October '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 O C T O B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 1 5 product sources may provide a challenge. Test these products before making a large purchase. Using sheet wood materials and vari- ous glues, I designed and made numerous products. I used several woodworkers for making products from thicker woods and more complex or refined finished wood products. There are lots of woodworkers who will take on projects as a second job. You will also find many retired people do- ing woodworking as a hobby or wanting to make some extra money. Test the skills of any candidates you are considering. When you find one or two good ones, hold on to them. HOME DECOR PRODUCTS COVID-19 brought home decor to the attention of everyone stuck at home. It brought the desire to add and change de- cor and motivated the creative to design and make their own. Many have purchased small lasers for their homes and build unique products for themselves, their friends, and family, as well as a small side business. Themed-based products will bring a fol- lowing to your creative product line. Some popular themes I've seen are related to the outdoors. Mountains, the beach, kayak- ing, RVing, camping, and hiking are a few. Select a graphic or two that helps tell the story. Short, special sayings work well to complement the graphic. Some may be customized with family names. Make sure the product design is well-balanced in the end. Don't over-design and try to put too much on display. Less tells the story quicker and without confusion. Some customizers have created products around their experiences in firefighting, law enforcement, and the military. Sports is also a big theme. Classic movies also have their followers and can make a great theme as well. Just remember that many logos and graphics fall under copyright. Using these graphics without permission or a license can result in an expensive lawsuit. Wood is often used as a base for mount- ing additional wood cut-outs or even acryl- ic, metal, and leather. The more layers, the higher the price. When designing wall pieces that are layered, you have to think in 3D. Individual pieces overlap and must be attached or glued to other pieces. They must create a stable structure. If you are selling them over the internet, they need to be shipped. Thoroughly think through packaging and consider the time it takes — it can be a significant part of the cost of making the product. Packing materials also need to be thought through, and the packing process must be an efficient one. CUSTOM PLAQUES Even with the hundreds of industry-sup- plied plaque designs and sizes, I had many requests each year for something I could not locate. Working relationships with woodworkers allowed me to fulfill many requests and some significant size orders over the years. I kept wood samples on hand with several edge designs. A good wood- worker will have a high-quality router with several types of edge tools. Some plaque manufacturers also build custom plaque. I had requests that included logo shapes designed into the shape of the plaque. Unique-sized or shaped plaques for per- petuals were a popular request. Plaques are also a cost-effective way for a customer to post an interior or even an exterior sign. You can even take a standard product such as a plaque and create new uses for it. Dis- play these uses on your website or in your showroom. This is a great way to display your ability to provide customized prod- ucts even if the customer doesn't need that specific design. You might just fire up your customers' creativity. TEMPLATES AND HOLDERS Sheet wood is also beneficial to make tem- plates to hold products in place for engrav- ing. Large orders that require lasering of medals, keychains, pens, and other prod- ucts that might be used as customer gifts or giveaways (promotional products) can become more efficient with a laser table template. Templates offer a quick and easy placement of the products to be engraved. I also used wood to design and produce LOOKING FOR ENGRAVING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EVENTS AND RACE INDUSTRY? BRADEN TODD, OWNER OF GLASSMITH2, HIGHLIGHTS THE POPULARITY OF FINISHER MEDALS: GROW & DIVERSIFY WITH AP LAZER Streamline Your Production » Speedy, Precise Cuts » No Post-Processing Visit or call 800-585-8617 To explore how an AP Lazer can increase your profits. » No Post-Processing No Post-Processing 24/7 - 365 Tech Support Complete Turnkey Package NO Hidden Costs 3-2-1 year Machine Warranty Interactive Online Community | 800-585-8617 | 1709 Thompson St. Lansing, MI 48906

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