Awards & Engraving

April '18

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I n recent years, sublimation has crossed the threshold from being a service offered by a select set of shops, to a popular form of custom decoration for a wide variety of both hard and soft goods. This discipline fits well into existing busi- ness models of varying sizes and can also help smaller shops branch out into new streams of revenue. To get you on the right path, here are a few key pieces of advice from qualified voices in the industry. THE PERKS One of the biggest pros to offering sub- limation to your customers is the variety of polyester-based products it can be paired with. "Sublimation processes are compatible with polyester-based goods, which are now utilized in many aspects of daily life," explains Michael Maxwell, Mimaki. "Items such as mousepads, phone cases, sportswear, furnished goods, and a variety of polyester-coated items can have an image fixed on (them)." BY MIKE CLARK Sublimation Basics How and where to start The sublimatable mug has been around for a number of years and is a great promotional product or customized gift. Smaller desktop printers accommodate items such as promotional products or personalized gifts. IMAGES COURTESY SAWGRASS 4 THE SUBLIMATION REPORT • Spring 2018 • Combined with the ability of deliv- ering full-color digital prints, this means shops can offer high-quality artwork, or photorealistic graphics to their cus- tomers. Even with that high-quality image capability, sublimation typically comes at a lower overhead cost than other forms of digitally printed graphics like direct-to-substrate. "With sublimation, there are such a small number of steps involved in cre- ating a (finished) product," notes Darci Jeffrey-Andersen, Coastal Business Sup- plies. "With sublimation you design it, you print it, press it, and you're done." Robin Kavanagh, Sawgrass Technolo- gies, echoes this sentiment, pointing out that the low overhead also translates to

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