Awards & Engraving

November '19

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BEST FOR BUSINESS Once you understand the similarities and differences between sublimation and heat-transfer vinyl, you can determine which is best for your shop. The neat thing about these technologies is they share basic equipment, so it wouldn't be hard to add both if your shop's customer base calls for it. Tovar points out that sublimation is cur- rently a popular way to customize awards items. "Many awards shops offer sublima- tion for full-color awards. This same heat press can be used for pressing heat-transfer vinyl to garments," he explains. Because you can share equipment for both, heat- applied graphics in general are a great way to expand business. But it doesn't have to stop there. "I've also seen people mix laser engraving with hotfix rhinestones for addi- tional decoration. Sharing equipment is the big plus for awards retailers to cross over into (other) decorating services," he adds. Montreuil expands on this point, noting that heat-applied graphics are a sure-fire way to bring extra pizzazz to your offer- ings. "Heat-applied transfers can supple- ment other decorating technologies by adding easy personalization, other effects, or allowing them to decorate on-demand," she says. "For example, if a decorator offers A great way to market your heat-applied graphics services is to put together a display in your showroom or create photos showing a corporate logo or mascot printed on a variety of complementary products you can now decorate. IMAGE COURTESY STAHLS' Sublimation works great on hard substrates such as cutting boards, but keep in mind: the key here is that the items must be poly-coated. IMAGE COURTESY JDS INDUSTRIES 36 a-e-mag.com • A&E NOVEMBER 2019

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