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Customized Promotional Giveaways Since 1979

Imprinted Tote Bags, Custom Printed Tote Bags

The Tote Bag: A Fashion Statement Known by Many Names

The term "tote" means "to carry." It's difficult to pinpoint a date when the tote bag as it is known today was first invented.  More likely, it has been around in one form or another for as long as there has ever been a need to carry multiple items at one time.  However, the modern tote bag, like the custom tote bags we carry here at, came into common vernacular during the early 1900's, though the type of bag which came to be called that had already been in use for centuries.


A "tote bag" usually refers to the kind of bag that is made up of two large panels sewn together on three sides, forming an opening at the top, and outfitted with large, loop-style handles.  Some of today's imprinted tote bags have a gussets at the bottom and sides which expand the space that's available inside without increasing the size of the bag itself.


Many cultures have had their own versions of the tote bag throughout the centuries.  Bags made of jute were (and still are) popular in eastern cultures.  Decorative and colorful woven totes have been popular in Mexico and other Spanish cultures for many centuries.


In contemporary North America, tote bags have become the "go-to," all-purpose carrying bag for a variety of tasks and situations.  In many cases, they've taken on new monikers based on the primary tasks they have been designed for.  The diaper bag, for instance, is a typical tote bag.  Diaper bags are designed specifically for carrying baby items, like diapers and other essentials.  They tend to be larger than the average shopping-style tote bag and often have extra embellishments not found on basic designs, like outside pockets for holding small items like pacifiers and baby toys.  Many are insulated or have insulated compartments created to keep baby bottles and baby food fresh.


Women's purses come in a variety of shapes and styles, but tote bag style purses are perhaps the most common.  This type is usually designed with the female in mind, and often has built-in pockets and compartments for storing smaller items like car keys and change.


Promotional Wine totes and lunch totes are two more modern takes on this classic bag.  Both are smaller versions of the tote bag.  The ones designed for wine are rectangular in shape and made to fit an average-size bottle of wine inside.  Lunch totes are also generally rectangular, though normally shorter and wider than those designed for wine bottles.  Many of the lunch totes that Art Promos carries are insulated so that any food stored inside stays fresher for longer and maintains a constant temperature.


One of the newest versions of the tote bag are messenger-style bags and Imprinted computer bags.  These two terms are often interchangeable, since both styles are rectangular in shape.  Messenger bags pre-date computer bags, though.  They were designed primarily for the transporting of paper documents and are still commonly used by bike messengers.  Larger versions of the messenger tote are used today by mail carriers.  The computer bag is similar in style to the messenger tote, but was designed to transport laptops safely.  They often contain extra, smaller compartments for computer components like a mouse, mouse pad, chargers and cords.

Custom tote bags come in various forms and are used everyday by retailers all over the world for packing a customer's purchase.  Plastic shopping totes are among the most common, although there is a movement away from plastic usage in many parts of the developed world, and some retailers are returning to the more eco-friendly paper or brown paper shopping bag.  Paper totes are even used in gift-giving and make a nice alternative to wrapping paper, since they can be used multiple times and recycled at their end of their life span. stocks a vast selection of custom printed tote bags like these, plus styles like beach bags, personalized laundry totes, imprinted shoe bags and many others.  This versatile bag has proven itself indispensable in so many aspects of daily living that there will always be a market for this classic.

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