Awards & Engraving

2019 Sublimation Report

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www S ublimation continues to explode as a decorating technique for everything from apparel and soft substrates to awards, personalized products, and more. With new sub- limatable products constantly being added to the mix and upgrades and improvements made to the equip- ment, this technology is and will remain a popular choice for pro- ducers everywhere. To help you keep up with the current state of affairs in the subli- mation segment, this annual survey digs into the numbers behind the business. It targets business prac- tices, products, s ales numbers, pricing practices, and more in the sublimation market. With these results, it is our hope that you can better build your sublimation busi- ness and increase profits. SURVEY METHODOLOGY This survey was conducted in December 2018 via electronic mail through SurveyMonkey.com and complied with all CAN SPAM act laws and the N B M privacy policy (http://www.nbm.com/privacy-state- ment). Respondents were selected from the A&E and Printwear sub- scriber databases, and all survey recipients were provided the same version of the survey. For the purpose of this survey, the business of sublimation was defined as those shops and individuals that design, print, press, and sell prod- ucts customized by the sublimation process. A total of 234 responses were received and no less than 124 responses were received on any one question. Some survey totals equal more than 100 percent because readers check all of the categories that apply. All statistics and state- ments found in this report are based upon survey findings except where noted. Published: April 2019. Sublimation survey results Color by Number 24 The Sublimation Report • Spring 2019 a-e-mag.com • printwearmag.com BUSINESS COMPOSITION/OUTLOOK 74 % of respondents say their sublimation business is successful. Other Primary Decoration/Customization Techniques: Transfers/Heat-Applied Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . 63% Embroidery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43% Laser Engraving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42% Screen Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36% Rotary Engraving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32% Direct-to-Substrate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20% Sandcarving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19% 90 % of participants report their sublimation business is primarily small-format. Editor's note: Anything 44 inches or larger is defined a large-format sublimation. Desktop printers are generally considered small format, although there are a few that can also be looked at as mid-size. Business Conditions: Reported Expected Future Increase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67% Decrease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2% Stay the Same . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30% MARKETS AND PRODUCTS Top 10 Sublimated Products Sold: Mugs/Drinkware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74% Awards and Plaques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64% Apparel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61% Name Badges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56% Mousepads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54% Holiday Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48% Home Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48% Bag Tags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47% Signage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44% Desktop Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43% Top Five Sublimated Products Sold Most: Awards and Plaques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25% Apparel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23% Mugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19% Name Badges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9% Signage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4% 52 % of respondents say the majority of the orders they place with suppliers are completed online.

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