Awards & Engraving

November '19

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A&E NOVEMBER 2019 • 39 sublimated items, upsell by easily adding a personalized name, date, event, location etc., onto the item (with transfers). This also provides the opportunity to offer coor- dinating items, such as a hat or bag." Keep in mind that even if you already have the heat press (and printer) because your shop offers sublimation, if you want to add HTV, there is another piece of equipment you'll need to add. "The only additional piece of equipment you would have to add to your shop is a plotter cutter, which comes in a wide variety of sizes and price ranges, and of course the vinyl going onto the garments," VanLint points out. You may also consider adding a few acces- sories, such as interchangeable platens in various sizes for your heat press. FEELING THE HEAT A l l o f t h e s e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a r e great… as long as your customer base supports the addition of these decora- tion methods. As is the case with most any technology, if your customers don't want it, it might not be right for your shop. The great news is, heat-applied graphics are almost always desirable in most awards businesses. "For hard substrates, you can use poly- coated hardboard cut into any shape you like giving tons of possibilities, such as keychains, earrings, awards, etc.," lists Tovar for sublimatable possibilities. You can also decorate phone cases, mugs, tile, and even wood. The key here is finding the poly-coated substrate. "Heat transfers and screen-printed transfers will work on some hard goods, but they are truly meant to use on soft goods," Montreuil adds. T-shirts are of course a popular product, but don't be afraid to use this technique for hats, bags, pants, scarves, and more. Whether decorating soft or hard sub- strates, adding heat-applied graphics means one thing for your shop: growth. "Many awards shops are already utilizing sublimation for trophy plates and might already be making some garments for cli- ents or sublimated signs," VanLint notes. "Adding HTV to your awards shop that is primarily decorating on harder substrates can open up new opportunities of revenue for you." A&E Get involved in editorial opportunities for A&E each month! Call Cassie Green at 720.566.7278 or email

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