Awards & Engraving

February '19

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A&E FEBRUARY 2019 • a-e-mag.com 39 large conveyor style, are commonly used to produce one or more mugs at a time (it's important to note that a sublimation oven should never be used for cooking food). When using an oven, a specially made wrap must be used on the mug to apply even pressure to the printed transfer. In addition to mugs, specially made wraps are available for a variety of substrates that won't fit into a press including cat and dog bowls, shot glasses, tankards, and drink bottles. Similar to mug presses, traditional wraps leave an unimaged area where the edges of the wrap don't quite meet, whether the product has a handle or not. Although traditional wraps have served us well for mugs with handles, they have not been a good fit for the new styles of handle-less drinkware. To go along with these advances in drinkware, two new wrap styles have been developed that allow practically complete decoration of handle-less mugs. The first new wrap style is a reusable silicone rubber tubular sleeve wrap that is slipped/pulled over the mug's entire imprintable area. The second new style is a plastic bag that a mug can be placed into, shrink wrapped with a heat gun, and then placed into the oven. Both new wrap styles are capable of producing full, all-around imaging on the new handle-less drinkware. UPSELL THAT MUG WITH A COASTER A great product to offer with any drink- ware purchase is the ubiquitous coaster. Dye-sublimation offers a huge variety of imprintable coasters made of acrylic, glass, slate, linen, neoprene, and sandstone. There's truly a style for everyone! As a bonus, most of these are also available as car coasters. PRICING STRATEGIES Perhaps the biggest mistake most of us make is to simply underprice our products. Needless to say, any time spent figuring out how to maximize your profits is well worth it. In my opinion, the value of a personal- ized sublimated product is determined by three factors: 1. Quality and usefulness of the blank product itself; 2. Attractiveness of the artwork/design transferred onto the blank product; and 3. Execution of successful sales/mar- keting strategies. ARTWORK STRATEGY: MONOGRAMS AND PATTERNS When Jesse James, the infamous bank robber, was asked why he robbed banks, he answered, "Because that's where the money's at!" Not surprisingly, I reply with the same answer when anyone asks me why I'm in the sublimation industry. Having been around for a while, I can honestly say that the most money can be made selling personalized products to ladies. Decorating useful products with mono- grams and colorful background patterns is the ticket to big profits. For CorelDRAW users, monogram designs become so easy with the Digital Art Solutions monograming add-on. I suggest you put together a small booklet to assist your clients with ordering. This would include monogram styles, colors, and pattern selection. I hope this article has been helpful and will someday increase your profits! Please drop me a line with your success stories or questions at dgross@conde.com. A&E The Geo Knight DK3T can press onto a broad selection of latte mugs and tapered drinkware. Two new wrap styles have been developed that allow practically complete decoration of handle- less mugs. Seen here is a reusable silicone rubber tubular sleeve wrap that is slipped/pulled over the mug's entire imprintable area. ALL IMAGES COURTESY DAVID GROSS

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