Union Bugs 101

1. What is a union bug?

A union bug indicates an item was printed by a unionized shop. It’s the single most reliable visual symbol to know whether your custom promotional product was ethically embellished. A genuine label typically has a number identifying the exact union printing plant where the work was produced. It also usually has the full union name in it or a graphic representation of the union.


2. Where is it printed?

You can print a bug anywhere close to your design. Generally we place it underneath, either centered or off to the right side. It needs to be close to your artwork so it can be included on the same screen — a union bug printed randomly on the sleeve would be an extra location and charge.


3. How much more does it cost?

Union bugs are free! If someone tries to charge you more to put a union bug on an item, you would be wise to question whether they get what a union bug is all about. Any union printer should know immediately what you mean if you ask for the union bug to be included.


4. Why are they important?

When people buy products with union bugs, it means that they care about labor rights and that the people who made your stuff had fair wages and good working conditions. When you include a union bug in your design, it shows solidarity not just to labor union members everywhere — it also shows you care especially for the people making your product. They see your organization’s name next to their local’s identity, and they know you support their right to organize.


Now that you’re an expert on union bugs, check out all Ethix Merch’s selection of promotional products, from T-shirts to travel tumblers to so much more!

Examples of union bugs on promotional products

Examples of union bugs on promotional products