Awards & Engraving

April '18

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20 THE SUBLIMATION REPORT • Spring 2018 a-e-mag.com • printwearmag.com Sublimation survey numbers The Sublimation Business W ith full-color options, detailed and unique end results, and a variety of decorating substrates, sublimation continues to grow as a decorating technology. It offers endless personalization opportunities for those seeking to grow their graphics business. To help you keep up with the current state of affairs in the sublimation segment, this annual survey dives into the numbers behind the business. It targets business practices, popular products, sales numbers, and pricing practices in the sublimation market. With these results, it is our hope that you can better build your sublimation business and increase profits. SURVEY METHODOLOGY This survey was conducted in December 2017 via electronic mail through SurveyMonkey.com and complied with all CAN SPAM act laws and the NBM privacy policy (http:// www.nbm.com/privacy-statement). Respondents were selected from the A&E and Printwear subscriber databases, and all survey recipients were provided the same version of the survey. These businesses are primarily involved in awards, trophies, customization, personalization, and apparel decoration. For the purpose of this survey, the business of sublimation was defined as those shops and individuals that design, print, press, and sell products customized by the sublimation process. A total of 308 responses were received and no less than 107 responses were received on any one question. Some survey totals equal more than 100 percent because readers check all of the categories that apply. All statistics and statements found in this report are based upon survey findings except where noted. Published: April 2018. 90% of respondents report that their sublimation business is primarily small format. BUSINESS COMPOSITION/OUTLOOK Editor's note: Anything 44 inches or larger is defined a large-format sublimation. Desktop printers are largely considered "small format," although there are a few that can also be looked at as mid-size. Visit www.bit.ly/SubSize for more information. Other Primary Decoration/Customization Techniques: Transfers/Heat-Applied Graphics ............. 66% Embroidery .............................................. 46% Screen Printing ......................................... 43% Laser Engraving ........................................ 41% Rotary Engraving ...................................... 29% Direct-to-Substrate .................................. 22% Sandcarving .............................................. 15% Business Conditions: Reported Expected Future Increase: ................................................... 67% Decrease: ................................................... 3% Stay the Same: ......................................... 30% EQUIPMENT AND INK The survey found that 18% of the respondents have owned their printer for over 10 years. 29% of respondents plan to purchase a printer for their sublimation business in 2018. Number of Heat Presses in Use: 1 ...................... 37% 2 ....................... 35% 3 ....................... 16% 4 ......................... 4% 5 ......................... 5% More than 5 ........ 3% 76% of survey participants use new ink cartridges, whereas 15% use the refillable ink option. Editor's note: Understand the pros and cons of new versus refillable ink cartridges here: www.bit.ly/SubInkInfo.

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