Which USB is the right one for me?

There are so many styles of custom USBs that deciding which style is best can be difficult. Depending on your need, there may be many that can work, but which would be best? For other applications, there may be only a few good choices for you. While some of this can come down to taste, there are ways to look at custom flash drives that can help you select the best one.

When you think of promotional USBs, there are two primary reasons for purchasing them. One is utility. You need to store and share files and you are looking for a reliable flash drive supplier and style. Two is marketing. You want to make an impression and have the person remember your organization long after they first receive the promotional flash drive.

Flash Drive Buyer for utility USBs

If you are a utility purchaser, portability, speed, and capacity are your primary considerations. Flash drives come in capacities ranging from 64MB up to 128GB. Though it is possible to get even higher capacity flash drives, at some point, the added capacity has a cost that makes it impractical. Most organizations can meet their needs with a 16GB or 32GB flash drive. Consider the files that need to be shared; simple documents will require lower capacity. Media files, like photos, videos or audio / music will require more capacity. Consider the likely use case and you can figure out the capacity you need. You can check out our capacity guide here.

Custom Image USB Flash DriveSpeed is another factor. While most people are fine with USB 1.0, if you are running media off the flash drive, or using it in presentations, consider a USB 2.0. The faster speed will make it more convenient to use.

Now comes the shape and size for a utility buyer. The most common flash drive styles are the Twist (sometimes called a swivel) and the classic. Theses fit easily in pockets and hands. It is not just the size that is appropriate but the shape. This may seem minor, but if you are using the flash drive often, the more comfortable it is to carry and hold the better.

Flash Drive Buyer for Promotional USBs

For promotional buyers, the equation gets a bit more complicated. While capacity is important if you are also sharing a lot of marketing materials on the flash drive, it is likely less of an issue. We see 4GB and 8GB with USB 1.0 flash drives as the most common. The real citizen watch metal ubs credit card flash drive usb 2.0question is who are you giving this to and what do you want them to think?

If you are trying to convey class, stability or reliability, the Metal USBs are a good area to consider. The styles are elegant and the feel of the flash drive is solid. Etched metal has an unique look that gets and hold attention.

For more whimsical and fun, take a look at things like the Bracelet USB. It is playful and practical. There are also fun shapes like the Capsule, Robot or Laser. Take a look at these styles if you want to make people smile.

To tell people you are really creative, check out the credit card flash drive. In both plastic and metal, the credit card usb (also called business card USB) lets you showcase creativity.

Back to the utility purchaser… don’t neglect the creative side. Even if the primary purpose is file sharing, you can make a lasting impression as well with imprinted logos or design.

If you are still not sure what direction you want to go, contact the customer representative or browse the custom USBs on Memory Suppliers for some great ideas.

Make A lasting Impression With a Metal USB

Make A lasting Impression With a Metal USB

Lets face it, you want to be remembered… that’s why you are reading this. You want to give out a promo item that the person will think about many times after you meet. You need the Metal USB Flash Drive. This is the promo USB that gets people’s attention when you give it to them. It is also something they will use over and over again, seeing your logo each time and remembering your brand.

Why a metal USB

Metal makes an impression. The visual effects of polished, etched or imprinted metal gets a lot of attention. Polished metal simply stands out, whether matt or gloss finish, people tend to notice it. The etched metal surface calls attentions, speaks to quality and durability… two traits you want to have associated with your brand. When you imprint on a metal USB, the characteristics of the metal surface are not overcome by the ink, but are drawn out by it. The texture of the metal is apparent as a base of the imprinted logo or design. This attracts attention and provides a lasting impression.

clariant metal ubs credit card flash drive usb 2.0But it is not just the inherent qualities of the metal that call attention to the USB. There are many different designs of metal flash drives that highlight the great qualities of the metal surface. The metal credit card or business card USB has a large imprinting metal surface area for terrific creative designs. Even if it is just your company logo, your brand will stand out a lot on the large surface. Pluss, using your imagination, you can create some very cool custom designs as well that can use full color printing on the flash drive.

There are other flash drive styles that just say “quality” and “class”, like this Bentley Metal Flash Drive from iPromo. Better for metal etching than imprinting (though imprinting on this USB would work as well), the Bentley really stands out among flash drives.

Other styles of metal flash drives follow the more traditional shapes of the swivel and stick, but with the added dimension of metal. This material choice adds a lot of value to the appearance of even the most traditional shapes and styles of USBs. From small, compact flash drives to larger ones, the addition of metal as a material has a great affect on the impact the promo item makes.

So, whether it is a trade show or a client gift, take a look at metal flash drives and see if there isn’t one that makes sense for your promo campaign.

Thumb Drives, Flash Drives, Memory Sticks

We’ve been asked what is the difference between a thumb drive, a flash drive and a memory stick.

For promotional products, the terms are used interchangeably, referring to a promotional item that stores information and plugs into the USB port of a computer. The flash drive / thumb drive/ memory stick has a logo or other imprinted graphic and is used for both practical data storage needs and promotional marketing needs. However, if we want to get technical, the differences are:

Memory Sticks

The “true” Memory Stick was a simple memory card introduced by Sony in 1998. It morphed over the years and became a type of SD card. The real “Memory Stick” is now an SD card used primarily for cameras and digital video recording devises. A Sony Memory Stick requires an adapter to plug into a standard USB port on computers to transfer data.

USB Flash Drive - Retract

USB Flash Drives

USB Flash Drive technically refers to the technology that combines flash memory storage and an integrated USB connector. When we think of promotional flash drives, this is the actual product that is being described. With the imagination and creativity in the technology sector, many versions of the USB Flash Drive have been created.


ThumbDrive is a brand name created by Trek Technologies for the first commercial USB Flash Drive. As the first to come to market with the technology in 2000, they have the honor of becoming the “kleenex” of flash drives. The brand name and the category are nearly synonymous today.

The latest development in Flash Drives is the 1TB capacity flash drive released in 2013. Rumor has it that a 2TB capacity flash drive is not far off.

To be sure we are discussing the right item, we preface Flash Drive, Thumb Drive or memory stick with terms such as ‘promotional’, ‘imprinted’, ‘custom’, ‘logo’, or ‘branded’.

Neat Twist to the Custom USB Flash Drive

When we work with clients to a design Custom USB flash drive, we normally look at imprinting or etching the design on the material. This works well. But, with Baby Face Portraits, we had a neat opportunity to use printed label stickers.

The process of applying stickers works a best when the flash drive shape has a flat surface, in this case somewhat recessed. This particular design was full color process and included nuances of shape, lines and colors.



As the surface is twisted, the USB Flash Drive extends from the side of the unit. This protects the flash drive when not in use and makes it very convenient to carry.

Baby Face Portraits uses the custom USB flash drive to share the image files with their customers. It is a great way to ensure the images are continually associated with the company, and adds some extra value to their customers who can use the flash drive for purposes in addition to storing the image files.

See why USB Credit Card Flash Drives are a best seller

Credit card usb flash drives are among our best sellers. The attraction is the versatility of the credit card shape. With the large flat surface, nearly anything can be imprinted.

The three styles are the  metallic usb flash drive,  the click card usb and the flipper credit card usb. With the click card flash drive, the usb slides out of the card, and then ‘clicks’ back into it for safe keeping. With the flipper, the usb drive remains connected to the card, and simply ‘flips’ the usb out and then flips it back in. The metallic is… well, metallic.

Our customers have used these flash drives in some really creative ways. While it has nearly always involved sharing information, you can see how the medium becomes the message with the credit card flash drive’s large imprint area.

Examples of USB Credit Card Flash Drives

Citizen, ever the classic watch really says fashion with the way the artwork applied. This is a full color print on a white body.


citizen usb credit card flash drive

IBIS really made their credit card usb stand out with deep contrast of blue on white. This really took advantage of full color printing on the white body to make the creative pop.

IBIS credit card flash drive

IBIS credit card flash drive

The x-lite creative tells you what the product is. If your product is not well understood or know, using the creative to communicate what you do is key. X-lite does this phenomenally well with their flash drive creative.


xlite usb credit card flash drive

There is something about a metal surface the implies strength. Shake The Nation used this to its fullest with the credit card usb flash drive.

Shake the Nation credit card flash drive

Shake the Nation credit card flash drive

Photography reproduces very well on on the body of the flash drive. On this example the Littleton/englewood credit card usb applies four photos and all look really sharp. On the opposite side, they provide a wealth of contact information in addition to the files saved onto the drive itself.

city of littleton-englewood-full color print-usb credit card

city of littleton-englewood-full color print-usb credit card

The Terri Lynne foundation makes a striking impression for their charity event. This credit card flash drive used deep red to stand out.


Terri lLynne child foundation-credit card-flash drive

Terri Lynne Child Care foundation-credit card-flash drive

Finally, simple can also be impactful. This World Bank associated charity is clear on the association and the purpose with simple artwork and copy.


The World Bank- Poverty Lab - credit card usb

The World Bank- Poverty Lab – credit card usb

For creativity, the credit card usb flash drive  really can’t be beat. If you are interested in a project with the credit card usb flash drive Contact us,  we’d love to work with you.