Awards & Engraving

2020 Sublimation Report

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24 The Sublimation Report • Spring 2020 a-e-mag.com • printwearmag.com BUSINESS COMPOSITION AND OUTLOOK 14% of survey respondents focus on sublimation as a primary business. The majority of survey respondents reported decoration or customization techniques other than sublimation as a primary business focus. Other Primary Decoration Techniques: Transfers/Heat-Applied Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68% Laser Engraving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48% Embroidery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47% Screen Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39% Rotary Engraving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36% Direct-to-Substrate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22% Sandcarving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21% 76 % — number of survey respondents that say their sublimation business is successful. 87 % of participants say their sublimation business is primarily small format. Of those that participated in the survey, 69% expect an increase in their sublimation business in the next 12 months. A s sublimation continues to be one of the most popular methods to decorate prod- ucts, new sublimatable substrates are constantly being released and improve- ments are being made to the equipment. Are you keeping abreast of the happenings in the sublimation segment? This survey is here to help. It digs into the numbers behind the business, giving you a comprehensive look at the data. The survey targets business practices, products, sales numbers, decoration methods, and more in the sublimation market. With these results, we hope that you can better build your sublimation business and increase profits. SURVEY METHODOLOGY This survey was conducted in January 2020 via electronic mail through SurveyMonkey.com and complied with all CAN SPAM act laws and the NBM privacy policy (http://www.nbm.com/ privacy-statement). Respondents were selected from the A&E and Printwear subscriber 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 products customized by the sublimation process. A total of 271 responses were received and no less than 139 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 statements found in this report are based upon survey findings except where noted. Published: April 2020. Decorating Digits Sublimation Survey Numbers EQUIPMENT The survey found that 68% of businesses use only one printer for sublimation. 24% plan to purchase a printer for their sublimation business in 2020. Number of Heat Presses in Use: 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40% 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30% 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15% 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8% 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3% 20 % – respondents who plan to purchase a heat press for their sublimation business in 2020. SOFTWARE AND INK The majority of survey respondents reported purchasing ink between 1-5 times per year, and 3% of respondents purchase more than 15 times per year. Refillable Ink versus New Cartridge Refillable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13% New Cartridges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73% Combination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14% Word to the wise: don't buy a cheap heat press. Here's why: http://printwear. ly/heatpress2020.

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