Awards & Engraving

January '17

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24 • A&E JANUARY 2017 A warding academic excel- lence is a long-standing tra- dition, and for good reason. Academic achievement is a sign of hard work, dedica- tion, and the drive to accomplish things that can and will affect one's future. Stu- dents of all ages work hard, whether it's in their general studies or in extracurricular activities and clubs. Throughout the years, academic awards have taken various forms: plaques, medals, certificates, and even more artsy items such as crystal apples or the lamp of knowledge. And while the popularity of the various award types has changed from year to year, the tradition of awarding aca- demic achievement hasn't. Since your cus- tomers are bound to purchase academic awards, why not offer them the latest styles to honor the students in their lives? PRESENTLY POPULAR What's currently popular when it comes to academic awards? A variety of items ranging from plaques to medals will always be in demand, but there are other factors that determine what's presently popular. According to Mayra Barboza, Topmost, there is and always will be a large selection of products catering to the academic seg- ment. "There are several awards available for the academic market, from plaques to apples to globes and paperweights," she states. More specifically, she points out that anything that can be displayed on a desk is constantly sought-after. Brenna Walsh, JDS Industries, dials it down even further. "Presently, medals seem to be the biggest sellers, especially the ones with a two-inch insert area," she observes. The insert is one feature that makes this item particularly popular. "A two-inch insert can be personalized for any event and person, so the possibilities are limitless," she states. That's not to say that those purchasing academic awards aren't after other items these days. David Gross, Condé, points out that with the growth of sublimation, full-color awards are currently desirable. Options include MDF plaques, sublimat- able metal, wood and acrylic, and Sub- liSLATE, slate that can be decorated with full-color images. "Moving from the mun- dane will grow (a retailer's) business and keep clients coming back to their door," Gross adds. So what affects the end-user's deci- sion to purchase one item over the other? Budget is one factor. "School budgets have really shrunk since 2009," Walsh notes. "Schools still do a lot of awards with a lot Academics: A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE BY CASSIE GREEN AWARDING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

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