Case Study: Carthage College and the Tassel Topper

Learn more about our Custom Keyboard Stickers

2018 Trends in the Promotional Products Industry

Earlier this month, we attended the 2018 Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo. The PPAI Expo is North America’s largest promotional products trade show and was the perfect place to get a sneak peek at the 2018 trends in promotional products.

Here are four trends that caught our eye at this year’s expo:


Cork isn’t just for coasters and wine anymore, it’s seemingly everywhere these days and the promotional products industry is no different. There are the products where one would expect it to show up like drink ware, pencil pouches, journals, and pens. However, the sky is really the limit with cork. For instance, check out this tote and this baseball cap!


Heathering is the process of interweaving yarns of different shades of the same color to produce an alternate color. This creates a distinct, textured look in apparel. While this can be done with any color, gray is by far the most popular color. It’s been extremely popular in apparel for the past couple of years, but it’s now expanding into products like hats and bags. A trend within a trend that we saw at this year’s PPAI Expo was combining a heathered gray base with bright colors on the trim

Wireless Charging

Qi wireless charging has been a feature in Samsung and LG phones for a few years now, but without Apple supporting the feature, wireless chargers hadn’t really caught on in the industry. However, with Apple’s iPhone 8 and X now supporting the feature, wireless chargers have started to become a popular item within the promotional products industry and it shows with the variety of designs.

Powder Coat Finish

A powder coat finish provides a soft matte look and unique texture on drink ware and was everywhere at this year’s PPAI Expo. The finish allows your branding to pop out more because it absorbs light instead of reflecting it like more glossy finishes. Customers love powder coating because it’s a durable finish that shows less wear and tear and can take a beating. It also provides a unique feel that can’t be found in other finishes. 

Want to know how you can capitalize on one, or all, of these trends? Contact your account manager, send us an email, give us a call at 414-831-0184, or fill out our contact form today!

More from PPAI 2018

If you’re interested in what products we loved at the PPAI Expo, check out three blogs for each day of the show:

The Perfect Admit Pack

It’s time to admit your Class of 2022!

But you’re not the only one. How do you take your admitted student packet from more than just a welcome letter to a memorable experience, making it stand out from your competition? By building an admit pack that increases your yield rate by providing a “Wow!” factor that excites and entices the accepted student to completing the enrollment process with your school.

Here are the pieces that you’ll need:

Unique Packaging

Don’t just send another boring envelope! Sending acceptance letters in three dimensional packaging stands out and leaves a memorable experience. By using BookWear custom packaging you’ll a statement before the box is even opened. Use dynamic and eye-catching images of your campus on the outside, and congratulate your newest admitted students with a sharply packaged admit kit which includes enrollment information and a fun, useful, and visible promotional product. BookWear is printed, packaged, shrink-wrapped and shipped all from one location, making it easy for you!

Include Your Enrollment Information

Save some trees! Upload all of your enrollment documents onto a flash drive instead of sending printed fliers and forms. Students can then download what they need and they’ll have a useful promotional keepsake for when they come to campus in the fall. Want to make your flash drive stand out even more? We can turn your mascot into a custom molded flash drive!

A Fun Gift

Being accepted to college is a big step (pun intended), and you want students to be excited! Adding a fun, wearable gift like custom socks adds to the experience of being accepted to your top school. When students wear (and show off) your socks, they’ll be reminded of your school and are brand ambassadors to their peers and community. Peer influence is extremely powerful and no other forms of marketing take advantage of this like promotional products.

It’s all put together. Now what?

Don’t want to handle the mailing yourself? That’s fine! Just send us your mailing list and we’ll send your admit pack to your newest class. If you want to handle the mailing yourself, we can do that too. We’ll package your Bookwear, wrap and seal it, and ship it to your school. All each box needs is a label, and you’re good to go!

Ready to build your perfect admit pack?

Contact your Account Manager today! We’ll help you build the perfect admit pack from your school. We can start with the package that was put together for Magellan University, or help you build one from scratch! We’re here to help you make your admit campaign a great success.

  • Quantity
  • Cost
  • 120
  • $18.24
  • 250
  • $14.66
  • 500
  • $12.85
  • 1000
  • $12.18
  • 2500
  • $10.72

Pricing for the admit pack as created by Magellan Promotions. Pricing subject to change as flash drive pricing varies on a week-to-week basis. Setup and mailing charges not included. Please inquire. 

Day 2 at the 2017 Promotional Products Expo

Day 2 of the Promotional Products Association International Expo is in the books! Our feet may hurt (we walked a lot today) but it’s definitely been worth it. We saw so many more great products to share with our clients. Read on for some of our favorites from today.

Michael with an example of custom packaging

Michael’s Favorite: Custom Packaging Options

If you’re looking for a way to take your promotional products to the next level, custom packaging is the way to go. Whether you’re doing a direct mail piece, or giving a gift to a client, giving it in a custom-designed box instantly increases the perceived value of a promotional product.

I love this option in particular because it can be done with low-minimums, even with full color printing on the interior and exterior of the box.

These boxes also allow for custom inserts, built around the products you want to feature. If you want to do just a mug, we can do that. Do you want to do a mug, coffee, and a tumbler? We can do that too, with an insert built around the specific products that you select. Plus we have multiple options to choose from, in order to fit within your budget.

If you’re looking to take your promotional products to the next level, custom packaging is the way to go!

Chuck with the universal cell phone mount

Chuck’s Favorite: 360 Degree Universal Car Phone Mount

As a sales guy, I’ve spent a lot of time in my car over the years. It’s always hard to figure out exactly what to do with my phone while I’m using my GPS as I drive. There’s just no good place to put it.

That’s why the 360 degree universal car phone mount is such a great product. The mount itself has an adhesive that you use to stick to the dashboard of your car and a magnet on the end of a rotating ball. With an adhesive magnet on your phone, your phone then snaps to the mount, and your phone is mounted right on your dashboard! You get to decorate both the mount and the magnet on your phone, allowing you to brand two items in one. Plus the magnet and mount are strong enough to hold any phone, so you don’t have to worry about your phone being too heavy.

If you have clients that spend lots of time in their car, either traveling for work or even just commuting to and from work, this product would be a great gift for you.

Julia with the pieceless puzzle

Julia’s Favorite: Pieceless Puzzle

Almost everyone has some kind of stress ball at their desk – but the round stress ball has been done, again and again. That’s why I am so excited about the pieceless puzzle, a modern way to de-stress at your desk.

The puzzle is one big, connected puzzle piece, not a huge pile of unwieldy pieces like the traditional jigsaw puzzle. You can see how it breaks down to the left, as well as a completed puzzle. It’s perfect for those days where you need a mental break at your desk and want to take a few minutes to unwind. If you don’t have the time to finish it, no worries! Just ball it up and throw it in a drawer. There are no extra pieces to have to chase after or worry about losing.

It’s the modern version of a stress ball, but way more fun.


We’ve got one more day to go at the Expo! Check back tomorrow for one last update from the show, and next week for our final wrap-ups!

For more information on any of the above items, contact one of our Account Managers for more information and pricing! 


Magellan Promotions at NACAC 2016

It’s hard to believe that summer is already over and that fall is in full swing! But as sure proof that fall has begun, the Magellan Promotions team made their annual trip to the 2016 NACAC National Conference. We had a great few days in Columbus, and we’re already planning for what we have in store for 2017.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend NACAC this year, here are a few of our favorite products that we had on display:

Keyboard Sticker

Keyboard Sticker

Custom Keyboard Sticker

We know that we have told you about our keyboard sticker before, but it has been so popular that we can’t stop talking about it!

It’s a great item, with a lot of bang for your buck. Plus, it’s easy to use across your whole campus, not just in the Admissions department. Send it as a thank you to donors, to members of your staff, to alumni who visit at homecoming and more.

You can find more information, including pricing here.

Tassel Topper

Tassel Topper

Tassel Topper

Are you looking for a great item to send to your admitted students as part of an anti-melt campaign? Then look no further than the Tassel Topper!

The Tassel Topper can be decorated on one or both sides, and comes with sticky Velcro pieces so your future students can easily attach it to their mortarboard for their high school graduation.

Your students will be proud to show off your logo as they cross the stage as part of the Class of 2017!


Glacier Tumbler

The Glacier

One of the most popular categories in our industry this year has been drinkware – especially non-retail versions of retail products such as the S’well and the Yeti. Our versions are the H2Go Force and the Glacier.

We love both of these items because you get the retail quality, without the retail price tag. Both are double-wall, copper insulated so they’ll keep your hot drinks hot, and your cold drinks cold.

You’ll definitely catch people’s attention with either of these pieces as a gift!


These were just a few of our favorite items from NACAC. If you want to see what else we had on display, check out our NACAC Showroom. For quotes on any of these items, click here or reach out to one of our Account Managers.

We look forward to seeing you at NACAC 2017!

The Keyboard Sticker

Keyboard Sticker Blog Post I bet many (if not all) of your incoming freshmen applied to your school through your website – most likely sitting at a computer. During the next four years of their lives, your students will spend countless hours on their computers – writing and researching papers, completing homework assignments and more. And that’s just the incoming class of 2020. Think about all the ways that your constituents use their computers – students writing papers, alumni making donations and faculty advising their students, just to name a few. Since computers and technology are such an integral part of life today for your current and prospective students, alumni, faculty and more, what better way to keep your brand right in front of them than by using their own computers as a promotional item?
UW Keyboard Sticker

University of Wisconsin’s Keyboard Sticker

Our exclusively designed keyboard sticker is an inexpensive, engaging and unique way to do just that. You can customize any computer key with a ½” sticker, quickly making a keyboard the hard-to-miss advertisement for your institution. These keyboard stickers have been a hit with many of our clients and they are the perfect way for you to reach out to current and perspective students, donors, alumni and more. Many schools have used the same template, but do you want to switch it up? We can do that! Add more keys, make a bigger card, or even turn the keyboard sticker into a postcard. If you can design it, we can do it. Email your Account Manager to discuss how the keyboard sticker could be the next great addition to your marketing platform.
"We love the keyboard stickers and they remain one of the most popular giveaway items in our office!"
UGA athletics logo
University of Georgia Development and Alumni Relations

2016 PPAI Expo

2016 PPAI Expo 


The Magellan Promotions team just came back from this year’s annual PPAI Expo!  Michael, Danielle, and Katie came back with a ton of great, innovative, and unique ideas for our clients and we look forward to sharing them with you!

The 2016 PPAI Expo kicked off last week with over 11,000 distributors in attendance. This was PPAI’s 14th year hosting at the nearly one million square foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. With 1,300 exhibiting companies and over 3,000 booths it’s clear to see why the show now occupies the convention center’s new $66 million 2 hall expansion.

It was a massive show and the team here at Magellan Promotions made it our goal, as it is every year, to see every single booth on the floor  to ensure we had fresh ideas for our clients as 2016 unfolds!

We truly returned with a ton of great, innovative, and unique ideas and trends for our clients this year and we can’t wait to share them with you!


Custom Mascot Promotional Ideas

Who wouldn’t love to receive a school’s mascot in a toy or stress reliever form? These are two custom mascot promotional ideas that we love!

Custom Toy Mascot

One of our favorite promotional items from the PPAI Expo was the custom building toy mascot, shown below as Flo from Progressive. Picture your school’s mascot as a toy figure. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

LEGO mascot sample

LEGO figure – a really fun promotional idea for a school mascot

Here is another example with the Iowa State mascot.

Iowa State Sample LEGO

Cy the Cardinal, looking rather cute.

In just about 90 days our vendor can create the likeness of your mascot in building toy form! Custom orders require a quantity of 15,000 pieces and an up front deposit of 50% of the total project cost. If that quantity sounds a bit high, consider working across campus departments to share the supply of figures. A mascot is a long lasting, enduring symbol of your school, so buying a large quantity of a popular item is a safe marketing investment. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.

Stress Reliever Mascot

Similarly, a custom shaped stress reliever can be created in the shape of a mascot. Here are just a few stress reliever shapes that were showcased at one of our events.

stress balls in custom shapes

Custom shaped stress relievers include Vice President Biden and President Obama in the upper right corner.

To create your own custom stress reliever mascot, only 1000 pieces are needed to meet the minimum quantity.  Once a desired size is specified, our partner can provide a quote to create the custom mold. From start to finish, the turnaround time is about four to five months.

Custom Shape Mascots

Both of these custom mascot promotional products are very cool and are bound to be hits with anyone who is lucky enough to receive them.  With a little advance planning and working across departments if needed, you can create a customized and fun way to share your mascot and school with prospective students, current students, staff, and alumni.

Creative Imprints Make a Statement

Are you looking for ways to make your logo standout on a coffee mug, water bottle, or glass? Check out these creative imprints to make a statement!

UCLA crest imprint on glass

Sample of a Mirror Imprint

Mirror Imprint

The interior portion of a glass or clear piece can be looked at through a reverse view, as shown in the UCLA glass above. We take the logo and provide a reflective image. Both logos are on one side of the piece, so you aren’t having to cancel out logos in two different locations. The UCLA blue logo is viewed across the opposite side of the glass in the left most part of the image.

Tone on Tone Wrap Print with LinkedIn Logo

Tone on Tone Wrap Print with LinkedIn Logo

Matte / Glossy Tone on Tone Wrap Print Example

Matte / Glossy Tone on Tone Wrap Print Example

Tone on Tone Wrap Print

The wrap goes around the piece almost completely with a retail branding of a glossy finish on a matte piece. There will be a small gap, instead of it being a full 360 degree wrap. The gap allows you to place your logo vertically. In this form of design you can take an emblem/crest/part of the logo for the wrap as you can see in the LinkedIn sample. If there is something unique to the company, such as a tire tread, an arch, or just wording of what a company offers, it can be wrapped around the bottle for emphasis, as in the Yokohoma picture.

Glitz Print Decoration Method

Glitz Print Decoration Method

Glitz Print

This decoration allows a shiny contrast in a two color design or highlights a logo beautifully. If you want to add a sheen to a logo for vibrancy, then glitz print will be the perfect choice. The sample above has a beautiful, glittery effect!

One of our Projects

One design client of ours loves the matte black finish on their coffee mugs. Here’s an image of one mug that we recently created:

Tone on tone glossy imprint on matte black

Tone on tone glossy imprint on matte black

They sell these mugs on their online store with a choice of the tone on tone imprint or white & red imprint on matte black. Now if that doesn’t make a statement, then I don’t know what does! What is your favorite imprint method?

For More Information

There are multiple water bottles, travel mugs, ceramic mugs in a variety of finish types.  A few that we like include:

Need a specific idea? Just let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll present options for you to review.

Related Links

Promotional Version of the S’well Bottle

New Promo Products of 2015 Photo Highlights, including Drinkware

Case Study: Western Racquet Club