Awards & Engraving

June '17

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40 • A&E JUNE 2017 W ood is a long-standing tra- dition in the awards and engraving industry. The sub- strate has been a popular one for plaques for many years, and it's no secret why. Wood presents a classic, strong look that customers know and love. Also a sought- after substrate for trophy bases, perpetual plaques and other award items, wood con- tinues to present a product perfect for the industry. Along with its natural allure, there are quite a few reasons why wood products should be among your offerings. Between a variety of species and ease of decoration, wood should be one of your top-selling products. Not convinced? Let's explore all the reasons why wood is a great fit for any awards retailer. A SUCCESSFUL SPECIES It seems simple—wood is wood. While it may appear that any type of wood will do for an award product, that isn't the case. There are certain species of wood, and cer- tain ways it is processed, that make for the ideal award substrate, among other factors. "American walnut, hard maple and cherry are the best species for awards," believes Terry Gross, The Gavel Co. And it's not just for one single reason, either. "All three… have desirable laser engraving characteristics, interesting grain patterns, rich coloring, and are abundant and cost-effective." All of these characteristics combine for a high-profit opportunity for awards retailers. "You can create a broad range of detail and contrast with wood," Josh Ste- phens, Trotec Laser, points out. He adds that wood is versatile and can be processed in many different ways, and is also quick to note that coated wood is a reliable go-to for that versatility. But those aren't the only factors playing into what an awards retailer should look for in wood items. Equipment can also determine which products you go for. For example, if you own a laser machine, size plays a role. "It's a good idea to regularly stock wood (and other materials) that fit your laser bed size," Stephens states. It also depends on how the wood will be utilized and whether it is the main body of the award or will serve another purpose. "There are various wood types that work well for awards, depending on the per- sonalization that will be worked into the award," says Shawna Flikkema, Colorado Heirloom. "If a plate is used, or the wood part of the award is a base, then walnut is a popular choice." She also expands on the engraving aspect, stating that alder is a great option along with the cherry and By Cassie Green Why Wood Works for Your Business WILD ABOUT WOOD Wood products offer a timeless look for both awards and personalized gift items. IMAGE COURTESY COLORADO HEIRLOOM

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