June '23

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7 0 G R A P H I C S P R O • J U N E 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 A lthough the word awards often appear in the same phrase as personalization, which is fair enough, I look at the two as separate categories. To me, awards offer different opportunities for large orders, with a myriad of materials to work from. ese include off-the-shelf materials from some excellent suppliers, but with a little imagination, we can use some materials, formats, or layouts which are not often thought of for awards. We may create our own designs or use customer-supplied ones, but either way, we are in a position to create a long-term customer by producing awards that are unique to them. We can also use different materials in combination to further indi- vidualize an order. I have used off-the-shelf blanks in the past, but now, I concentrate on my own material selections and combinations. Material choice can include any material which can be engraved and/or cut; I have used different woods, different plastics, foils, leather, marble, granite, and acrylic, just as examples. I have also taken what was an individ- ual award and converted it into a perpet- ual award, subsequently dedicated to that individual. Using our own designs also lets us work with amounts we can control, meaning we aren't stuck with case lots we might never find a use for. As with any time you deal with special- ized retail offerings, make sure you have a customer base at hand or let local orga- nizations know you have the capability to produce event-specific and custom- er-specific designs. You might be surprised how often event organizers want to have unique awards. John Morman is the owner of Celtic Tides in Lexington, Virginia. He and his wife, Mary Jo, have been running the shop since 2005. WORKING WITH Don't be afraid to get creative B Y J O H N M O R M A N

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