the artwork a flat surface, the balloon is inflated to between half and two thirds of it's full size during the printing process.

When the balloon is inflated to it's full size the image expands with the balloon, the balloon doesn't stretch by the same amount in all directions, the edges stretch more than the centre so the image can look distorted.

The distorted image looks worse when printing large blocks of ink, square or oblong solid shapes.


Can you print the whole side of a foil balloon?

No! The print area is the flat area you can see when the foil is inflated, without going into the creases.

The uninflated foil balloon is held by vacuum on a special table, if printed right to the edge of the balloon, when the screen is raised it can lift the balloon at the edges and this smudges the image.


Can I have a photograph printed?

We can print photographs on to latex balloons in a one colour ink, black ink generally works best on light colour balloons, We use a printing process like newspaper print known as halftones where small dots are printed in various sizes to give the impression of shading.

The end result is like a black and white photograph in a newspaper if printed on to a White balloon.

We could print a full colour photograph on the smaller latex balloons in CMYK but is expensive, with a minium order of 250.

Unfortunately, we are unable to screen print photographs on to foil balloons but we can offer a full colour digital print for small quantities of foil balloons.

We can also arrange for full colour print on foils at the manufacturing stage, minimum order 5,000 pces, contact us for details.


Are latex balloons environmentally friendly?

Latex Balloons are a natural product and are fully biodegradable. Exposed to the elements they will biodegrade at the same rate as an oak leaf. Ribbons and valves cannot be used if you choose to release balloons and Foil balloons should never be released.


Is the helium used in balloons the same as used in MRI scanners?

No! It's recycled from the gas used in the medical industry and mixed with a small amount of air, it is also called balloon gas, it is not pure helium. 

Do the balloons come inflated?

No! We don't supply ready inflated balloons for practical and safety reasons, balloons are sent out uninflated.


How do I inflate the balloons?

You can inflate the balloons with helium or with air, everything for doing so is in our online shop, it's not advisable to inflate latex balloons by mouth, for health & safety reasons.

If you want to inflate with helium gas to make the balloons float you can use our Disposable Helium Gas Canister for small quantities or rent the refillable cylinders for larger quantities, it is advisable to weight the balloon so it doesn't float away, various weights are advailable from us.

If you want to air inflate we also sell hand or electric pumps, if using as giveaways they can be attached to a cup & stick a much cheaper option than using helium, we have cups & sticks for foil balloons as well as latex.

Remember you need helium for the balloons to float, they will not float when filled with air.


How long will balloons stay inflated?

When helium filled the 11" balloons will float for approx. 8 - 9hrs, 12" for 12 - 14hrs, 2' & 3' a few days.

Helium filled foil balloons 3 -5 days.

When air filled latex and foil balloons will last for weeks.

Don't inflate latex balloons with helium until a few hours before your event.


How are the balloons packed?

The latex balloons are packed in polybags in their quantities ordered, up to 1,000, over 1,000 they are bulk packed in boxes, if the larger quantities require bagging in smaller quantities we can do this but at a cost, all bags used carry the necessary warning labels.


How long will my delivery take?

For non personalised items if you place an order by midday, and we have the stock we will despatch the same day on a Next Day Delivery Service which will arrive between 7.30 am and 18.00pm on the next working day, or you can use a timed delivery option available by quotation..

Personalised items require time to be printed, usually at least 5 working days, rush order options are available with a possible surcharge and are calculated at the checkout when you enter a delivery date in the calendar.

Prices vary for rush orders depending on the time of year, during busy periods it's more expensive than the less busy periods.

Large print runs of over 5000 latex and 250 foils can take longer, we can discus options and delivery dates with you before you place the order, if we have to do a split delivery you will only pay for one delivery charge.


Can you send goods direct to my customer?

Yes! we send goods plain cover, we can split your order to go to different delivery addresses if required.



Children under 8 years of age can choke on deflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision is required. Keep deflated balloons away from children. Discard broken balloons at once.


Never allow children to suck, chew or play with deflated balloons.

Supervise your children at all times if they are playing with balloons.

Discard all broken pieces of balloons immediately.

Adults should always inflate balloons for children.

Balloons can spread germs. Never put a balloon in your mouth after it has been in someone else's mouth.

Some people are allergic to latex. Foil balloons are an excellent choice instead of latex balloons in this situation.

Try to keep balloons away from faces. If a balloon bursts it can hurt an eye or face.

When inflating balloons with air, it is better to use a hand-pump than blow them up orally as they may burst in your face, there is also a talc used in the manufactuing process that can cause an allergic reaction in some people.


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