Promotional bags printed or embroidered

Promotional bags – what are they really?

The business researcher, Wilhelm Hill1, coined the phrase that promotional items are "the real, sensually perceivable manifestation of the advertising message, therefore the advertisement for example". To put it simply: advertising material make messages tangible. Nieschlag, Dichtl and Hörschgen describe them as "the advertising message in the mind transferred to material". 2

Promotional bags make messages tangible

Promotional items are proven to have many advantages in their communicative effect in comparison to alternative (classic) forms of advertising. One main reason is the "haptic effect" in combination with the transfer situation. It ensures high recall levels. This particularly applies to promotional bags. Their concept makes them different to standard bags: a promotional bag has been produced especially for printing or applying an advertisement.

It therefore has a print area or print possibilities and is designed in the entire manufacturing process for its use as an advertising material. It therefore offers special opportunities to advertising businesses. It does not have to differ from other, normal bags from a visual and functional point of view. You can find out more about the nature and effects of advertising materials on the promotional items page.

Promotional bags advertisement

Promo bags – their effect, the advantages, top ten bags

Bags and backpacks are particularly popular

Bags play a special role in the promotional items sector. As studies prove, shoulder bags, tote bags with your logo, printed cool bags or customized drawstring bags and other are very popular - both among the companies doing the advertising and subsequent users. Just like every promotional item, bags also follow the aim of leaving a lasting impression of the logo and advertising message. They present themselves perfectly as an advertising medium and

impressively stage the advertising message. They reveal a special effect if they are incorporated intelligently in the communication strategy. Advertising experts are interested in the so-called range of an advert. As shown by an American study on behalf of the ASI in 2006, bags have an exceedingly long period of retention among owners and also enjoy high popularity.

Months in use

Advertising with bags – the advantages

Advertising with bags has many advantages. A promo bag is more than a give-away, promotional item or medium for an advertising campaign. It is an item of use with particularly practical and fashionable talents. However, there are even more aspects that make a bag into a successful advertising material:

The advertising contact opportunity can be considerably higher than some other promotional items with an advertising message using a bag. This is also because bags are particularly long-lasting and are often used over several years.

A bag gets around. It carries messages to the target group.

Materials, the finish, uses and individual decoration ensure a high value appearance and provide a special quality.

Promotional bags are made to be used.

 They have a high value of use – and are self-explanatory to everyone. Complicated instructions for use are unnecessary.

Bags are original, modern and offer a special feel alongside exceptional design. An attractive accessory that everyone likes to have around.

Bags give you the choice between lots of colours, details, features and print application. It can be perfectly coordinated to the advertising message and Corporate Design.

Advertising suitability
A promotional bag offers an exposed place for a striking logo print or embroidery.

Range of coverage on an average day

The Top 10 most popular promotional bags

Promotional bags are differentiated according to target group, area of use, application and bag type. The most popular promotional bags include:

Promotional bags from HALFAR®

Quality and service from the Bielefeld bag makers

Whether it is bags and backpacks from our standard range directly from stock, or promotional bags tailored to your requirements: HALFAR® offers the right service for any requirement. You can find out more about us and our bags in our company film.

Which options does HALFAR® offer for print application?

We offer the following solutions for decorating promo bags in our company:

Decision-making aids – select the right bag, design it, use it successfully

There is music inside: bags as a brand icon or favourite companion

A bag with a logo is a very likeable and effective marketing tool. It is emotional and practical at the same time. Find out all about the bag as a promotional item here – from making the right choice to individual options.

Bags as a brand cult

Likeability achieves an effect

The Kelly-Bag5 is just one example, but bags have always had the ability to become cult items. They serve our self-expression and are confident and daily companions in our private or professional lives. This of course also applies to promotional bags.


Their likeability and emotionality play a huge role - and they correlate with the advertising effect. The customer only uses the bag if a positive emotion is awoken. This allows the advertising effect to be hugely increased. Only the users themselves are given a constant positive reminder of the advertiser/brand, but also friends and family, people who meet the user or people who just simply see the bag. A bag therefore has a very wide-ranging effect. There is more in the following chapter about where bags can be used.


Possibilities of use for bags and backpacks as promotional items

There is a range of occasions where a bag or backpack with an individual print can be used in order to present your brand. Several examples:

congress bag BASIC #1805510


Ideal, because the customer can directly use the bag for exhibition documents. There are light and low cost exhibition bags available to choose, which can easily be stored on the exhibition stand, or high quality premium bags for selected customers.

shoulder bag BUSINESS #1800775

Conferences, congresses

Achieve direct benefits with conference bags – also ideal in combination with conference folders.

drawstring bag UNIVERSAL #1800771

Promotional sales campaigns

Some products can be directly presented in transparent bags in retail or initiated as a promotional sales campaign with this add-on.

backpack KURIER ECO #1803908

Employee and customer premiums

A bag creates an identity - especially with a logo print - and the customer's own materials can be implemented to make more appropriate premium bags.

Customer present


Bags are popular prizes as objects with high usage and likeability value.

FlapBag MODUL 1 #1805020

All types of incentives

Whether for an anniversary, open day or sales congress: a bags always fits in with the concept.

shouder bag DISPLAY #1809115

Employees products

To match the Corporate Fashion for your employees, e.g. with smartphone pouches printed with your logo.

shopper BASKET #1803939

Customer or employee gifts

Gifts keep friendships going and increase motivation. For example a bag as Christmas present.

laptop backpack ECONOMY #1802765


As a little token of motivation for participants and practical packaging for seminar documents: seminar bags and briefcase bags with print.

roller bag PLANET #1808849


For sports clubs, city marketing or brand products. Complete bag series are also a good option for merchandising campaigns.

Bag - yes or no? Selection criteria

The following questions should be clarified before deciding on a bag.

Who is advertising?

Does the bag suit the company's image or the brand?

Why are they advertising?

The aim of the bag campaign.

What is the occasion?

An appointment, an event, a specific target group or a current campaign?

Which message should be conveyed?

Is it about image communication, a product innovation, a relaunch or something else?

Checklist for the successful use of a promotional bag

If you want to use a promotional bag, the following questions will help you make the right decision:

    • Is the promotional bag being optimally integrated in an existing campaign?
    • Does it suit the target group (use, benefit, age, gender, profession) in terms of design, materials, haptic, fashionability of the print application?
    • Does the product also provide a good benefit? Further characteristics for private use?
    • Is the quality good enough to convince the customer of the benefits?
    • Are the design, materials and print application coherent and do they differ from the competition?
    • The print application can be bold (typical of motifs from the 70s) or subtle depending on the campaign and CD
    • The transfer stays in the user's mind! How is this planned? Should a gift box possibly be used?

Material and design – from tarpaulin to felt, from print to embroidery

Achieve emotionality via the material, design and decoration

Fig.: CrossBag CHAMP #1805506

A service provider for business customers is more likely to decide on a laptop bag, a skateboard manufacturer for a young shoulder bag and the city marketing department of a hiking area is best with a backpack.

The certain thing is that the success of a promotional bags depends on whether the target group accepts the bag. And this in turn depends on how well the bag is adapted to its surroundings.

A little material lesson

Materials for bag production and their specific qualities

LorryBag® Original 1 #1101401

Truck tarpaulin

in shiny or matt material in many colours. A young, trendy material often used for courier bags. Suitable for brilliant picture prints. Robust and water repellent in use.

Bags made of jacquard


A special type of weave that gets its name from Joseph-Marie Jacquard makes elaborate patterns and structures possible.

shopper MATCH #1809130


A manmade fibre in various qualities. From particularly light to very functional, extremely wear resistant versions.

zipper bag UNIVERSAL #1800177

Transparent foil/foil

Creates transparent effects for little bags such as cosmetic bags. Water repellent and easy care. Can be decorated with silkscreen print.

laptop trolley JET #1806700


A manmade fibre from polyamide. Low weight, strong tear resistance and form stability - perfect for light travel bags and backpacks. Many colours and decoration possibilities.

event bag BASIC #1805513

Synthetic rubber

This can be used as a laptop or iPad cover. The advantage: the material provides padding and is practically watertight.

shopper NewClassic #1805710


As a natural felt or synthetic felt bag in various colours. A very natural and elegant appearance with a pleasant feel – ideal for shopper, but also as a bag flap or complete shoulder bag. Very suitable for embroidery, synthetic felts can also be decorated with laser engraving.

Bags made of jeans


The iconic material in various washes and colours. Particularly characteristic with typical rivets and seams. Can be printed and embroidered.

Bags made of cotton


A natural fabric. Very versatile in use and decoration. Available in various strengths and qualities and ideal for e.g. robust duffle bags.

sport / travel bag RETRO #1807531

Imitation leather / leather

Genuine leather is a fine, natural material with a nice appearance and strong durability. But the copy, imitation leather, can also display very good qualities and properties for use. Leather can be stylishly decorated with embossing or with metal labels.

What does HALFAR® pay attention to regarding the material choice?

In the promotional bag segment, we frequently use polyester, nylon or truck tarpaulin - but other materials are possible and can be implemented with bespoke bags on customer request. When choosing the material, we make sure that the optimum compromise between the following is found.

    • Durability
    • Haptic – pleasant feel

The truck tarpaulin materials is particularly popular among our customers. We use original German truck tarpaulin or a tarpaulin made especially for us depending on the country of production. This material has outstanding properties with respect to durability and decoration. We advise our customers to configure their own bag from the 43 available material colours.

Digital print, silkscreen print or metal emblems are perfect for print application. Here you can find more information on printing your individual bags.

We can also process materials such as cord, cotton, nonwoven or PP string on request. Please contact us if you have alternative material requests!

Cool bags made from your own or used material

Several well-known bag brands consciously use second-hand materials – truck tarpaulins, army blankets, fire hoses or even sails can become a base material for bags. These materials have one thing in common: they evoke positive emotions for the user because it is a unique product: my own!

Lufathansa bag

Custom made Lufthansa bag


Custom made TyreBag

Ideal for promo bags, which are always particularly successful and effective if they touch us emotionally. This is one reason why HALFAR® also offers bags and backpacks made from used materials,

which the customer procures himself and provides to us in good condition. Almost everything that can be sewn can become a bag!

AirBag bag
AirBag bag
Example: AirBag bags from HALFAR®

Encounters with airbags are (luckily) rather rare for most people. Things are different if you are an airbag manufacturer like Autoliv. The Swedish company is a global player in the automobile safety technology market and one with an unusual marketing idea: why not take the inside out and sew together bags made of airbags? Changing the purpose of your own material and making it into bags – an idea that is

totally in fashion. Whether it is a bag made of truck tarpaulin, sails, coffee sacks or any other sewable fabrics: your "own" bags have a special value as a merchandising or promotional item for employees and customers. After all, they create a particularly strong emotional association and are unique in the truest sense of the word. Peter Leseberg, Marketing Manager at HALFAR®, reveals more in the interview.

Material/quality assurance for HALFAR® promotional bags

In cooperation with Bureau Veritas, we subject the material we use for our backpacks and bags to careful tests. This is how we can guarantee that our products are tested for listed pollutants according to the relevant national and international legislation.

Awards and prizes for HALFAR® promotional bags

Our aim is to convince our customers every single day, as promotional bag experts, and to impress with our promotional bags in the long-term. Of course, we are delighted when professionals also notice our bags and award prizes for special qualities – whether in terms of design or as outstanding promotional items. Thank you for these awards and prizes:

  • Promotional Gift Award
  • reddot design award

Production – from stocked goods to bag building kits

Bags from stock – with or without print application

At HALFAR® you can obtain a huge selection of promotional bags directly from stock. This means that the bag is already sewn and can be provided with a print application on request.

The minimum order quantity from stock is one packing unit (one box) for undecorated items. You will find the packing units in the respective item description and it is usually 20 – 25 bags. The minimum order quantity is 50 units for decorated items. Information on the maximum logo sizes

and print areas on the respective bag can be found directly on the item in the shop or in the product finder. We are also pleased to advise you by telephone. The delivery time for our stocked items is usually one day for items without print application or 5 to 10 days in the case of print application.

Advantages of stocked bags at a glance

  • Immediately available for delivery
  • Huge selection of bag types, designs, materials, colours and print application possibilities
  • Quick availability of samples with and without print application
  • Very quick visualisation of relevant items with print application
  • Low minimum order quantities from 20 units for neutral items and from 50 units for decorated goods

Disadvantages of stocked goods:

  • No digital print on the entire bag surface
  • No trimmed logos or logos going up to the edge
  • Special material colours only from a quantity of 1,000 bags

The HALFAR® bag building kit

Not customised production but still very individual: the HALFAR® bag modules provide the answer. You choose the pre-sewn components from our stocks - usually the bag body - and combine them in the selected quality, colour and property. These components are generally pre-manufactured by our long-standing partners in China. The respective product is them completed at a production site in Europe. This often means that the body and flap are sewn together including the required decoration.

The advantage of this step-by-step production: while the logo size is limited for a stocked bag, the print can run onto the flap and up to the seam in the modular or European production. You do not need to consider any sizes. Furthermore, a considerably larger selection of material colours,e.g. our LorryBags®, such as tarpaulins, is available. A photo print (photo quality up to 300 dpi) can be achieved using the digital print process on tarpaulin without exception.

This is method that would not be possible in large dimensions for stocked items. A digitally printed label is recommended as an alternative. 
We advise truck tarpaulins as a base material for our modular bags. There are, however, other materials such as e.g. felt, polyester or individual materials provided by the customer such as banner foils from former advertisement banners.

Kit bag LorryBag® with digital print
Kit bag LorryBag® with flap made of felt
Kit bag LorryBag® with photo print
Kit bag LorryBag® high with photo print

Advantages of the modular principle

  • A large range of colour combinations options from 50 bags upwards
  • Quick delivery times for special editions: 4 to 6 weeks thanks to EU production (instead of 3 to 4 months for production in China)
  • Digital and silkscreen print on larger areas

Bags exclusively from EU production

The Czech Republic and Rumania are currently our production countries in the EU. Some selected production also takes place at our company headquarters in Germany. However, we generally use these production capacities for samples and prototypes.

Our standardised EU production items include the LorryBag® Original 1 and 2. For these products we use original German tarpaulin in combination with bindings, straps and possibly buckles and polyester materials. A choice of 43 tarpaulin colours and several variations of other materials are available to the customer. Hardly any other product from our company

offers so many variation options. Alongside the colour combinations, the customer can also freely choose the size, features and print application technique. Minimum quantity of 50 units, delivery time approx. 4 – 6 weeks. We can offer other materials on request as well as promotional bags and special editions produced in Europe.

Advantages of European production at a glance:

  • Smaller minimum quantities are also possible (from 50 units)
  • Shorter delivery times than Asian production
  • For customers who want to distance themselves from Asia or China as a production location
  • Better possibilities in the area of digital print

Development of bespoke bags

Our customers often have special requests with respect to design, shape, colour, material or use. Due to the fact that HALFAR® has its own development and design department, we offer our customers prototypes in addition to design drafts. The costs depend on the project and an estimation is required after the project briefing.

Bags made of artificial turf

Astroturf bag: bag from our
building block system bag with customer material

Strawberry shaped bag

Strawberry form bag: Promotional bag
as special edition

Where are HALFAR® bags and backpacks produced?

Promotional bags are produced throughout the world. HALFAR® has its headquarters in Bielefeld as one of the leading German manufacturers. We also manufacture in China and eastern Europe according to in-house specifications and designs. The range is divided into stock items and bespoke bags. For bespoke bags, we differentiate between actual special editions on customer request and modular production.

Standardised elements (e.g. the body of a bag) are used for the latter. Furthermore, the customer's own materials can be used as long as they can be sewn. Former advertising banners are frequently used, but also padding or other materials are conceivable.

Production of bags

Working conditions in production sites in the Far East

For ourselves as providers of branded items, it is a matter of course that our products are created in the corresponding production countries under socially acceptable conditions. This is why we are a member of amfori BSCI. The constant auditing of our production sites guarantees a high standard!

Your bag – order and delivery

How does the approval process work?

We generally provide our customers with a visualisation of the bag incl. logo or print application, without obligation, to assist in the decision-making process. We recommend producing a reference sample if an order is placed. We need approx. 1 - 2 weeks for an approval sample (also referred to as reference sample) depending on the country of production (Europe or Asia).

Delivery times for HALFAR® promotional bags

An undecorated bag generally leaves the warehouse on the same day. The delivery time is approx. 2 to 4 weeks incl. the approval process for a bag with decoration (silkscreen print, transfer etc...decoration link). Bags from the building kit system require a production time of 4 to 6 weeks. A complete special edition incl. Asia production requires approx. 3 months after the development and approval process.

Sources of purchase / sales channels for HALFAR® promotional bags

HALFAR® markets its advertising and promotional bags via professional promotional product retailers and advertising agencies. However, we do offer potential commercial end consumers the opportunity to receive detailed information on our product range and the associated possibilities. We are pleased to prepare product suggestions including quotes for end consumers. A possible order is then placed with the retail partner chosen by the end consumer.

Legal aspects – guidelines, norms and tax laws

Product laws, guidelines and norms for bags as advertising material

(Legal guidelines, other laws may apply depending on the type of bag!)

  • REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)
  • GPSG (Equipment and Product Safety Act)
  • LFGB (Food, Consumer Goods and Feed Code)

Tax law for promotional items – "promotional gifts"

  • The deduction allowance for promotional items is € 35.00 (status 2014)
  • Problem with the tax deductibility of gifts
  • Classification of the promotional items into the tax term of a gift
  • Fully tax deductible benefits/only at a limited amount with constraints
  • Non-tax deductible benefits
Quick contact


HALFAR® Blog Facebook Google+ Twitter XING LinkedIn kununu Instagram YouTube