Awards & Engraving

March '19

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28 • A&E MARCH 2019 Try This: Create a Sublimated Plaque W ith sublimation's full-color dig- ital print technology, you can take a traditional plaque to the next level and wow your customers. Add school/team colors, creative fonts, on-brand logos, and even photographs to make these awards stand out. What's more, you have a lot of substrate options for getting creative. Here's a look at how to use sublimation to imprint on an MDF plaque from Unisub. Equipment List and Supplies Needed: • Sublimatable plaque (Used here: Unisub 5765 round plaque with black edge) • Graphics software (Used here: CreativeStudio Online Designer) • Sublimation printer and ink (Used here: Virtuoso SG800 printer with SubliJet-HD inks) • Color management software (Used here: Virtuoso Print Manager) • Sublimation transfer paper, at least 8 1/2" X 11" (Used here: TruePix CLASSIC) • Flat heat press (Used here: HIX SwingMan 20) • Heat tape or spray glue (Used here: heat tape) • Isopropyl alcohol or lint roller (Optional) • Protective paper (Used here: butcher paper) Settings: Virtuoso Print Manager Settings • Substrate: Unisub products • Paper: Choose the brand of paper you are using • Source: Tray 1, unless using the bypass tray • Speed: High speed • Mirror: Checked, unless pressing on clear acrylic or glass Heat Press Settings: • Time: 65-70 seconds • Temperature: 400 F • Pressure: Light-to-medium NOTE: Check with the substrate manu- facturer for heat press settings for specific products. For Unisub products, visit www. STEP 1: CREATE Your first step is to create a design to imprint. Start by downloading a template for the shape of your plaque. If you use Cre- ativeStudio, you can search for the product and a template will pull up for you to work with. If you're using desktop graphics soft- ware, start with the website of the dealer from which you bought the plaque. Most have downloadable templates on the product pages of their websites. You can also go to the substrate manufacturer's website and see if there are template files that work with your software. Once you have a template to work with, start bringing photos, graphics, text, and other visual assets you need to build your design into your program. If you're working with CreativeStudio, you can access a huge library of print-ready designs, graphics, images, and fonts through the software interface. STEP 2: PRINT When your design is complete, it's time to print. You will need a sublimation printer, software, inks, and transfer paper. Whether you're working with desktop graphic soft- ware or CreativeStudio, you want to send your designs to Virtuoso Print Manager for printing. This software enables you to specify the type of substrate and paper you're using, whether or not you want to mirror your image, how many copies to print and on what type of paper, print quality/speed, color preferences, and more. It also converts the color data you designed with on screen (different values of red, green, and blue for every color) into data using the four ink colors in your printer: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). This is crucial for attaining accu- rate colors on your plaque. NOTE: If you are pressing your image onto the front of the plaque, you want to mirror your print, so the images and text are readable. If you're using a clear acrylic or glass substrate, where the design is pressed to the back and is viewed through the acrylic or glass, do not mirror your print. Also, printing a bleed line can make aligning your design to the plaque easier in the next step. By Robin Kavanagh Step Two: Print your design onto transfer paper using a sublimation printer and inks. Step One: Create your design using Sawgrass' desktop graphics software CreativeStudio Online Designer. ALL IMAGES COURTESY ROBIN KAVANAGH Robin Kavanagh is the Public Rela- tions Manager for Sawgrass, the global leader in delivering dye-subli- mation and digital printing solutions that make personalization possible and empower creative entrepre- neurs to get customized products to market in record time.

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