Awards & Engraving

December '17

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✦ Fresh product designs and innovations in glass and crystal products take the industry in exciting new directions. colorless cr ystal takes full advantage of the clarity of the material and should be utilized as such. Regardless of where you stand on color, because of the level of quality and versatility, crystal products will always be popular; elegance never goes out of style. The good news is the cost of crystal has plateaued in recent years, so more may find it within their budgets. WHAT ELSE IS POPULAR? Glass continues to be the favored material for those that require a balance between quality and cost. The perceived value is still relatively high, but those on a budget appreciate the cost efficiency of this material. In recent years, clear glass, as opposed to jade glass, has become more readily available at a lower cost, so vendors have been adding more of it to their product lines to keep up with the increasing d e m a n d . C l e a r glass, while not completely clear, achieves a look more sim- ilar to crystal, but at a lower price point. A popular trend in glass substrates is uti- lizing thinner pieces of glass on existing designs to lower the cost but maintain the same look. This greatly expands the choices available to those with a limited budget without forcing them to look to a different material. The thick- ness of glass is a huge contributing factor to the cost of an item, so even reducing the thickness by a small amount makes a big difference without being too noticeable in the overall look. As with crystal, combining glass with different colors or materials into an award design satisfies those with more modern- istic or artistic taste. Art glass has been experiencing a surge in popularity, as buyers seek out more unique and creative designs. Each piece is not exactly the same, so each one is, in essence, one-of-a-kind. The vibrant swirls of color and interesting shapes make for a more dazzling display than just your typical award—these prod- ucts double as an art piece. Combining A&E DECEMBER 2017 • Glass & Crystal Report ✦ 49

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