February '23

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5 4 G R A P H I C S P R O • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z A T I O N Make Your Mark Design in Broomfield, Colorado, primarily handles print-on-de- mand fulfillment for individuals who sell personalized products on Etsy and Amazon. It uses sublimation, UV print- ing, and laser engraving to decorate its drinkware. "Sublimation is our number one depart- ment for drinkware," says Travis Ross, owner of Make Your Mark Design and cohost of the "Print on Demand Cast," a podcast that relates to print-on-demand. "e beauty of it is you are sublimating. It is actually dyes going into a polyes- ter-coated substrate." Heat and pressure are used to turn the sublimation inks from a solid into a gas, making drinkware microwave and dish- washer-safe. e downside to sublimation is it must be done on light-colored mugs or glasses because it doesn't include white ink. "You can't dye anything white. You always have to start with a white or light substrate because of the injection of gases on top of that," Ross says. For full-color designs, every part of the transfer must be covered in ink or dye. If customers want dark-colored drinkware, the company gets around that by offering UV print- ing direct-to-object. e downside of UV printing is that the ink is more susceptible to scratches and other damage. Laser engraving offers another side to drinkware decoration and has become very popular when it comes to insulated mugs, water bottles, or tumblers. If the drinkware is powder coated, the laser can engrave anything into the colored coating, producing beautiful silver stainless steel designs. e downside to laser engraving is that it is not full color. Thompson says that powder-coated Polar Camels are in big demand because they can be personalized with a laser or UV printer. "at's starting to pick up for sure for people, just to keep recreating a better product using the base of the cup and being able to add color to it has been big for us. at part of the industry is grow- ing," ompson says. When a shop laser engraves stainless that is not powder coated, it must apply a (Image courtesy JDS Industries) (Images courtesy Make Your Mark Design) (Image courtesy InkCups)

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