Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '19

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34 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 Sublimation Use Written Transfer Instructions And Video Tutorials Transferring a printed image onto a blank substrate involves a series of steps and supplies unique to that par- ticular substrate. To make it as easy as possible, both written instructions and video tutorials are available describing the best transfer technique of each sub- strate along with helpful transfer details. I recommend referencing each prod- uct's transfer instructions before trans- ferring the image. It's the best way to achieve consistently beautiful results. For those that ignore the proper steps and details, the most likely result will be wasted ink, paper, product, and time. Instructions are updated every few weeks to keep up with new products, improved transfer techniques, and changes in sub- strates, so routinely check back for the most current information. Written instructions are a great start- ing point but may need to be further tuned for your specific equipment. Video tutorials are an excellent com- plement to written instructions but keep in mind that the written instructions are the last word as they may be updated many times after a video is produced. SUBLIMATION GRAPHICS SOFTWARE BASICS Graphics Software When starting in sublimation, you need the heat press, printer, inks, etc. But something many people don't think about is the software for edit- ing graphics and formatting artwork. The top two programs to use are CorelPHOTOPAINT and CorelDRAW, or Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator. Training videos and tutorials can be found on Adobe and Corel's websites as well as YouTube and platforms like File Formats and Color Modes Sublimation image/art files work best in RGB color mode over CMYK. File formats for printing are commonly JPG or PDF. Resolution or quality for your files should be a minimum of 200 DPI (dots per inch); however, they should ideally be 300 DPI. Templates, Bleed, and Tools Here are some different ways to add a bleed to your design/file: Part of formatting files for printing/pressing includes adding 1/4 of an inch to the item dimensions for printer bleed so the image goes across the entire product. If it's a 5-by-7-inch photo panel then your file format should be 5 1/4-by-7 1/4 inches. On smaller items, you'll notice you can use slightly less bleed, or on larger, thicker items like MDF photo panels/signs, you may want to add a thicker bleed of 1/2 of an inch to be able to see the bleed and properly center the blank product onto the printed transfer. On designs that have a white or light background, add a thin black bor- der so you can see your image area and not have to guess, creating a waste of not only a transfer but also a product that you sublimated off-center. Sublimation Drinkware – Most products can be done in either a mug press or small convection oven. Aluminum Sheet Stock – Testing with aluminum allows the user to get used to their heat press and the varying pressures. Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) – This is a versatile product and is available in numerous precut products such as luggage tags, name badges, and keychains. License Plate Frames – Use legal-size paper for the transfers since most license plates and frames are at least 11 1/2 inches long, which is too big for letter size paper. Patches – Sublimating apparel can be tricky since there are so many variables to consider. Because of this, many beginners won't offer apparel. Patches are easy to sublimate and don't require any special equipment. 2 (Image courtesy Unisub) BY JENNIFER FOY, UNISUB Best Sublimation Substrates for the Beginner (Image courtesy JDS Industries) BY LISA ELLSTON, JDS INDUSTRIES

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